The Instigator
fifimoo
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Juan_Pablo
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

Animal Testing does more harm than good

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Juan_Pablo
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/11/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,384 times Debate No: 82431
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (20)
Votes (3)

 

fifimoo

Pro

Please Only put an argument if you have supporting evidence!

A: The animals are tortured in the process.
R: These animals are being hurt during the process. If they die, they won"t yield accurate results.
E:"Forced chemical exposure in toxicity testing, which can include oral force-feeding, forced inhalation, skin or injection into the abdomen, muscle, etc.
Exposure to drugs, chemicals or infectious disease at levels that cause illness, pain and distress, or death
Genetic manipulation, e.g., addition or "knocking out" of one or more genes
Ear-notching and tail-clipping for identification
Short periods of physical restraint for observation or examination
Prolonged periods of physical restraint
Food and water deprivation
Surgical procedures followed by recovery
Infliction of wounds, burns and other injuries to study healing
Infliction of pain to study its physiology and treatment
Behavioural experiments designed to cause distress, e.g., electric shock or forced swimming
Other manipulations to create "animal models" of human diseases ranging from cancer to stroke to depression
Killing by carbon dioxide asphyxiation, neck-breaking, decapitation, or other means"-www.hsi.org
I: Many animals are tortured and are unnecessarily harmed. Without animal testing, many animals would not die.
Juan_Pablo

Con

Opening Statement

While I understand my opponent's disapproval of animal research, and connect to his sentiments toward human-inflicted animal suffering, neglect, abuse, and death, I want to point out that animal testing has in fact benefited humankind tremendously over the last century and has been at the forefront of medical advances and breakthroughs that have lengthened the human lifespan and have improved the quality of human life worldwide. No one in the modern industrial world (and few anywhere else) have been untouched and unbenefited by the medical research conducted on animals over the last 100 years. The sacrifice these animals have made in animal research has enhanced human life and the field of biomedical research staggeringly.

According to the US-based, Foundation for Biomedical Research: "Animal research has played a vital role in virtually every major medical advance of the last century, for both human and animal health. From the discovery of antibiotics, analgesics, anti-depressants, and anesthetics, to the successful development of organ transplants, bypass surgery, heart catheterization, and joint replacement, practically every present-day protocol for the prevention, control, and cure of disease is based on knowledge attained through research with laboratory animals. [1]"

"Virtually every major medical advance of the last 100 years, from chemotherapy to bypass surgery, from organ transplantation to joint replacement, has depended on research with animals. Animal studies have provided the scientific knowledge that allows physicians and other health care providers to improve lives for humans and animals by preventing and treating diseases and disorders and by easing pain and suffering.
[1]"

Indeed, scientific research conducted with cows helped to exterminate small pox off the Earth; Polio was eradicated through the use of research on mice and monkeys; the hormone Insulin was discovered to combat the illness diabetes thanks to research on dogs and fish; penicillin, a group of antibiotics used to treat various strains of bacterial infection, was first accurately researched on laboratory mice; working vaccines for tetanus, rubella, anthrax and rabies were discovered through research on horses, monkeys, sheep, and rabbits respectively [2].

The lifecycle of malaria became better understood thanks to research on pigeons; open heart surgery and cardiac pacemakers became viable medical treatments because of research with dogs, as did various kinds of organ transplanation; an effective drug in AIDS treatment was discovered because of research with monkeys [2]. The list of scientific and medical advances because of animal research is far more extensive than this.

And animal research has also led to the lengthening of the human lifespan worldwide. States the Foundation for Biomedical Research: "Knowledge gained from animal research has contributed to a dramatically extended human life span, which has increased from 47 years in 1900 to more than 78.8 years in 2012. Part of this increase can be attributed to improved sanitation and better hygiene, but a significant portion of this longevity is a result of medical advances made possible in part from animal research. [1]"

Undoubtedly, hundreds of millions of animals have lost their lives because of scientific medical research that has benefited practically everyone alive on the planet today and several worldwide generations of the previous century; it's a toll we humans will have to acknolwedge for observed improvements in quality of life and extended lifespan. We owe these animals our gratitude and our respect.

