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Animal Testing

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      17.02.2013 17:22
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      An emotive topic that requires a realistic, objective approach

      In discussing this issue I will focus on three areas. First I will examine the arguments for and against animal testing then consider whether ALL types of animal testing should be banned. Finally, I will consider the possible impact on scientific investigation of any such ban.

      Is vivisection essential to medical progress?

      Many scientists argue that animal testing is the best way to carry out research and has led to significant developments in drug treatments, vaccines and product safety. They claim that animals make good research subjects and that no computer simulation could ever adequately replicate the responses of a living organism. The relatively short life cycles of animals also makes them valuable for studying the responses of different generations. They point out that many animals are susceptible to the diseases that humans suffer from and experience similar physiological and emotional responses.

      However, this argument is also used by opponents of animal testing who claim that similarity to humans in terms of the experience of pain and stress is a reason why animal testing is unethical. It is true that animal testing has led to medical progress but anti-vivisectionists claim that some animal experiments have been misleading and actually delayed medical progress. For instance, they state that blood transfusions and corneal transplants were delayed by many years. Thalidomide's manufacturers were acquitted on the basis of expert evidence which deemed animal tests unreliable.

      Anti-vivisectionists claim that it is dangerous to try to predict responses in humans through tests on a different species. In addition they believe it is morally wrong to subject an animal to tests that would be considered unethical on humans because animals deserve the same dignity and respect as humans.

      Few people can disagree that many experiments can cause suffering to animals. The question is whether the end justifies the means. Fortunately, legislation in Europe has taken steps to safeguard the welfare of the animals. In the UK a licence will only be given for animal testing if the researcher has first considered alternative investigations. If animal testing has to be carried out, suffering must be kept to an absolute minimum. The central question is whether the outcome of such an experiment in terms of benefits to society will justify the cost of using animals.

      Should all animal testing be banned?

      Although some people believe that all animal testing should be banned, many people become more upset about the idea of cats, dogs and rabbits being used than mice and rats. It is easy to feel more compassion for animals that appear to us higher on the evolutionary scale but if you think in terms of a hierarchy in the animal kingdom, you shoot yourself in the foot and contradict the 'all life is equal' argument. So surely on moral grounds a ban should apply to all animals, whether they are invertebrates, vertebrates, rats or nonhuman primates.

      Most people take the view that animal testing should be banned unless it is absolutely necessary. Many support a ban on animal testing for cosmetic purposes but believe it to be necessary for medical research. Cosmetic testing on animals is now banned in the UK but animals continue to be used in medical research. This includes testing products not only to prevent harm to humans but to the environment and animals, so it is not true to say that animal testing is only carried out for the benefit of human beings. Those of us with pets need to know that their medications are safe.

      What are the alternatives to animal testing? These include computer models to study the mechanism and effects of drugs, virtual dissection kits and models of human systems. Cell tissue and organ culture enable human cells and tissue to be grown in vitro to study diseases. Human volunteer studies and case studies are valuable too.

      The impact of a ban on animal testing:

      It would be naïve to assume that these alternative methods are sufficiently developed at present to replace animal testing completely. Some would argue that they never will be. I feel that to ban all animal testing immediately would be disastrous for many sick people and would halt much medical progress. However, I do feel that the replacement of animal testing with more humane methods should be seen as a long term goal.

      In the meantime, organisations such as the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (FRAME) are campaigning to minimize suffering to animals, reduce the number of animals used in studies and ultimately replace the use of living animals altogether. I strongly support the use of epidemiological studies. Studies of people as opposed to animal-testing are what led to an understanding of the links between smoking and cancer, coronary heart disease and diet, etc. Sometimes prevention is better than cure and education plays a huge part in that.

      I believe that observing people in their natural environment provides more valid results than any laboratory experiment. Many variables in society contribute to human health issues and these cannot easily be replicated by animal testing in a controlled, artificial, laboratory setting.

      Like so many things, the question of animal testing comes down to cost. To develop alternative research methods takes time, money and resources. To allow people to die in the meantime is just as unethical as animal testing. However, I believe it is crucial to raise awareness of alternative research methods, particularly with the younger generation so they don't grow up with entrenched ways of how to conduct research. The National Anti-Vivisection Society awards grants through its Lord Dowding Fund to those wishing to fund non-animal research.

      It is my hope that as alternative methods are developed and improved, animal testing will gradually be phased out. There are highly emotional arguments on both sides, whether you sympathise with animals or retort - "If YOUR child was suffering, you wouldn't care about the animals' plight." These reactions are totally understandable but not always helpful in making a reasoned decision. The way forward is to be realistic, keep the debate alive and to be open to and supportive of new ideas.

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        08.06.2012 20:56

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        Animal testing is not fair, if we test on animals it could potentially hurt the animal so, in my opinion a better way would be giving people a (potentially good) fee to test the product themselves, because the animal can't give consent, but we can. It is not fair to test on any animals whatsoever, just because they can't do everything we can doesn't mean they don't have rights too because they do, and we as people should respect that, we should all take the responsibility not to harm animals un-necessarily, and in my opinion animal testing is unnecessary when we could use us, where we can ourselves give consent.

