Can animal testing ever be justified?
Green glowing kitten with modified DNA - Photo copyright PA
13th September 2011: I am just reading about the genetic modification of domestic cats in laboratories to help find treatments and vaccines for HIV (Aids) in humans and perhaps to help find treatments for animals, against feline aids (FIV).
Aids has killed 30 million people and FIV is a major cat disease. A treatment that is proactive and which prevents contracting feline aids would be very welcome.
The genetic modification included adding a marker gene (a jellyfish gene), which allows scientists to confirm that the protein that provides the resistance to FIV was being made. It means the cats glow green when ultraviolet light is shined on them.
It all sounds pretty gruesome to me, a bit Frankenstein-like.
But if the cats are not in pain and if they are not killed by the testing, is it alright?
Are there some occasions when animal testing is acceptable?
The potential rewards are high, clearly. It seems that the answer for some people is whether the cats will suffer pain and whether they will be "sacrificed" (killed after testing) to use a well worn scientific euphemism.
My personal view is that all animal testing is wrong. What do you think?