But before we begin to point judgemental fingers at the whole practice of animal research, we should first become aware of the practices used, the laws put in place, the animals primarily used in modern-day medical science research, the developing alternatives to animal research, and the current list of health issues and medical crisis that confronts the human global population.

That's what I intend to cover in the next four rounds.





[1] http://fbresearch.org...
[2] http://www.pro-test.org.uk...
Debate Round No. 1
fifimoo

Pro

A2:Animal testing can help us find new amazing discoveries.
R: Many amazing discoveries have resulted from animal testing
E1:"In the early 20th century, most medical professionals suspected polio was an infectious disease, but had little proof. In 1908, Dr Karl Landsteiner and Dr Erwin Popper used extracts from the spinal cord of a boy who had died from polio to replicate the disease in monkeys. These experiments allowed the disease to be transmitted from monkey to monkey, providing an invaluable model of the disease that could be studied."
E2:It has helped advancements for rabies treatment,malaria, smallpox, diphtheria, inhalers,Parkinson"s disease, and many others.
E3:The development of Tamoxifen in animals led to a 30% fall in death rates from breast cancer in the 1990s. - Understanding Animal Research Organization
E4: Cetirizine,diphenhydramine,ibuprofen,aspirin,and NSAID have all been tested on animals and are available over the counter.
E5:"Viral diseases, however, remained difficult to study. At this time, Dr John Enders and his colleagues developed a culture technique which allowed the polio virus to be grown in human tissue. They discovered that the virus not only grew in brain tissue as expected, but in other types of human cells. As the virus was too small to be seen with any available technique, there was only one way that Dr Enders could check that he had extracted the virus from mouse brain tissue and grown it in culture. This was to inject the culture fluid into mice and monkeys, where it produced paralysis typical of polio."
I:Animal testing can produce amazing results.
Juan_Pablo

Con

In my opponent's Round 2 response, there was no discernable rebuttal to my arguments in Round 1. It even appears that my opponent actually took up my position, which I welcome.

Again, I want to reiterate that I do share my opponent's passion about animal rights and do believe animals should be protected by modern laws. I also believe that animals that are involved in animal research and animal testing must be treated humanely when they're not enduring these kinds of potentially painful and gruesome tests; and I think the use of animals in experiments should be avoided where they can be. This is the subject of intense debate surrounding the biomedical research field and other fields where animals are tested, such as the cosmetics industry.

Preclinical Trials (Animal Testing) Are an Inescapable First Step in the Development of a Safe Drug

However, a lot of animal research and testing is unavoidable, especially whenever scientists have to examine whether a medicine or substance is safe for human testing. Animals are used in early trials of a new medicine or chemical (or cocktail of either) because scientists first have to evaluate likely effects before the substance is used in human trials. This is done not only to evaluate potential health risks with the new medicine or chemical--including risks of death--but also to get an understanding of how the substance(s) work inside the organism, to see which systems are affected and how. Understanding how these substances work inside the organism can likewise provide scientists with a critical understanding of how these substances are likely to work within a human. In other words, the efficacy and possible side-effects of the new drug are being determined as well (obviously). There's just too much risks in going straight to human trials, and we would see potentially thousands of human fatalities/casualties before these trials produced just one effective drug. The use of animals in biomedical research is an unavoidable first step if our aim as a nation is to prevent the loss of human life altogether. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services, has to first scrutinize an experimental drug tested on animals, and deem it "reasonably safe", before it can even approve it for clinical trials (human trials) [1][2]. In fact, the FDA reports on its website that "most drugs that undergo preclinical (animal) testing never even make it to human testing" or even to the review process, because of self-evident defects [1]. Could you imagine the harm caused to human subjects if animal testing was avoided altogether?

