I feel greatly pleased that I am going to free my mind about a topic, which always gets a lot of attention by most people: should we test pharmaceuticals on humans, not animals? However, I feel quite unqualified to write about this because some of us worry about animals, people and most of us are thankful for the benefits of recent medicines and look forward to new ways of expanding and developing our life. This makes animal research a complicated matter. The article above is by Kathy Archibald, who is the director of Europeans of Medical Progress, an independent organisation of scientists whose concern is patient safety.
In his article, he suggested that animals are no longer needed in medical research because nobody benefits from animal testing as they failed to prevent further disasters for most diseases. According to David Graham, “associate director of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Drug Safety, an estimated 88,000 to 139,000 Americans alone had heart attacks or strokes as a result of taking Vioxx”. Kathy Archibald said, “New human-based tests could prevent many of these deaths”. However, he did not mention what went wrong. What K. Archibald is saying is just an opinion; it does not have any evidence to support his argument.
I disagree with K. Archibald’s opinion of banning animal testing because every day, many people are saved from diseases and death because of great medical treatments and drugs we have. This achievement would not be achievable without animal testing. In spite of these achievements, some of us are calling for animal testing to be banned because animals are not like human and there is no point comparing us to them. In addition, K. Archibald is calling to test new drugs on people rather than animals. I think it would be heartless to test new drugs on people and if we test new drugs on people, it will take longer to see any effects.
In addition, other alternative methods of testing will not give us accurate results and until we have a better system, we must use animal testing. Before we highlight the public concerns about animal tests, let us have a quick look at how animal testing in used in the UK. Nowadays, about 2. 78 million animals are used as part of animal research in the UK each year. Most of the animal research used is pet species such as dogs and cats. Cats and dogs make up 0. 3% of the total number of animals used each year. This number is increasing, as more researches are required to treat diseases.
Other animals used in labs are insects such as fruit flies and worms and they are used in very large numbers. The majority of animals in laboratories are used for genetic manipulation, surgical intervention or injection of foreign substances. Animal experiments are strongly controlled in the UK. Every scientist must hold a Home Office Licence to test drugs on animals. Every scientific project is reviewed by a vet; an ethics committee and finally the Home Office which may take several months before any experimentation starts to take place.