Philosophy - Index > Testing - Index

Animal Tests Harm Humans
Oct. 2005

Industrial lobbyist Frankie Trull has once again trotted out her tired old claim that animal experiments are essential for the advancement of medical progress (American Chronicle Oct. 5,). With millions of dollars annually spent on such experiments unavailable for potentially lifesaving initiatives such as epidemiological research or health and nutrition education, the true value of animal experiments warrants closer scrutiny.
When not subject to human manipulation, laboratory animals spend most of their lives confined in small, barren cages, often in social isolation. Our review of one hundred and ten scientific studies found growing evidence that these conditions take a severe toll on the animals' neurological and psychological health. Even so-called 'enriched' environments fail to ameliorate most of these deficits.[v] Behavioural stereotypies--repetitive, unvarying and apparently functionless behavior patterns that are believed to reflect animal suffering--are common, occurring, for instance, in some 50% of all laboratory housed mice.[vi]
If we are to consider ourselves an ethical, compassionate and intelligent society, our considerable scientific and medical resources should be directed at the best methods for alleviating both human and animal suffering. Animal experiments are unlikely to either cure human diseases nor eliminate ethical concerns. Instead, government and industry should redirect the enormous funds spent annually on animal experiments into the development and implementation of scientifically-based non-animal alternatives.

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