There are animals that suffer every day from abuse. Although animal abuse is illegal, there is a kind that is legal: animal experimentation. The animals used in experiments to test cosmetics, medicines, etc. may suffer just as much, sometimes even more, than those abused in homes. We can and need to prevent this from happening.
Every year, tens of millions to one hundred million animals are experimented on globally, according to the Baltimore Sun newspaper. Species that are experimented on include but are not limited to: guinea pigs, dogs, frogs/amphibians, rats, monkeys, and rabbits. Scientists and researchers use animals to test new products (e.g. medicine, cosmetics) and to get an idea of how the human body would react to each product before they begin testing on humans.
Only humans, not the animals on which the experiments are performed, benefit from these experiments. Most of the animals used are bred in captivity, but some are from the wild. After they’ve been experimented on, they are euthanized. Even though that is the humane thing to do, what kind of life do they get to live? Some become brain-dead. Some are just killed.
Some animals are used in toxicology testing. These kinds of tests are used to figure out if products such as medicines, food additives, pesticides, and air fresheners are safe. Some 12,000 animals are used to test pesticides, and animals are not given anesthesia because of possible drug interactions. One test, the LD50, is used to find out how toxic something is by figuring out the dosage needed to kill 50 percent of the test subjects. Although this test was removed from The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), it is still used: one-third of the toxicology tests conducted worldwide are the LD50.
As if testing animals weren’t bad enough, many are abused in laboratories. For example, in 1997, employees at the Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), the largest animal testing facility in the United Kingdom, were abusing beagle puppies by shouting at them and hitting them.
Scientists and researchers shouldn’t need to use animals for experimentation. There are alternatives to animal testing. For example, Pharmagene Laboratories in England uses human tissues and computer technology instead of animals. Rather than infect an animal, some researchers simply study humans that are already afflicted by the disease. Alternatives to using animals in toxicology studies include human skin model tests, instead of testing skin corrosion in rabbits, and the use of cadavers donated to science to find out how fast chemicals are absorbed through the skin.We are all creatures living on Earth. We should be able to live peacefully alongside other animals and not hurt them.