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Biological & Biomedical Sciences
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Research Using Animal Biomedical Sciences Research (Essay Sample)


Research Using Animals


Research Using Animals
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Research Using Animals
Over the last century, virtually every medical breakthrough in human and animal health has resulted from the use of animals for research. However, while animals are crucial for develop better medicine, learn more on the human anatomy, and improve the quality of human life, the use of animals, from the fruit fly to the mouse, for scientific research has been the subject of heated debate. In the last few years, the use of animals for research is a serious issue that has pitted scientific researchers against animal activists and environmentalists who have been actively opposing both the legality and ethics of the practice. Notably, the use of animals for research is not justified since animal research centers discard hazardous waste to the environment, subjects animal to pain and suffering, and violates the rights of animals; however, despite the challenges, animal research is there to stay since there is no adequate alternative to testing on a living system.
Firstly, each year, millions of animals are subjected to toxic testing procedures, then later discarded, posing significant hazards to our already polluted environment. As is the case with the farm animal industry that slaughters billions of animals annually, the large number of animals used in research and the associated use of toxic chemicals pose serious concerns about the use of animals for research to the environment (Bachli, Groff, Lansdowne & Capaldo, 2014). Moreover, the testing process regularly produces significant amounts of laboratory wastes such as needles, caging, and excrement. More often than not, the waste contains ignitable, corrosive, reactive compounds that may be infectious. Also, incineration of the harmful substances emits air pollutants such as carbon dioxide, particulate matter, and Sulphur dioxide (Bachli, Groff, Lansdowne & Capaldo, 2014). Since few facilities handle laboratory wastes, most of the waste produced is disposed of untreated and, therefore, has an adverse effect on the environment.
Secondly, animal activists argue that animal research should be banned since it subjects animals to extreme frustration, pain, and loneliness. Notably, according to the Human Society International, scientists subject animals to extreme suffering including forced feeding, food and water deprivation, infliction of wounds, physical restraint, and forced inhalation of harmful substances (Othonos, 2014). Many animals suffer extreme pain during experiments without anesthesia for relief, making animal research a cruel process that is not justified. Moreover, the use of genetically modified animals in research hurts the welfare of animals. For example, it is estimated that more than 10 percent of genetically modified animals experience adverse effects, 21 percent are subjected to minor discomfort, and 30 percent have a higher risk of death and diseases (Perry, 2007). In addition, since available methods of producing genetically modified animal species is highly inefficient, scores of animals are required to produce a single DNA strain.
Moreover, animal research violates animal rights since the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) does not cover all loopholes that may be capitalized by scientists to promote cases of animal abuse in laboratories. In particular, animals are used secretly away from the public eye in laboratories where more than 95 percent of species are not protected by the law (Moy, 2017). Instances of animal psychological torture, restraint, and mutilation without the use of painkillers, practices that are classified as torture under AWAs law. Other tests that violate animal rights include starving, drowning, dissecting, blinding, and electrocuting without anesthesia, all which continue to be practiced in many animal research laboratories (Murnaghan, 2017). Given that there are limited animal regulatory oversight agencies, such adverse practices are not likely to end anytime soon.
Nonetheless, notwithstanding the negative impact of animal research to the environment and animal species, the practice is unlikely to end, especially as there are no alternatives with promising results. Animal research has become increasingly important in the medical field since alternatives such as in vitro testing and computer simulations cannot completely replace the information gained from the use of animals. While animal rights activists propagate the belief that a plethora of alternatives can replace animal research, the reality is that such methods can only complement but not entirely replace the use of animals (Othonos, 2014). For instance, even though in vitro testing uses tissue culture techniques and...
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