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Animal Testing

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/23/2018 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 782 times Debate No: 114206
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Animals should, and must, be used for research because, animals are the only other living organisms that are closely related enough to humans to be able to test, animals hold the key to understanding scientific discoveries that impact human medical conditions, and the scientific discoveries found by using lab-test animals helps save lives and can improve the quality of life for many people.
Humans must test drugs on "something" to see if it will work. That "something" should be a living organism. We can not test drugs in rocks, so we use animals. Some people ask why don"t we test drugs in humans? First, because testing drugs in humans is considered inhumane. The outcomes for drug testing is unpredictable and could have mild to severe side effects. Also, in many cases, the test animals must be monitored and kept in a controlled experiment. This would be hard to do for people with responsibilities to their families and jobs. Second, many drug tests fail, again causing harm or death to the lab animal. What seems more detrimental would be to use humans as test cases. Unfortunately, Nazis used humans as test subjects. That part of world history is atrocious. The inhumanity that the Jewish people endured in the name of science should never happen again. Author James Morcan writes, "The ends justify the means mindset has been the impetus behind many a cruel medical or social experiment" (Goodreads) Using lab test animals is the only way at this point in science to help advance medical knowledge and improve the quality of life for people without having to use people as test subjects.
It is true that "More than 90 percent of basic science discoveries from experiments on animals fail to lead to human treatments"(2018, peta). However, the ten percent that does succeed are huge scientific discoveries. One huge discovery, for example, is Ketamine. Ketamine is also known as a brand name called Ketalar. This medication is used as anesthesia at the start of surgery and throughout surgery. Ketalar is a key medicine that allows surgeons to operate because it puts a person in a trance-like state, provides pain relief, sedates people, and creates short-term memory loss of the surgical experience (Wikipedia). When this drug was made it was tested on zebrafish. The scientists that tested this drug had tanks full of zebrafish; furthermore, within each tank, the water had different amount of this drug in it. If too much drug was in the water the fish "mutated." You don"t really want to create mutated humans, do you? Ketamine is now a life saving substance that when tested on animals had its faults, but that doesn't make it any less of a life saver.
What would happen if scientists immediately stopped using lab animals as test subjects?
Frankie Trull, president of the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) has an answer for this. She says, "An immediate end to animal research in the U.S. would be a death sentence for millions of people around the world." If you have ever taken a drug for any medical reasons, you can thank the animals that had there life lost or had there life changed through these drug tests. For example, penicillin is an antibiotic medicine that has had a huge impact on society. Penicillin was discovered by research scientist Sir Alexander Fleming in 1928 who tested it on animals first to make sure that it was non-toxic to humans. Then in 1940, Sir Howard Florey tested penicillin on mice infected with bacteria and found out that the mice that were given penicillin survived. Because of what these two scientist discovered through these tests on lab mice, doctors are now able to prescribe this antibiotic to save people"s lives. Without penicillin and other antibiotics, the number of people dying from infections each year would be significantly higher. Drugs used for medical purposes change the lives of others for the better and can save human lives. Without animals to test drugs on we have two options. One, use humans as blatant test dummies. Or two, give humans drugs when necessary and get information off of their suffering.
Animals must be used for research to improve our lives and the development of the human race because animals are a necessary test subject, animals are the key to scientific discoveries, and the scientific discoveries found by using lab-test animals helps save lives and improve the quality of life for many people. "The contributions of animal research to medical science and human health are undeniable... When the majority of scientists see the work as scientifically justified, and so do the many professional medical and scientific organizations, the expert views cannot be simply dismissed based on wild claims of ulterior motives, self-interest and conspiracy theories" (2017, Pro-con). We have been teasing animals since the ancient greeks (Wiki), so why stop now?


Nazi Germany drug testing on human subjects is not analogous to the general application of drug testing on humans. Human testing is done during FDA clinical trials and at the whim of the other national regulatory agencies. The difference between tests done in Nazi Germany and modern clinical trials is the use of voluntary participants. The usage of animals, who are most typically unable to consent to such tests, is immoral simply due to their inability to consent. I do not disagree that tests done in Nazi Germany on Human subjects without there consent or without the subject being given a reasonable explanation of the risks associated with the trial are immoral, but similarly like conditions applied to animals are also immoral.

