Powerful New Scientific Evidence against Vivisection

The just-published paper refutes the standard vivisection assumption that that animal “models” are predictive for humans. The paper is damning in its results and once published will represent some of the most valuable scientific evidence against vivisection gathered to date. The paper below demonstrates conclusively that animals subject to routine laboratory procedures such as handling, blood draws, and orogastric gavaging in all cases and the wide range of species examined suffer marked physiological stress likely to cause psychological distress and distort experimental results (decreasing their reliability). It also shows that the animals do not readily habituate to these stressors over time


A new report published in Contemporary Topics in Laboratory Animal Science finds that mice, rats, rabbits, beagles, geese, and other animals all show measurable physiological stress responses to routine laboratory procedures that have been up until now viewed as relatively benign. The review focused on three commonly performed procedures: handling, blood collection and force-feeding. Independent of the invasive experiments themselves, these daily routines can cause an animal to experience elevated bloodstream concentrations of corticosterone, prolactin, glucose, and epinephrine, all indicators of stress.

The paper generated considerable controversy in the vivisection community during its peer review. After the editor had accepted it for publication, the AALAS (American Association for Laboratory Animal Science—which publishes the journal) executive committee intervened, resulting in the editor’s resignation in protest, and a publication delay of five months. An editorial from the committee published in the same issue insinuates that the paper is biased and that it lacks rigor.

Balcombe JP, Barnard N, Sandusky C. 2004 Laboratory routines cause animal stress. Contemporary Topics in Laboratory Animal Science. 43(6): 42-51.