Millions of animals are used as resources or experimentation models around the world very year, 4.2 Million in the UK alone in experiments in universities and laboratories. Rats, mice, hamsters, rabbits, gerbils, dogs, cats, pigs, cows, sheep, reptiles, fish, Rhesus Macaques, a diversity of bird species and many others suffer in experiments of biology, biochemistry, physiology and psychology.
We inoculate them with viruses, alter their DNA, impregnate them and kill the pregnant mothers so we can study their fetuses, we submit them to starvation or electric shocks to test their resistance, apply irritants to their eyes and skin, we block their glands, force them to inhale toxic substances, provoke paralysis, submit them to radiation and extreme temperatures.
There is a wealth of scientific evidence and supporting theory verifying the inefficacy of the practice of using animals as predictive models in drug and disease response. Yet the practice continues. Why? The reasons are many and varied, and they have nothing to do with science.
The animal-based research engine is fueled by the same forces of human nature that have harmed people since the dawn of time: ignorance, greed, ego, self-preservation and fear. Add to that inertia and blind obedience to the system, and the wealth and reputations that those who do experiment on animals try to protect, backed by wealthy PR companies, and you have the perfect formula for keeping this multi-billion-dollar industry thriving.
The opposition from vested interest groups
All forms of animal experimentation are based on an unfair ideal: the non-equal consideration of the interests and desires of the non-human animals involved. Just like us, animals are sentient: their emotions and sensations matter to them just as much as ours do to us. Like us, they do not want to die before their time and they wish to enjoy a life free from pain and fear.
Using non-consenting, non-human animals - claimed as able to produce treatments and cures for human illness - is just as arbitrary as using groups of humans (for example white people) to find cures for a different race. The colour of our skin or eyes, our gender type and the species we belong to are all irrelevant characteristics when bearing in mind another's interests in avoiding personal suffering. What matters are the individual's ability to experience such interests, independent of their race, gender, intelligence or species.
In the 71 years since animal testing laws were first introduced, scientific knowledge has revolutionised our understanding of the human body and how it differs from other species. As a result of what we now know about humans, legal requirements which still force medicines to be tested on animals mean that medical research is literally in chains, tied to and science far surpassed by current understanding of evolutionary biology and complexity.
Modern scientific understanding has produced the new (TSMT). Just like all great scientific theories, including Darwin's Theory of Evolution and Einstein's Theory of Relativity, TSMT explains practical examples observed over decades - in this case examples demonstrating the failure of animal experiments to predict human responses in medical research. It is no longer acceptable for vested interests who earn money experimenting on animals to ignore this. Our governments and health authorities must remove the 71 year old legal requirement for animal testing and replace laws with a legal mandating of current methods relevant to humans, which exist and have a proven track record of scientific value. See
2013 (UK) 4.12 MILLION EXPERIMENTS ON 4.11 MILLION ANIMALS.
ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS UNDERPIN THE UK LIFE SCIENCE'S SECTOR WHICH HAS AN ANNUAL TURNOVER OF £50 BILLION.
A REFERENCED LIST OF 50 FAILURES OF ANIMAL TESTING WHICH HAVE LED TO HUMAN DEATHS