Animal testing in all fields, from cosmetology to medicine, is opposed through arguments that it causes suffering to animals, and that animal tests in medical field endanger human life. Advocates of animal rights claim that animals should be spared of pain that is engendered in testing. However, the society is not ready to bring an end to animal testing because of the benefits that people regularly gain from the various fields, in which it is undertaken, ranging from making of cosmetic products to the development of cures.
Opponents of animal testing argue that the practice does not respect the rights of animals and claim that some testing procedures involve a lot of pain. In addition, the opponents of animal testing in the medicine and vaccine development argue that people suffer a lot from the drugs, which have been tested on animals. Archibald (2005) states that the observed reactions of animals reflect only 6 out of 114 side effects that later have negative influence on human’s health. This will have a devastating effect on the population during the clinical trials, or if the drug enters the mainstream by any means. For instance, the drug Vioxx, which when tested in animals showed it was safe and could improve the condition of heart, caused over 140,000 strokes and heart attacks in the United States, after it was introduced for the wide use; in 2004, this drug was finally banned (Archibald, 2005).
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The use of animals for testing is a good way to avoid human suffering, which would happen, if human beings were directly used for research. The same advocates for the prohibition of animal testing can revolt at the use of people for research purposes. The concept of using people as guinea pigs is outlawed and not tolerated by people and human rights defenders. Therefore, the requirements of testing drugs on animals, before they are applied for human consumption, have been put in place. Archibald (2005) states that pharmaceutical companies have to show that they have tested their drugs on animals under the law; disobedience to this law leads to heavy fines (2005). Safety of the medicines created through animal testing can be guaranteed by an enforcement of the laws requiring that pharmaceuticals should carry out the rules. Archibald (2005) observes that many pharmaceutical companies flout this legal requirement and manufacture dangerous drugs. The benefits of animal testing are clear in the society today, taking into consideration the strides that have been made in medicine. According to Festing & Wilkinson (2007), these presently enjoyed benefits have become possible by animal testing. However, it should be provided that animal testing is carried out in an ethical manner. Festing & Wilkinson (2007), state that a good ethical framework in animal testing should involve application of 3Rs, which stand for replacement, reduction and refinement. This framework creates a situation where the animals are used for testing only in the deserving cases and with an extreme caution about their wellbeing.
The reasons for opposing animal testing in the medical and other fields are not sufficient to ban animal testing. The fact that animals are harmed by the tests and that the tests’ outcome is dangerous to humans is not a reason strong enough to warrant the prohibition of animal testing. Enforcement of the laws governing animal testing requirements should be followed to guarantee safety of the drugs produced. Animal testing has helped to find a lot of medical solutions, but the activities against it are still ongoing. There are however, measures, like the 3Rs strategy, which if implemented will reduce the suffering of animals during testing.
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