Medical testing on animals has been happening for over half a century. It has provided too little yet the price which was paid was great and almost incalculable. But why does it still happen? What is medical testing on animals?
In this article, we are going to present to you some facts that you may or may not know about medical testing on animals, and why it is ultimately almost pointless.
What is medical testing on animals?
Many agencies worldwide are testing medical products on animals before they are released to the public, for human consumption. It is something that they are required to do in order for the respective medicine to be somewhat validated(1).
However, time and time again, many of these medicines have proven to be useless when administered to humans. There are millions of animals subjected to cruel tests everywhere in the world each year.
From a scientific point of view, little is known about whether these experiments on animals are actually useful or not, in developing drugs for humans. More than this, around 90% of drugs fail in clinical trials on humans(2).
Is medical testing on animals effective?
When it comes to these tests, scientists determine how much drug or biologic is absorbed into the blood of the animal, how it is chemically broken down in its body, the toxicity, and how quickly the product and its metabolites are eliminated from the body.
However, these studies provide very little, or mostly no additional insight if the product is also safe for humans. The effects of the product/drug on one animal can’t even reliably predict what would happen to any other animal, and thus humans.
Even the tests conducted on monkeys, which are believed to be one of our closest relatives, are very poor when predicting the effects on humans.
Therefore, using animals to test new medicine for humans is not scientifically justifiable. When we mentioned that 90% of the drugs failed in clinical trials on humans, they failed despite the fact that the products went through extensive animal tests that suggested that these medicines were safe and effective.
Experimenting on animals is cruel, expensive, and for the most part, inapplicable to humans(3). There are other procedures, other alternatives that are more efficient. Along with this, some are cheaper and don’t hurt anyone in the process.
Many scientists have already moved on from experimenting on animals. They developed and use other methods for testing products and study diseases.
Some of these alternatives include sophisticated tests using human cells and tissue (in vitro methods), advanced computer-modeling (in silico models), and even studies with human volunteers.
All of these methods and there are even more than the ones mentioned above are cheaper, take less time, and are much more efficient than animal testing. It is time to let go of our barbaric and primitive ways of dealing with this issue.
It is inefficient, expensive, almost completely useless, and we are actually torturing other living beings for nothing. We should take responsibility through other means.
Did you know?
– More than 200.000 animals were used in experiments only in Britain in 2018.
– More than 100 million animals are burned, crippled, and generally abused in US labs every year.
– India, Israel, and Europe have already banned animal testing for cosmetics.
– Some products require over 50 experiments to be given the green light. Even then, safety is not guaranteed for human consumption.