Ibn Zuhr (Avenzoar), an Arab physician in twelfth century Moorish Spain, introduced animal testing as an experimental method for testing surgical procedures before applying them to human patients (1). Additionally, animals have been used as experiment materials since the beginning of time such as the early Greek scientists Aristotle, (384 – 322 BC) and Erasistratus, (304 – 258 BC) including biomedical, cosmetics, and science education tests. Even though animal testing is not acceptable to a part of the community, it is strongly supported by others due to its significant benefits. For example, it is used to test medications, treatments methods, or surgical procedures before using it on human bodies.
As animal testing has its benefits it also has disadvantages. The first drawback is its unreliable results. Statistics have shown that not all the experience outcomes can rely on especially when it comes to medicine. For examples, not all the medication that worked on animals are going to work on human body “90% of drugs fail in human trials despite promising results in animal tests – whether on safety grounds or because they do not work (2)”. Second, scientists do not get a useful result from each experiment they perform on an animal, or sometimes they discover a cure for a very rare disease, so most of the tests are wasteful “Despite the use of over 115 million animals in experiments globally each year, only 22 new medicines were approved in 2016 by the leading drug regulator, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Many of these are for rare diseases (2)”. The last drawback is that animals differ from humans. For example, they do not get some of the diseases we get such as cardiovascular diseases, HIV, or Alzheimer, so some of the experiment results are misleading and of poor relevance. Therefore, animal testing should be stopped because it is wasteful, we cannot rely on its results, and animals are different from us.
On my point of view, we need to perform experiences on animals for so many reasons such as it helps in discovering new medications, there is no alternative, and animals also benefit from those experiments. The first reason is that animal testing helped in discovering many life-saving cures. For instance, unless we had removed a dog pancreas we would not discover the insulin which now has become one of the major medication doctors describe to diabetic patients. Second, scientists do not have another alternative because computer tests cannot predict the respond of some systems such as the endocrine, immune, and nervous system. In addition, “conditions such as blindness and high blood pressure cannot be studied in tissue cultures (3)”. Finally, animals themselves benefit from those experiments. For example, if vaccines were not tested on animals, millions of animals would have died from rabies, distemper, feline leukemia, infectious hepatitis virus, tetanus, anthrax, and canine parvo virus (3). Therefore, experimenting tests on some animals is going to help on curing others.
In conclusion, despite the reasons why we should inhibit animal testing around the world, the advantages of those tests, in my opinion, have more outcome either on human being lives or the animal’s lives themselves, but we should follow the appropriate animal testing ethics. For example, suffering is minimized in all experiments, and the number of animal used in the experiment is reduced.