Animal Testing: The Ethical Use Of Alternatives

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“Each year, more than 100 million animalsㅡincluding mice, rats, frogs, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, monkeys, fish, and birdsㅡare killed in U.S. laboratories for biology lessons, medical training, curiosity-driven experimentation, and chemical, drug, food, and cosmetics testing” (“Experiments on Animals”). Scientists and biologists depend on animal testing for the sake of discovering new cures and treatments. What they uncover is transferred and used for treatments to save humans and animals, but the process along the way is grueling for the animals that are poked and prodded. “US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported in 2016 that 71,370 animals suffered pain during experiments while being given no anesthesia for relief” (“Animal…show more content…
At the present time, animal testing is exceptionally more expensive than most alternate forms of testing. “According to Senator Jeff Flake’s “Wastebook” of government funding, $7.3 million of taxpayers’ money was wasted on studies involving animals in 2016” (“Animal Testing”). Equally important, an Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) found that $56.4 million of government funds spent on animal experiments failed to provide any useful results (“Animal Testing”). By using the alternatives that are available and that are to come, money can be saved. One substitute is testing on synthetic livers, which can predict the liver’s metabolic reactions to drugs in a process that is quicker, cheaper, and more accurate than animal testing. In merely one test on a synthetic liver, it provided a level of specificity which previously would have required testing on 1,000 rats and 100 dogs. Another form of testing is in vitro (in glass) testing, which is the study of cell cultures in petri dishes. This option can produce more relevant results than animal testing because actual human cells can be used. An additional form is microdosing ─ the administering of doses too small to cause adverse reactions ─ which can be used in human volunteers, whose blood is then analyzed. Furthermore, scientists have begun using a new form of testing, “Microfluidic chips (“organ on a chip”), which are lined with human cells and recreate the functions of human organs” (“Animal Testing”). Lastly, artificial human skin and computer models, such as virtual reconstructions of human molecular systems, are just recently being used to test products (“Animal Testing”). As shown above, the alternate ways to test products and the many others that exist need to be put into effect to save the

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