Preclinical (animal) testing is so important to the drug development process and to the assessment of a drug's potential dangers and performance that most drugs aren't tested exclusively on a single animal type, but have to be tested on several [2]. This is "because one drug can affect one species differently from another" [2]. This is an important fact to know because "some animals serve as accurate representatives of a human's anatomy, while others share identical biochemical pathways" [3]. One animal might be a perfect representative of a particular human system or organ, while another more accurately reflects a human metabolic pathway. In most instances, the use of at least two or more species in preclinical trials can't be avoided, out of human safety concerns.

That's not to say that researchers are at liberty to test on an endless supply of animals in these trials. They're not. The FDA explains that drug companies are required to test on as few animals as possible, and are still obligated to ensure their humane and proper treatment [2]. There are also federal laws within the United States that explain how research animals must be treated, and what the limitations of drug companies are with respect to these animals--something which I'll cover in a following Round.

Some Animal Research also Benefits Animals!

It's true that most research with laboratory animals benefits humans. But some animal research has also benefited animals. Animals could not profit from this research unless testing on laboratory animals happened in the first place!

According to the Foundation for Biomedical Research, animal testing has led to "life-saving and life-extending treatments for cats, dogs, farm animals, wildlife and endangered species" [4]. Vaccinations for rabies, tetanus, feline leukemia, distemper, parvo virus and current treatments for glaucoma, heart disease, cancer and other animal illnesses would not be possible unless research was conducted on laboratory animals [4]. Because of this research, many familiar animals (and some wild) now have extended, healthier, happier lives. Such research has even yielded advanced treatments like joint replacement and pacemakers for animals [4].

For a Following Round . . .

Laboratory animals are also important in understanding potential bioterror threats posed by terrorists, and in researching possible vaccinations and treatments.



[1] http://www.fda.gov...
[2] http://www.fda.gov...
[3] http://www.pro-test.org.uk...
[4] http://fbresearch.org...
Debate Round No. 2
fifimoo

Pro

fifimoo forfeited this round.
Juan_Pablo

Con

In ROUND 2 I mentioned that I share my opponent's concern for animal rights and good treatment while in the care of human owners and care-takers, including those that work in animal research laboratories. I also explained in an earlier ROUND that there are federal laws inside the US that protect animals (including research animals) from gratuitous harm and unnecessary absuse. I will cover both of these topics, including new and developing research alternatives to animal testing, in the following ROUND. Animals should not be unnecessarily harmed to advance medical research and understanding in humans, and wherever we can bring relief to animals in the process of animal testing, we have a humanitarian and ethical obligation to do so, especially since we're a civilization that adheres to the pivotal concept of rights, including the promotion of general tranquility and happiness. How we can avoid extending that concept to the animals we're in contact with regularly appears both intellectually dishonest and stubborn to me. Plus, I think it takes away from the philosophical grounding for human rights and standards of humans behavior. But more on that in the following ROUND.

I this ROUND, I will continue to cover a benefit of animal research and then go over what kinds of animals are most regularly used in biomedical research animal testing. As we shall see, research on familiar pets and nonhuman primates makes up a very, very tiny amount of all testing performed on animals [1][2]. This ROUND will be short due to personal time constraints.


Some Animal Research also Benefits Animals--revisted issue


Some animal research also benefits animals. I covered this concisely in ROUND 2. Now I'm going to go over more specific examples.

In 1967, the very first pacemaker was implanted inside a dog [1]. This medical research and device was then used to treat human patients with abnormal heart rythyms, which saved tens of thousands of lives as a result. Today, hundreds of canines each year recieve pacemakers to keep their hearts beating normally and to prevent early death [1].

Some of the first evidence that AIDS in humans was caused by a virus came from research on a type of leukemia that affects cats. An effective feline leukemia vaccine was developed in 1985 because of animal testing; it may offer clues to a cure for AIDS in humans [1].

Every year, approximately 350 dogs receive artificial hips because of a prevalent diagnosed disease that damages and weakens their joints [1].

