Type: Research Essays
Sample donated: Rebecca Fox
Last updated: July 15, 2019
Statement of the problem:First being utilised as a source to ensure safety of traditional medication, the use of animals has been around for centuries. During the 11th century, it was scientists who suggested practicing surgical procedures on animals before practicing on people.
Especially in today’s society, a mandatory safety procedure prior to manufacturing drugs is to feed it to lab animals in order to determine any unknown effects of the medicine. This has come to be due to an incident in the past. In 1937, there was the Elixir Sulfanilamide incident where the consumption of an untested drug caused the death of approximately 103 people. If they have used the drug on an animal, it would have been easy see the detrimental effects of the drug and through this, it highlighted how future drug related deaths could be prevented. This problem caused a new law to be implemented into the US legal system that necessitates the testing of drugs and commercial products prior to being distributed and sold to the public. However, animal testing despite providing the consumers with safer medication, always have drawbacks. In 1981, there was the Silver Spring Monkeys case which altered the world’s viewpoint of animal testing. In the lab, macaque monkeys were being used for animal research.
Their cages were uncleaned for days, the animals themselves were injured with broken bones. Then, the founder of PETA uncovered the truth of the treatment of these monkeys, sparking a movement for animal rights worldwide. Relevant International Actions/Past UN efforts:People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals This non-profit organization was founded on March 22, 1980 where it focuses on 4 main issues. Animal testing, the rearing of animals for food, the farming of animals for their fur as well as the use of animals for entertainment purposes.BUAVThey are an animal rights group that aim to end all animal testing worldwide with the belief that there is no justification ethically of the testing on animals.EU, Norway,Israel, IndiaThese nations have banned cosmetic testing on animals within their countries.ChinaThe Chinese government requires animal testing on all imported cosmetics and skincare products, but since 2014 has lifted the animal testing requirement of products produced within the country as well as since 2017 has accepted animal testing substitutes.
However, many multinationals who pledge that they are ‘cruelty free’ have shipped their animal testing to China under the law that it is required and continue to conduct animal testing within the country.Universal Declaration of Animal RightsIn the year 2000, this was a suggested agreement to the UN. This agreement outlines how countries should acknowledge that animals are sentient as well as encourages the responsible treatment of all types of animals, including animals used in industrial testing, as pets, wildlife…etc.
Current situation:In the world we are living in right now, it has undoubtedly come to be due to animal testing. Drugs sold in pharmacies, cosmetics sold in malls, our world is surrounded by animal experiments. There has constantly been a debate on whether or not animal testing is required for the drugs and cosmetics manufactured for patients and consumers. Whilst some insist that it is necessary for the welfare of humans (Elixir sulfanilamide case), other argue that it will only result in the harmful treatment of animals in poor living conditions (Silver Spring Monkey case). As a result, many animal welfare organizations have sprung out around the world to alert the people about animal testing and questions the necessity of it.
This had led to 3 R’s campaign of animal testing being implemented in modern medicine. 1)Replace the use of animals with alternative techniques, or avoid the use of animals altogether2)Reduce the number of animals used to a minimum, to obtain information from fewer animals or more information from the same number of animals.3)Refine the way experiments are carried out, to make sure animals suffer as little as possible. This includes better housing and improvements to experiments which in turn would reduce pain to the animals. Although some believe that this will provide scientists with a better moral conscience when conducting animal testing and limiting the potential damage on animals lives, some believe that it will inhibit our acceleration of medical advancement and slow down our improvement of products for the people.Questions to think about:What is your country’s stance on animal testingWhat can we do to reduce the number of animals being tested onAre there any replacements to animal testing that are equally as effective or betterShould countries impose more laws to industrial testing or allow it to occur with the hope that it will improve the medical industryPossible Solutions:Encourage the implementation of animal rights policies and regulations in all member countries in order to reduce the number of potential abuse of animals as well as to promote the movement that animals are sentientPromote the use of animal testing alternatives/subsidise the research and development of animal testing alternatives in order to provide the ability for scientific research and testing to occurLimit the usage of animals in industrial testing to ones that are deemed as necessary or that potential unknown detrimental side effects of the product may occur if not tested on live specimens