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Animal Rights and Experimentation
Animal rights are being constantly violated in this day and age. They are being subjected to endless experimentation in order to ensure a healthy life for humans. This is known as vivisection. The local industries use tests, which kill around 50% of the animals during the tests. It is sad to know that tests are still being conducted on animals in spite of having results. Experts have found out that animal testing is unnecessary.
According to PETA, the FDA is to blame for animal rights violation in the U.S. They have made animal testing mandatory for testing of all pharmaceutical drugs. There are no laws to prevent animal experimentation. There are a lot of loopholes in the Animal Welfare Act, as it does not protect the rights of mice, birds and rats. The research facilities have been given a carte blanche to carry out their merciless testing. They have been allowed to make their own choices.
Animal rights activists argue that animals should not be left at the mercy of these research facilities as they feel that the only purpose for animals is that they serve as biological play toys for scientists. There are a number of alternative ways to conduct experimentation without using animals.
Animal Testing: Not beneficial for humans
Scientists believe that medication tested on animals can guarantee safe use for a human being. However that claim can be refuted very easily. Animals are different from human beings. It is useless to conduct tests on animals as they have a different biological system. They have a different anatomy, genetic system, physiology etc. It has never been scientifically proven that a drug tested on an animal is safe for people.
According to Dr. Arie Brecher, "Animals are completely different from humans, and no animal species can serve as an experimental model for man. Each animal has a genetic code of its own, which is a fixed datum, and characteristically unique in each species. For this reason, a method that is based on the similarity between the species, while there are differences, and different genetic codes, can only lead medical science into error." [Brecher, 1989]
This can be proved by an example. A lot of animals were experimented upon to test the drug Softenon. It was cleared for human use after it was found safe on different animals. However it did not seem to have the same effect on humans as they started suffering from deformities.
Scientists tend to use animals for their research, as there are no liabilities. They prefer working with animals rather than humans as they can get unlimited use from them. Scientists don't want to risk harming the lives of a human guinea pig. It has been proved that research for cancer and aids can't be done on animals. The best results are obtained with human beings. The pharmaceutical industry will never give up testing on animals, as there is a lot of profit involved.
Animals are subjected to testing and experimental research. They are used to test for toxicity of drugs and substances such as detergents, cosmetics and pesticides. Not only is animal testing harmful for animals but it also harms the lives of humans.
There are several examples to prove that fact. A proper dosage of Belladonna can kill a person while it would not be harmful to a rabbit and goat. A sheep is able to consume a large quantity of arsenic. A human would not be able to consume even a small amount. Hemlock is a fatal poison for humans. It does not seem to have any effect on mice, goats, sheep and horses.
The researchers tend to ignore the fact that animals have a higher resistance level than human beings. They are able to absorb the effects of toxic materials, which can be hazardous for human beings at the same level.
We should realize that animals have the same rights as human beings. It is unfair to claim that animals don't have any rights. They are not able to understand what their rights are as they are unable to speak or defend their rights. This does not mean that we should violate their rights. Critics feel that animals should be subjected to testing, as they don't respect our animals. They claim that animals such as crocodiles, lions, and tigers kill innocent people. Therefore they have no rights. However they fail to realize that human beings are the same. We do not deny a human being's rights if he/she kills one of his own. This does not give us a valid reason to deny animals their rights. Animals kill other animals as its part of their food chain. This does not mean that we subject them to cruelty.
Statistics from the UK
According to statistics published by the British Home Office the number of tests on animals were around 2,656,653 in 1999. This was around the same amount of animals used in 1998. The number of experiments rose to 2,714,726 in the year 2000. There was a 2.2% rise in experiments in 2000.
A large number of experiments were conducted on genetically modified animals. The number of experiments on cats, rabbits, dogs and primates also rose considerably. Experiments on genetically modified animals rose around 14% from 1998. More than 500,000 experiments were conducted on genetically modified animals in 1999. The number of experiments on genetically modified animals rose around 14% in 2000. This totaled a number of 582,000 experiments.
Cats were also subjected to more than 1500 tests in 1999. Dogs were subjected to more than 8000 procedures in 1999. Rabbits suffered the most as more than 40000 tests were carried out on them. Around 70% of them were subjected to toxicity tests. They were caged for several days while solvents were applied on to them to check for irritability. There was no form of pain relief for them. 4000 tests were performed on primates in 1999. Around 68% of them were toxicity tests.
More than 20% of all those procedures in 1999 were poisoning experiments. They were conducted mainly for the pharmaceutical companies. Around half a million animals including guinea pigs, mice, dogs, pigs, cattle sheep and primates are poisoned to test drugs for human beings. Around 89% of these animals don't receive any anesthetic or pain relief.
It is further distressing to know that more than 400,000 animals are bred and killed in the UK every year. This is done in the name of test tube studies. The British government also breeds and kills millions of names every year. These animals are to be used for animal experimentation. They are not used, as they are surplus in number or of no use.
In November 2001, The Independent repeated how 'millions of animals, including mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs and dogs, will be force-fed or injected with suspect chemicals' in the 'largest-ever laboratory testing program proposed by the European Union'. It also notes that the estimated number of animals that will be used could increase if it is decided that the offspring also have to be subjected to testing. Moreover, the 'bulk' of the testing was expected to be undertaken in the UK.
Animal Testing in the United States
The United States of America uses more than 70 million animals for experiments every year. The government provides around 5 billion dollars towards animal testing. Studies have found out that more than half of the prescription drugs were recalled between 1976 and 1985. These drugs had been approved by the FDA and tested on animals they had serious side effects. These drugs were recalled from the market.
According to an article in the Earth Island journal, Animals are treated in the most inhumane manner. They are subjected to extreme physical and psychological tests. The testing involves drowning, piercing, cutting, burning, freezing, and isolation, cutting, blinding and also subjected to electro shock therapy. It also tells us that animals at the USCF are sued for research in pain, hearing, impotence and smoking.
The article also mentions the fact that the Medical Research Modernization Committee feel that 'Many important medical advances have been delayed because of misleading information derived from animal 'models.' The animal model of polio, for example, resulted in a misunderstanding of the mechanism of infection. Studies on monkeys falsely indicated that poliovirus infects only the nervous system. This erroneous assumption resulted in misdirected preventive measures and delayed the development of tissue culture methodologies critical to the discovery of a vaccine'.
Animal testing in India
Lab animals have been given some protection in western countries. However these rules are grossly violated. These rules are also violated in India. According to the Indian Express, the then minister of state for statistics and program implementation Maneka Gandhi ordered Pune's national institutional to cease animal experimentation in may 2002.
This order was passed after a member of an animal rights group paid a surprise visit and found animals living in a very miserable condition. Most of the animals were living in…[continue]
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