Animal research has led to a common medical procedure performed on cats, dogs, and horses that alleviates cataracts, replaces the lens in their eyes and restores sight [1].

The CAT scan was developed with the use of pigs. Today, this device is used by veterinarians to view animal organs without surgery [1].

Animal research led to the successful development of the hearing aid. Veterinarians commonly treat deafness in aging animals now with the use of animal hearing aids [1].

One out of 10 young horses is born prematurely. Today, special horse neonatal centers offer these young equines lifesaving drugs and respirators until they can get on their own four feet and function normally [1].

The benefits of animal research to animals is quite extensive. Today, animals receive laser surgery, asthma and allergy treatments, chemotheraphy, bone grafts, skin grafts, epilepsy medicine, dental care, antibiotics, anesthesia, blood transfusions, and dozens of other types of treatments [1]. Even more, many new treatments used on animals are cutting edge and may in the future help human patients afflicted by related medical issues and diseases [1].

None of these treatments and medical advacements would be possible without research on animals.


The Vast Majority of Animal Researh is Conducted on Rats and Mice


Even though biomedical research is conducted on many different types of animals in preclinical trials, the vast majortiy of it--approximately 95% of it inside the United States--is conducted on rats and mice [2][3]. There's actually several reasons as to why they're the animal of choice inside the research lab. Mice and rats are small, easy to house and maintain; mice and rats are inexpensive and can be purchased in large numbers; mice and rats reproduce quickly; they can be conveniently bred to be genetically identical, which is important in medical trials [3]. The most important reason of all however is that they closely resemble humans genetically, biologically, and even behaivorally; as a result, mice and rats have been used to development drugs and treatments for all sorts of human disorders and diseases over the course of the last century, which makes them a dependable research specimen [3]. They are physiologically and genetically well understood [3]. "Rats and mice are mammals that share many processes with humans and are appropriate for use to answer many research questions," says Jenny Haliski, of the US National Institutes of Health Office of Laboratory Welfare [3].

Most of the remaining research is performed on farm animals, rabbits, hamsters, guinea, fish and insects [2]. Less than one percent of the remaining animal research is on cats, dogs, and non-human primates combined.

Rats and mice are brilliant animals, but they're nowhere near as intelligent as humans, according to the encephalization measurements that biologists use to estimate animal intelligence or cognition [4]. Not only are rats and mice far less intelligent than humans, according to encephalization measurements (a scientifically-credible way of determing intelligence in animals), but they're also less intelligent than dogs and cats, and about as intelligent as rabbits [4], which makes them better specimens to use from an ethical point-of-view.

The Encephalization Quotient (EQ) is a measure used by biologists to estimate the rough intelligence of an animal. Somewhat complicated to obtain, it considers an animal's brain and body mass and allometric effects. The rough intelligence of the animal is computed from the ratio between its actual brain mass and the predicted brain mass it would have if it fit brain-to-body mass trends in nature. The EQ has been found to coincide very well with observed complexity in animal behavior.
Rats and mice also have short life spans (2 to 3 years on average), which makes them better candidates to use than longer-lived cats, dogs, and nonhuman primates [5].


[1] http://www.swaebr.org...
[2] https://www.amprogress.org...
[3] http://www.livescience.com...
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[5] http://discovermagazine.com...
Debate Round No. 3
fifimoo

Pro

fifimoo forfeited this round.
Juan_Pablo

Con

I'll deliver my ROUND 4 arguments in ROUND 5, where I will also provide my closing statements. Sorry about the delay.
Debate Round No. 4
fifimoo

