Based on the traditional assertion that animals such as mice, rats, monkeys and others respond in a similar way to humans when exposed to some products, there are millions of such animals used for testing every year (Coster, 37). They are used for testing on the safety of cosmetics, drugs, household products, personal care products and other product intended for human use or contact to ensure that they are safe for human use. The use of the animals for such tests has also resulted in deaths of a lot of such animals and also pain and suffering to others, and it is this that has sparked a debate on whether it is ethical to do animal testing or otherwise (Waldau, 30). Some countries have taken up laws that limit animal testing including countries in Europe and even China that seek to limit testing on other products other than those intended for medical use (Bauch, 153). The research on animals has been in the use since 500 BC and is still ongoing amidst the campaigns against its use by the animal rights activists that argue that the method is just unfair to the animals and that it is ineffective since they are different from humans (Franklin, 16). There are apparent implications that come with the use of animals for testing. However, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages that accompany the animal experiments.
Animal testing has resulted in a significant number of life-saving cures, treatments, and even vaccines. With the presence of animal testing, there has been marginal medical progress in the field of medicine since it has resulted in the discovery of more cures, treatments and even preventive vaccines for some of the most deadly disease in the world (Hajar, 42). For example, the new cancer drugs that have been proven to work in animals have led to significant advances and gains in the cancer survival rates witnessed in the current society. It is thanks to animal testing and research that there has been increased knowledge on tumor biology that has led to the significant treatments that kill more cancer cells that are molecularly different from the normal human cells (Hajar, 42). Moreover, HIV/Aids is a disease that has no cure, but there have been significant advances in combating and also in controlling the disease leading to an extended human life. The most important milestone on the medicine of HIV is the presence of Anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) that was made possible through animal testing which elongates the life of the HIV-infected individuals and also provides hope for the possibility of funding a cure (Hajar, 42). Moreover, the presence of substances such as Folic acids that were proven to prevent birth defects in animals has also led to the reduction of the rate of birth defects in the world. Since the discovery, the women take the folic acids before pregnancy and also in the early months to avoid serious birth defects and hence it has saved many lives over the years.
Those that oppose animal testing do not present an adequate alternative to testing on a living whole body system since no other way is proven to be as effective as animal testing (Coster, 38-39). The human and animal bodies are very complex and therefore, there is not a mechanism or technology that is present equated to the whole body system testing of an individual or animal. Therefore, arguments on the use of in vitro test methods as an alternative to animal testing are inefficient because such testing involves particular cells. Such methods may not be in a position to consider the other dynamics involved in the human bodies that are complex and impossible to replicate in a Petri dish (Monamy, 44). Moreover, the most efficient method would be to test such product on humans, but it would be unethical since they are meant to protect the people hence the need to use the animals that are the closest to making the near accurate assumptions on the outcomes of such a test. Testing for drugs on issues such their side effects can only be done in the presence of a circulatory system, the nervous system and also organs and since using human beings for tests is globally unacceptable it leaves the use of animals for such tests as the next best case alternative (Monamy, 47-50).
The results of animal testing have significant benefits to the animals themselves and have significantly extended and improved the lives of the animals (Hajar, 43). There has been the development of veterinary medicine over the course of time that had resulted in significant milestones at developing methods to prevent and treat animal-related diseases. Such methods have been conceived as a result of animal testing and also the understanding of the bodies of the animals and their physiology (Hajar, 44). There has been the development of vaccines, antibiotics, surgical procedures, anesthetics and other approaches developed for humans through the animal testing and are also replicated to animals as well. Due to the advances in the veterinary medicine, the animals in livestock, zoos and pets now live longer and healthier lives. Moreover, the endangered species can be protected and at times bred to ensure they are protected from extinction (Hajar, 45).
In conclusion, there are implications that come with the use of animals for testing. However, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages that come with experimentation using the animals. It is because, testing has led to numerous medical advancements that has saved billions of lives and also enhanced the lives of the human populations. There is also a lack of the most appropriate alternative to animal testing for determination of toxicity, the side effects and also the improvements that certain medical advances may have on the human life other than the use of animals. Moreover, the use of the animals is an insignificant price to be paid for the sake of protecting the human and animal lives.
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