Tests done on animals may provide a rough description regarding the drugs negative and positive consequences, but when extrapolated to humans the data can often be unreliable. The drug's affects may not manifest in humans, and the drug may be found to be entirely inert, ineffective, or more dangerous than expected thus, the reason for usage of human subjects in clinical trials. Animal drug testing is a redundant measure that only minimally reduces risk to human subjects and likewise provides minimal proof of efficacy, and is done as required by FDA regulations. If such tests were capable of providing accurate information regarding the safety and efficacy of the drug, then more than 8% of drugs would make it past clinical trials (

Today, many of the side effects, and physical danger of drugs can be extrapolated from closely related compounds, thus, many drugs are no longer simply cases of guess-work and luck making many drugs less dangerous for human subjects to willingly test than could previously possible

Tests can also be done in vitro with a variety of human cells maintained in a vile. For instance, in your example of penicillin the test could be in a petri dish where a bacteria is grown and penicillin is applied. Testing is possible without the usage of animals, and such test can be done ethically without harm to non consenting beings.

Tests done on animals is cruel due to their lack of consent and the experiments lack the ability to provide reasonable data that can be applied to humans. This combined with the fact that these drugs will be tested on humans anyway make the tests superfluous and unreasonable.
Debate Round No. 1


Forty reasons why we need animals in research
These points have been drawn up to provide an accessible resource for anybody discussing animals in research. We are happy to take your suggestions to add to our list.

General points
Animal research has played a vital part in nearly every medical breakthrough over the last decade.

Nearly every Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine since 1901 has relied on animal data for their research.
We share 95% of our genes with a mouse, making them an effective model for the human body.
Animals and humans are very similar; we have the same organ systems performing the same tasks in
more or less the same way.
Animals suffer from similar diseases to humans including cancers, TB, flu and asthma.
All veterinary research has relied on the use of animal research.

While non-animal methods play an important part of biomedical research, they cannot replace all use of animals.
In vitro methods and computer modelling play an important part complementing data from animal models.

Many veterinary medicines are the same as those used for human patients: examples include antibiotics, pain killers and tranquillisers.

Modern anaesthetics, the tetanus vaccine, penicillin and insulin all relied on animal research in their development.
Modern surgical techniques including hip replacement surgery, kidney transplants, heart transplants and blood transfusions were all perfected in animals.

Scanning techniques including CT and MRI were developed using non-human animals.

Medical Examples

Thanks to animal research, primarily in mice, cancer survival rates have continued to rise.

Herceptin " a humanised mouse protein " has helped to increase the survival rate of those with breast cancer; it could not have been attained without animal research in mice.

Thanks to research on animals leading to the development of Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapies (HAART), AIDS is no longer the death sentence it was 30 years ago.

While Fleming discovered penicillin without using animals, he shared the Nobel Prize with Florey and Chain who, by testing it on mice, discovered how penicillin could be used to fight infections inside the body.

Animal research is responsible for the development of asthma inhalers; asthma still kills around 2,000 people in the UK every year.

Animal research has helped develop modern vaccines including those against Polio, TB, Meningitis and, recently, the human papillomavirus (HPV) which has been linked to cervical cancer.

The development of Tamoxifen in animals led to a 30% fall in death rates from breast cancer in the 1990s.
The 450,000 people in the UK suffering from Type I diabetes rely on Insulin " which was developed through experiments in rabbits and dogs.

Smallpox has been eradicated from Earth thanks to research in animals.
Dogs, cats and primates altogether account for less than 0.2% of research animals.
97% of research in the UK is done on mice, rats, fish and birds.

The UK consumes over 300 times more fish each year than the total number of all animals used in medical research each year.

Household cats kill approximately 5 million animals every week " more than the total number of animals used in medical research every year.

The UK will consume more chickens this year than the total number of all animals used in medical research over the past two centuries in Britain.


The UK has some of the highest standards of laboratory animal welfare in the world.
All research in the UK must be approved by the Home Office, furthermore, the researchers and the institutions doing the research must be licensed by the Home Office.
Ethics committees exist to ensure that the potential benefits of research outweigh any suffering to the animals. Animal welfare is underpinned by the 3Rs " there is a legal requirement to replace animals with alternatives, refine experimental techniques and reduce the numbers of animals used in research.
Animal research can only be carried out in the UK where there is no suitable non-animal alternative.


"Americans are living longer, healthier lives and we owe much of that success to biomedical research,"Dr Robert Palazzo, President of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)
"Animal research and testing has played a part in almost every medical breakthrough of the last century. It has saved hundreds of millions of lives worldwide..." " Former UK Home Office minister Joan Ryan.
According to the House of Lords Select Committee "experiments on animals have contributed greatly to scientific advances".
The Nuffield Council on Bioethics noted that "producing a new medicine is a lengthy and complex process " Tests on animals play a vital role".
The former CEO of the Medical Research Council, Prof Colin Blakemore, stated that "[primates] are used only when no other species and no alternative approach can provide the answers to questions about such conditions as Alzheimer"s, stroke, Parkinson's, spinal injury, hormone disorders, and vaccines for HIV"
Albert Sabin, who developed the Polio vaccine said, "Without animal research, polio would still be claiming thousands of lives each year."
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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