Should Animals Be Used for Scientific Research? - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1609 Words
Date:  2022-12-03


A controversial issue on whether animals should be made use of when it comes to the scientific researches by scientists all across the world has been debated for a couple of years now. There are those people who believe that the employment of the animals in study is a worthy exercise that should be embraced and upheld. People who have faith that the animals should be employed for the scientific study claim that since human beings cannot be available for the use in the testing of newly introduced medicine and treatments, small animals which have a small impact can instead play this role and help to save more lives in the meantime (Bekoff). William Talman says that "from antibiotics discovery, to the successful transplants and cure of diseases all the knowledge has been from research with laboratory animals".

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Conversely, those who believe that the employment of animals for scientific study is not right to assert that animals are not getting treated in a humane way and that they still have their own rights which should be respected. According to them, animals like fruit flies and small mice that are commonly used in research should not be misused but instead what they deserve is a protection of their lives (Hubrecht). These people who don't support that only animal specimens can be used in the testing of treatment techniques and new medicine but instead, other alternatives should be sought which will still help in the improvement of treatment skills and understanding by the medical practitioners (Hubrecht, Robert, and James Kirkwood Pp 2010). However, Laurie Pycroft states "Alternatives are widely employed in research but expecting them to replace animal tests in the near future is hugely naive".

Reasons for the Claim

Those who support this claim have got several reasons as to why they feel that the use of animals in study as specimens is right. Some of the reasons as to why they argue and strongly support their point of view are that they claim that animal specimens are easily available and give a better understanding of the internal body or microscopic structure of organisms and thus will always allow room for a better understanding of human anatomy (Bekoff). In more support of this issue, those who support it argue that animals are in close proximity to the humans in terms of the body structure and thus it would a little bit better to use the animals in medical experiments so that they would understand the body structures both internal and external of the humans and the main aim is to ensure and or foster an improvement in the health of the humans in the long run (Bekoff Pp 24-25). Johnson states that "The use of animals in the development of our products is sometimes required to ensure products are safe and effective".

To some extent, the issue may seem to be right but it comes along with quite a number of risks and threats of life that are directly addressed to the animal specimens that are used in the research (Giles). Most of the animals used in research do not come back to life after they have been used in the research experiments and if they do so, they always have complications that interfere with their smooth lives.

It is right to argue and say that animals should be used by scientists and researchers in scientific research. Animals especially the smallest ones like the mice, rabbits, and others of this kind are most of the time in plenty in terms of numbers and therefore it makes sense to utilize some of them in research instead of using human beings as specimens for the experiment(Hubrecht). These are animals which have no great impact on the life as humans do and for this reason, there would be no great loss even if it happens that they lose their lives in the event of the scientific research.

Moreover, as earlier stated in the paper, both the internal and external body structures of animals resemble those of the human beings and thus having a great understanding of the animals' body structure and the various organs helps the medical practitioners to have a better understanding of human beings and how they have to work with them in terms of treatment and medication (Giles). It will be more important to lose a few lives of animals through experiments in order to acquire more knowledge and or understanding of the human body, the associated diseases, and their treatment so that in the long run the lives of people will be saved than lost.

However, the allowing for use of animals as specimens for experiments in scientific research should not give any room for the animals to be misused and their lives played around with. If the animals are to be used in the research, there should be regulations which govern how and under what conditions they get used for research. A typical provision that would work well in the same is the 3Rs which mean reduce, refine and lastly replace (Hubrecht). In the first place replacing means that it is not at all times that animals should be used for the research but instead if there are any other alternatives that would provide similar results as the animal experiments, these alternatives should be made use of and animals left alone. This replacement should take place where possible and reduce the negative impact of the animals; lives. Turning to reduction, this technique means that there should be a control and limitation of the number of animals that are employed for scientific study. The least number of animals should be employed for study if the research is necessary and the researchers should always share their results or findings with the rest of the researchers who want to find out information about the same thing as them and therefore this will help the total number being used as specimens for the experiments in the research.

