Animals are used in research experiments when there is a requirement to find out what happens in the whole body of a living organism. Moreover, it's far more complex and cumbersome to replace the application of living organisms in research with alternative methods. Some of the reasons for using animals in research and testing are discussed below.
Animal testing provides information that is helpful for advancement and understanding of science. According to "animalresearchcenter.info", application of animals in research and product testing helps to add scientific knowledge of the fundamental biological processes and to understand how living organisms work. This knowledge can later be applied for the benefit of both humans and animals. This study of animals provides a vital part of the research process. Most of the operations of the primary cell processes are the same in all animals, and the operations in animal bodies are the same as those in humans and how they perform the various vital functions such as breathing, movement, digestion, reproduction and hearing among others. Therefore, to efficiently treat diseases and illnesses, doctors and scientists should have a proper understanding of the operations of a healthy body. This would, in turn, lead to a clear understanding of the happenings of the body when humans fall ill and how it can be rectified. Animal testing provides a great deal of knowledge of the anatomy and functions of the body. Comparison between the various species and studying the similarities and differences between provides more insights about the same. In doing so, animal testing enables researchers to find drugs and treatments to improve animal health and medicine. Various medical treatments have been made possible through animal testing such as cancer treatments, HIV drugs, vaccines, insulin, antibiotics and many more (Murnaghan).
Animal testing provides models that can be used to study both animal and human diseases. Humans and animals share a myriad of illnesses. As a result, animals are used as models for the study of human diseases ("animalresearch.info,"), i.e. rabbits suffer from atherosclerosis, birth defects such as spina bifida and diseases such as emphysema. On the other hand, dogs suffer from cancer, cataracts, diabetes, bleeding disorders like hemophilia and ulcers. All these similarities with human illnesses make them potential candidates for research into the specific disorders. Testing on such animals provides an understanding of how diseases affect the body, which is more likely to be affected and to which extent and how the immune system responds to the treatment mechanisms.
Application of animal testing contributes profoundly to the human understanding of diseases. The animal models also provide room for the researchers to explore the potential therapies in a manner that would have been impossible for the humans (Thomassen, Trolid, Arondsen & Gystol). More study into the disease mechanisms and animal models enhances the development of medicines and better technologies that are beneficial to both humans and animals. The induced models provide researchers with more insights to the happenings in the body when exposed to a particular type of damage. It also helps in the establishment of new therapies. Moreover, the development of transgenic animals allows modelling of human diseases that do not affect the animals and enables the study of human diseases that were previously cumbersome to study.
Animal testing provides a platform for development and testing of the potential forms of treatment. In the event of an outbreak of a particular disease, animals are used to test and develop the potential therapies as a major part of the research process, i.e. the medicine for Parkinson's disease has been developed using animal models that were induced with symptoms that resembled Parkinson's disease. These models form an essential part that applies biological research to existing medical problems providing room for identification of new targets and disease intervention (Henrique). Animal testing provides data that is essential before application of new surgical procedures and therapeutic interventions on human patients. Some of the diagnostic tools that include scanners and implants such as artificial hips and heart pacemakers are safe and effective for humans because they were earlier developed and tested on animals. Most surgical techniques such as heart transplants and surgeries also rely on methods developed using animals ("AnimalResearch.Info."). According to Murnaghan, animals are mostly used for testing purposes since they are considered similar to humans. The testing is performed on animals because they are thought to be the closest and best match that applies to humans. Moreover, the alternative testing methods do not similarly simulate humans.
Animal testing helps to protect the safety of humans, animals and the environment at large. New medicines need to be tested to measure the beneficial and harmful effects of its compounds on an organism. The medicine is initially tested using tissues, isolated organs, and suitable animal models before performing clinical trials on humans. The animal tests provide data that can be used to measure efficiency and safety of the medicine. They also highlight the potential safety concerns that determine the doses that should be given to patients during their initial human trials. According to "AnimalResearch.Info," animal testing serves to protect not only the consumers but also the workers and environment at large from the harmful effects of the associated chemicals. All the chemicals used for commercial and personal use have to be tested to analyze their impact on humans and animals exposed to them. Moreover, the chemicals used on the day-to-day basis can accumulate in water bodies, the ground or the air around us. Therefore, their potential effects on the environment should also be researched in details. According to Murnaghan, animal testing ensures the safety of drugs and other substances that humans are exposed to on a regular basis. In this case, human harm is reduced and lives saved-not only from avoiding to use the drugs but also from using the tasted drugs that improve the quality of human life.
Drug testing and the use of animals has become a vital vice in the twentieth century (Hajar). A pharmaceutical company in the USA created diethyl glycol (DEG) solvent and marketed the product. DEG was poisonous to humans and led to deaths of hundreds of people. Another drug incident took place in the late 1950s when an effective painkiller and tranquilizer was a treatment for insomnia, colds, coughs, and headaches. As a result, more than 10,000 children in more than 46 countries were born with missing limbs and other malformations (Hajar). In both cases, no animal testing was conducted. These are just a few of the incidences among others that illustrate the harm that humans experience from the use of substances or products that have not yet been tested on animals. They also underline the importance of experimenting on animals to avert human tragedy. The 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act require animal testing before the drug can be marketed to humans.
AnimalResearch.Info. "Why Animals Are Used In Medical Research." AnimalResearch.Info. N.p., 2018. Web. 15 June 2018.
Franco, Henrique. Animal Experiments In Biomedical Research: A Historical Perspective. 3rd ed. Porto: University of Portugal, 2013. Web. 15 June 2018.
Hajar, Rachel. Animal Testing And Medicine. United States National Library of Medicine, 2006. Web. 15 June 2018.
Murnaghan, Ian. "Using Animals For Testing: Pros Versus Cons." Aboutanimaltesting.co.uk. N.p., 2018. Web. 15 June 2018.
Thomassen, Marte et al. Animal Testing In Medical Research. 1st ed. Det Skapende Universitet, 2006. Web. 15 June 2018.
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