Pro

fifimoo forfeited this round.
Juan_Pablo

Con

In previous ROUNDS, I showed that animal research has played a vital role in virtually every major medical advancement of the last century, for both human and animal health, and that this research is partially responsible for extending the human lifespan; that animal research has directly led to better understanding in the life-cycle of living disease-spreading pathogens, and has led to numerous treatments to fight off diseases these pathogens cause, including pathogens that are considered likely contenders in biowarfare and bioterror attacks; that animal testing (pre-clinical trials) are an inescapable first step in developing a safe drug . . . that avoiding animal testing would inevitably result in large numbers of human casualies and fatalities during the testing phase, because most experimental drugs never make it passed the trial phase using animal research; that a variety of different species of animals, domesticated and wild, have directly benefited from animal research; and that approximately 95% of all animals used for biomedical research are rats and mice, which have a much lower encephalization quotient (intelligence capacity) than humans, chimpanzees, dogs, and even cats.

Now I'm going to cover how the biomedical research industry limits the use of animals in research and protects them from gratuitous (unnecessary) harm. Finally, I'm going to go over developing alternatives to animal testing in biomedical research, and why fewer animals should be used in this type of research (even if their use is still required in fewer numbers).


The Three Rs & US Law


In 1957 through 1959, researchers W.M.S. Russell and L.S. Burch went to work constructing principles that animal researchers could use to remove unnecessary pain on animals during testing and to make the field more ethical [1][2]. Their final formulation were three principles that they labeled the "3Rs": Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement [2].

Replacement is the idea that researchers should use alternatives to living vertebrate animals wherever possible in their research. Today, replacement strategies include tissue cultures, perfused organs, tissue slices, cellular and subcellular fractions [2]. These strategies are recommended to distribute as much of one animal in research as possible, and as a way of multiplying the animal through live tissue cultivation (which simultaneously aligns with the principle of Reduction). Though it's not always possible, the use of invertebrate animals in place of vertebrate animals in research is also suggested.

Reduction refers to the strategy of minimizing the number of animals used in a study [2]. This has the added benefit of having researchers better plan their studies, to prevent unnecessary replication. Modern methods at reduction include computer modeling, and statistical analysis, to better understand what a research result is getting at. Relying on previously published studies can also avoid unnecessary replication of test results and the gratuitous injury or death of lab animals.

Finally, refinement was the last principle that Russell and Burch supported. Refinement is the strategy of intentionally alleviating or minimizing potential pain and suffering, or enchancing animal welfare during research [2]. Methods include properly housing animals during, before and after research, training animals to cooperate during research, providing animals with anaesthesia or an analgesic during testing, and avoiding invasive techniques where possible [2].

Even though the 3Rs are a code of principles that animal researchers are encouraged to adhere to within the United States, they are not by themselves laws that govern biomedical research. Furthermore, even though knowledge of the 3Rs is widespread within the biomedical research community, they are not something every researcher is fully aware of--a major drawback [2].

For this reason the US government passed the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and Regulations in 1966 [3]. (U.S. Congress later improved standards for laboratory animals in 1985 [3].) The act imposed several important regulations, including requiring that all facilities doing animal research be registered with the US government; that certain animals used for research be purchased from authorized vendors only; that research facilities adhere to a variety of minimum requirements to meet humane handling, care, treatment, and transporation of these animals [4]. The Regulations also required that scientists working in the animal research laboratories be properly trained to meet the humane requirements for animal handling and proper care [4].

Some US States have imposed additional regulations for animal treatment in animal research laboratories [5]

As we see there are already regulations in place that govern the treatment of research animals inside the United States, though how well these regulations get researchers to comform to the three Rs is a hot button topic. One common complaint directed at the animal research field is that the majority of invasive animal experiments do not pass the cost-benefit test required by regulations and advocated by the three Rs [6]. Each year it's estimated that well over a hundred million animals die globally for animal testing in industry and in the medical research field [7].

In light of the sheer number of animal fatalities, and because animal testing remains a controversial subject within the United States, several US government organization, including branches of the US military, have recently acted to reduce their dependence on animal testing [7]. In 2013, for example, the US NIH announced it would reduce the number and eventually phase out experiments on chimpanzees [7]. In 2014, the US Coast Guard announced it would reduce the use of goats in combat medic training, since modern mannequins are considered efficient in simulating the movement and behavior of the human body; that same year, the Department of Defense announced it would be reducing the number of animals used in various training programs [7].


