Animals in Science

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Animals in Science

While some claim that animals are needed in research, testing, and education, the animal suffering that occurs in laboratories cannot be justified with claims of scientific advancement. Not only is the use of animals in science ethically flawed, it is also not necessary, and, in fact, may provide misleading results, not applicable to human biology.

Some of the biggest advancements in science today are in the field of alternatives development and methods of investigation that do not use animals.

What is Vivisection?

Vivisection is a word that was once used to refer to the act of cutting a live animal, what we today more commonly call experiments. Although the word vivisection is now rarely used, the practice continues, as tens of millions of animals suffer in laboratories as they are subjected to often painful procedures every year. These include mice, rats, and fish, but also dogs, cats, primates, rabbits, and guinea pigs. They are used in biomedical research as models of human disease, or to test drugs, chemicals, and personal care product ingredients. Millions of animals are also used in education for dissection and medical and veterinary training.

Unfortunately, the use of animals is sometimes required by law, such as for chemical testing. But there are also many instances where this is not true. Cosmetic testing and animal dissection are examples. Additionally, there is only one U.S. law aimed specifically at protecting animals in labs: the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). However, the AWA covers less than 5% of all animals used, since mice, rats, and birds bred for research, cold blooded animals like frogs and fish, and animals used in agriculture research are not included.

This is why AAVS’s important work to push for change is necessary. The archaic use of animals in science is slowly being phased out in some areas, such as with product testing and education. Every year technological advancements in alternatives development bring us closer to the realization that animals are not needed and that science must do better.

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