Refining is the third method that will control the employed of animals for scientific study. Refining means that researchers should intensify on the way animals are taken care of before, during and after the scientific researches. This should be applied where possible in order to make sure that there is no pain or injuries caused by the animals (Giles). Techniques that are less invasive should be used to guarantee that the animals employed in the study remain safe and in good conditions always as far as their health is concerned (Giles, Alan Pp 1078-1084). Charles Darwin asserts "I have all my life been a strong advocate for humanity to animals, and have done what I could in my writings to enforce this duty. On the other hand, I know that physiology cannot possibly progress except by means of experiments on living animals and I feel the deepest conviction that he who retards the progress of physiology commits a crime against mankind".


Therefore, in conclusion, it is important for animals to be used in research but there should be certain regulations that will protect their rights and health generally. They should be used only in instances where the research in place will have positive impacts on the lives and health of the humans and other animals and if not, alternatives should be sought for the conduction of the research.

Works Cited

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Bateson, Patrick. "When to experiment on animals." New Scientist 109.1496 (1986): 30-32.

Bekoff, Marc. "Animals are conscious and should be treated as such." New Scientist 215.2883 (2012): 24-25.

Bowd, Alan D. "Ethical reservations about psychological research with animals." The Psychological Record 30.2 (1980): 201-210.

Bayne, Kathryn. "Potential for Unintended Consequences of Environmental Enrihment for Laboratory Animals and Research Results." ILAR journal 46.2 (2005): 129-139.

Cohen, Carl. "The case for the use of animals in biomedical research." (1986).

Crook, R. A. "The welfare of invertebrate animals in research: can science's next generation improve their lot." Journal of Postdoctoral Research 1.2 (2013): 1-20.

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Fenwick, Nicole, Gilly Griffin, and Clement Gauthier. "The welfare of animals used in science: How the "Three Rs" ethic guides improvements." The Canadian Veterinary Journal 50.5 (2009): 523.

Festing, Michael FW, et al. "Reducing the use of laboratory animals in biomedical research: problems and possible solutions." ATLA-NOTTINGHAM- 26 (1998): 283-302.

Festing, Simon, and Robin Wilkinson. "The ethics of animal research: Talking Point on the use of animals in scientific research," EMBO reports 8.6 (2007): 526-530.

Flecknell, P. A. "Anaesthesia of animals for biomedical research." BJA: British Journal of Anaesthesia 71.6 (1993): 885-894.

Amiot, Catherine E., and Brock Bastian. "Toward a psychology of human-animal relations." Psychological Bulletin 141.1 (2015): 6.

Gannon, William L., and Robert S. Sikes. "Guidelines of the American Society of Mammalogists for the use of wild mammals in research." Journal of Mammalogy 88.3 (2007): 809-823.

Giles, Alan R. "Guidelines for the use of animals in biomedical research." Thrombosis and haemostasis 58.04 (1987): 1078-1084.

Hubrecht, Robert C., and James Kirkwood, eds. The UFAW handbook on the care and management of laboratory and other research animals. John Wiley & Sons, 2010.

American Psychological Association. "Guidelines for ethical conduct in the care and use of animals." Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 45.2 (1986): 127.

Kaliste, Eila, ed. The welfare of laboratory animals. Vol. 2. Springer Science & Business Media, 2004.

Martini, Lucia, et al. "Evaluation of pain and stress levels of animals used in experimental research." Journal of Surgical Research 88.2 (2000): 114-119.

Kilkenny, Carol, et al. "Improving bioscience research reporting: the ARRIVE guidelines for reporting animal research." PLoS biology 8.6 (2010): e1000412.

Stokes, William S. "Humane endpoints for laboratory animals used in regulatory testing." ILAR journal 43.Suppl_1 (2002): S31-S38.

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