New & Developing Alternatives to Animal Testing


The sheer number of animals used in animal research annually--nearly 100 million in the United States alone [7]--should seriously get us to question whether researchers are conforming to the Principles of the 3Rs. After all, few of us want to impose unnecessary injury or death on animals where it can be avoided, even if there is some alleged benefit to ourselves. Futhermore, the concept of inflicting mass death to attain life (or a higher quality life) is unattractive, and can only make us mentally comfortable if we place civil regulations to it (unless you're a Nihilist). It's the way our justice-seeking, ethic-forming brains were wired to work. We generally want order, and we're capable of understanding that animals have feelings, too.

Recently, scientists and engineers at Harvard have developed "organs on a chip" [7]. These tiny contraptions contain humans cells in three dimensional space, that mimic specific human organs. These chips can be used in place of animals for in vitro disease research, drug testing, and toxicity test [7]. Just a few years ago, researchers at L'oreal successfully 3-D printed genuine human skin, which it now sells to cosmetic and pharmocology companies; researchers say that other types of organ tissue can also be 3-D printed for research purposes [8].

Computer simulation and modeling is another expanding technique used to replace animals in research [8]. Though this technique has provided real benefit to the biomedical research field, the US Academy of Sciences has argued that complex computer models are still unable to fully simulate the complex interactions between molecules, cells, tissues, and organs [8].

[1] http://altweb.jhsph.edu...
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org...(animals)
[3] http://awic.nal.usda.gov...
[4] https://www.gpo.gov...
[5] www.ca-biomed.org/pdf/media-kit/fact-sheets/FS-Laws.pdf
[6] http://theconversation.com...
[7] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[8] http://www.wired.com...

Debate Round No. 5
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 11 months ago
Juan_Pablo
My ROUND 5 response will be up in a matter of hours.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 11 months ago
Juan_Pablo
The arguments will be up late tomorrow evening, by the way. I do have an important appointment tomorrow.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 11 months ago
Juan_Pablo
I will post my ROUND 5 arguments tomorrow evening. I have free time this week so I do have time!
Posted by Juan_Pablo 11 months ago
Juan_Pablo
Creating a piece of quality art can be very satisfying!
Posted by Juan_Pablo 11 months ago
Juan_Pablo
This is going to be my last debate for a while, once I post my ROUND 5 arguments. After this, I'm going to try my hand at story writing again. I think I need to start story telling again to get my noggin' back in creative mode.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 11 months ago
Juan_Pablo
Okay. It's getting very late and I have an important day tomorrow so my ROUND 4 arguments will go in ROUND 5, where I will also deliver my closing statements.

Sorry about the delay. I'll have more time early next week anyway.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 11 months ago
Juan_Pablo
My ROUND 4 argument will be up very late tonight. It will be very short, due to time constraints.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 11 months ago
Juan_Pablo
Because of a very busy schedule these next two days, in various categories of my life, my ROUND 4 argument will probably be very short. Right now I'm loaded with work as I transition into new phases of my life and as this school semester comes to a close.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 12 months ago
Juan_Pablo
My ROUND 3 response will be up in the coming hours. If's its late in your part of the world, I recommend that you not stay up for it. You can read it tomorrow.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 12 months ago
Juan_Pablo
I'm filling out a bunch of paper work at the moment so I wont have time to respond to this debate until tomorrow afternoon. A response will be up before the time expires for this ROUND.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Wylted 11 months ago
Wylted
fifimooJuan_PabloTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Loss of conduct for the forfeits
Vote Placed by gordonjames 11 months ago
gordonjames
fifimooJuan_PabloTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con showed up with good arguments. PRO may have been confused by the wording of the resolution.
Vote Placed by lannan13 11 months ago
lannan13
fifimooJuan_PabloTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture