Facts on Animal Testing
by Michael (PoC Admin)
There are facts on animal testing but they are dominated by opinion. Opinion is more important when it comes to animal testing than fact. I believe that is the case and if so it is an unhappy reflection on our attitude towards nature. A lot of people favour animal testing. A lot of people are against it. There are strong feelings about it. I am personally convinced that as humankind further evolves it will see that animal testing is wrong.
One fact on animal testing that is notable is the apathy that people generally have towards it. We generally don’t research the subject or surf the internet about it. The X Factor (UK television show) is far more interesting. On a different subject, this apathy extends to the gradual extinction of the tiger. I am equally to blame. If it is out of sight it is out of mind and we are too busy anyway.
Before I mention some facts on animal testing I’ll mention the pros and cons of animal testing as I see it. I guess these are obvious. We as humans are the top predator on the planet and we have the right to use animals for our benefit. Testing on animals is no different to using animals to work for us. The argument against is that we are all animals on this planet and have equal rights at a basic level. For one animal (us) to use another (so called “animals”) in an inherently cruel and painful way for the benefit of the former is morally wrong.
The degree of benefit has a bearing on the pros and cons of animal testing. If the testing is for very important health benefits then the pros are supported. If it is to improve cosmetics then the cons are supported.
Our general apathy (a lot of individuals are not apathetic) leads us to ignore the fact that it is alleged that major cat and pet food manufacturers employ animal testing to improve their products.
I cannot state as fact that certain companies referred to below use animal testing as it might be considered defamatory. So I will express an opinion and make allegations in respect of certain companies but can state general facts below.
|Vertebrates experimented on around the world every year||100 million1||British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV)|
|Verbetrates tested in Europe each year||10–11 million||BUAV|
|Animals tested in USA including rates and mice – 2005||12 million||U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)|
|Animals tested in USA – 1970||50 million||Tufts University Center for Animals and Public Policy|
|Animals tested in the USA – 1986||17 million to 22 million||U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment|
|Animals tested in the UK – 2004||Just under 3 million||Home Office|
|Animals tested in the UK – 2008||3,656,080||www.uncaged.co.uk|
|Cats are most commonly used for neurological research – US – 2002||Over 25,500||American Anti-Vivisection Society,|
|Cats used in experiments that had the potential to cause “pain and/or distress – USA||12,250 (about)||Cat madness: human research using cats AAVS newsletter Winter 2003|
|1. The figure do not include Animals bred for research then killed as surplus, animals used for breeding purposes, and animals not yet weaned (which most laboratories do not count) are also not included in the figures.|
It is stated that Iams is involved in animal testing. The parent company is Procter and Gamble. It is alleged that hundreds of animals have been used in experiments by Iams to improve their product. And do we know or care about this? It is alleged that cats’ stomachs were exposed to analyse how fiber affected their stomach. The cats were then euthanised. If we keep a cat should we buy Iams cat food?
The origins of the famous Bengal cat are connected to animal testing. Jean Mill, the well known founder of the breed, acquired F1 hybrid Bengal cats from a medical research scientist who was doing research into leukemia. The Asian leopard cat (the wild cat parent of the Bengal cat) has partial immunity to feline leukemia. This underlines the attitude many people have towards animal testing. (See Bengal Cat Origins)
The rare wild cat hybrid, the Safari cat was used in animal testing experiments. This sort of thing happens all the time.
It is also alleged that Purina is involved in animal testing. It seems that a lot of the cat food we buy is improved through animal testing. Behind the ever more convenient cat food there are cats in pain and discomfort and worse. Does this stop us buying their cat food? I have bought Purina cat food knowing what I know! I am ashamed. However often we do not know. Should cat food be labeled with information as to whether animal testing was used by the manufacturer? On the above link (this one) I have researched some cat food manufacturers who are not involved in animal testing.
If you want some alleged hard facts on animal testing go to the Uncaged website (opens a new window). This is a fine website that deserves more publicity.
I am firmly in the camp that is against animal testing of any sort. I feel that people who are for it are what I have described as disconnected people. I respect other peoples’ views, however. I just think they are wrong if they are for it!
Here are some other posts I have made on this subject: