Cons Of Animal Testing
The cons of animal testing could be summarised as:
1. It is an inefficient use of funds because only in 10% of published reviews of animal experimentation did the authors of the reviews say that animal testing had led to clinical procedures that were beneficial to people. In other words we could use funds more efficiently if we used different testing methods without animals.
In respect of product testing the fact that the products are tested on non-humans can result in misleading conclusions. Animals that are not harmed by products can harm humans and vice versa because of the differences in physiology. That is common sense I guess.
2. It is morally and ethically wrong to injure, harm, cause distress and pain to animals for our benefit. The old clichéd argument that we are uniquely endowed with language, self-consciousness and more intelligence than animals is gradually becoming superseded by the reality that animals are smarter than we thought. It is dawning on us that animals feel emotions and are sensitive to pain. It is surprising to think that about 50 years ago many vets were unsure that cats and other animals under their care felt pain. In certain parts of the world they still live in the dark ages, unfortunately. I shan’t mention countries. Times are changing, albeit too slowly.
3. We are able, as an innovative species of animal to devise methods and procedures that allow research into disease without harming and abusing animals and which are more cost effective. Such methods might include cell and organ cultures and computer simulations. There needs to be a greater use of modern computer systems and less use of the knife and drugs.
4. A hidden element, in the abusive nature of animal testing and research, is that animals destined for research laboratories are transported long distances in cargo holds in small cages. Apparently 20-30% of cats and dogs for European Union laboratories come from outside the European Union (EU). In the EU, in 2008, there were 9.9 million uses of animals in laboratories.
I am indebted to Jane Goodhall for her article in the Times of March 17th 2012 for the motivation to write this and for her information.