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        15.05.2012 11:57
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        Good and bed

        So, why do we only want to save cute animals? If a poor old Woodlice is flipped up on its back with its little legs going like crazy do we help? No. Do 200 students rush down to the beach to throw buckets of water over exhausted mud flappers? No. Animal charities know that beauty sells and so love to put cute and majestic animals on their literature and envelopes, those imploring TV ads aimed to part us from our money, not so much save the Indian Tiger. I wonder how rural Indians feel about westerners giving money to preserve the Indian Tiger, an animal that likes eating rural Indians.

        Beauty has always been our aspiration and women spend a hell of a lot of their hard cash on cosmetics every year, the industry worth two billion alone in the UK. Most women don't dream of a sanctuary where elephants can roam free and keep their tusks away from poachers but an anti ageing cream that actually works. Because of that vanity a lot of companies want to chase those profits by testing their creams and potions on animals so to avoid those law suits. We live in a hypocritical world where people despise hunting with hounds and so back the fox, the fox that eats the ugly chicken. The domestic cat munches through six million garden birds a year. It's almost as is if the good looking animals are deemed intelligent and so with us. Trust me, the Dolphin is one of the nastiest sea creatures on the planet but because the Bottlenose has that permanent smile we some how feel they our mates and thinking like we do. 90% of the worlds Dolphin parks have the smiley dolphin. The ugly dolphins don't get to go on stage and do their flips and twists, alas. It's a bit like the X-Factor.

        In the United States approximately 28 million warm-blooded vertebrate animals are used in science experiments annually. Of that total, about 18 million animals are killed for research, compared with 2.51 million in England, 1.66 million in Canada. Around 70 million animals globally are believed to be experimented on each year. There are tight rules on how cruel the labs can be but once they are licensed, like rest homes for senile folks, they tend not to be inspected much after as we just don't want to know what's really going on in there, out of sight, out of mind.

        I would certainly agree that there are one too many companies testing on animals in pursuit of profits, often for cosmetic products and other reasons other than medical ones, not a good situation. Putting shampoo in cute bunny's eyes suggests nothing ethical about this trade. But when it comes to our health and testing I am firmly with the homosapiens and not animal libbers. I challenge any animal lover who detests vivisection to carry a card that says I don't want any drugs administered to my person that came about by animal testing. When you're trapped in a mangled car wreck and in pain or dyeing of a curable illness you aren't going to argue with what makes you better. That's the only reason we medical test on animals. It would be lovely if we only needed to test on ugly animals but we need to test on animals that are the closest to our DNA and so look like us and so apes are unfortunately rattling those cages.

        A more harrowing side to this is when humans are used instead of animals, plenty of documented cases of western drug companies going down to the third world and infecting innocent people in the community with the company's products and without their permission. It was recently revealed that in the 1950s the United States government infected up to 700 innocent people in Guatemala with gonorrhoea and syphilis so to study the effects it would have on soldiers in wartime. They were infected by prostitutes paid for by the US government. Big unnamed pharmaceutical have even been known to go down to Africa and test 'potential' vaccines on the locals, putting a white coat on and sticking a needle in them and not telling them why, as explored in the film The Constant Gardener. This stuff was and may still be happening for real and would happen more if there was blanket ban on animal testing. These things have to be tested and so its much better its animals and regulated by governments.

        When Fabrice Muamba went down at the Spurs match most thought he was dead. But he didn't and kept alive today by fibulation techniques tested on monkeys. Without apes there would be no real method to judge the correct volts to blast through the human body or how safe pacemakers are. Fabrice has a small device in his chest that shocks the heart back to life for when his next arrhythmia strikes; as the many monkeys were it was tested on. This was a healthy heart that lost its rhythm. It can happen to anyone, even animal libbers, and approximately 2000 people a year in the UK suffering this type of sudden death. To protect the human race we have to do what's best for it and we do rule the animal kingdom so I'm afraid there no wavers for the lab rats.

        Where this does get silly is the way activist target people and companies connected with the industry, often viciously so, these unfortunate people often tenuously linked, effectively terrorizing them. If your company did a paint job at Huntingdon Sciences you could find a bomb under your car, which suggest these people value animal life more than humans, somewhat ironic. But when you dig deeply these libbers are often outsiders and signed up to many other causes, anti authority and anarchists, giving love to fury cute animals they have never received and long for from humans, the love and acceptance we all seek.

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          14.05.2012 19:27
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          Animals don't comprehend moral judgment!

          To even suggest that animal testing should be banned; first of all you've got to denote whether animals have rights.

          At this time of year, you'll witness many dead animals, at the side of roads, all victims of 'hit and run'. Yet I've never seen anyone standing over the animal corpse showing remorse, deep regret, at the brutal death. It is a fact we all look, and choose to ignore the agony the animal had to endure; at our hands. By just going a mile down the road in the 4X4, to get some groceries - many insects and small animals would've perished on the journeys so that you could continue a vegan lifestyle. Hypocritical, don't you think? What about the Christmas Day 'Animal Rights Protestors' who in their hundreds invaded the grass verges, lofting their 'Animal Right' banners on main roads across the UK - how many small animal homes did they destroy? These are rhetorical questions, simply allowing realism to show a clearer perspective.

          Animals do not have rights against other animals so how do they see Homo Sapiens? Yes, they see us as 'another animal'. Not as humans. It may surprise the 'Animal Rights' activist, who ultimately have fought tooth and nail for animal rights - animals are incapable of acknowledging such legal comforts, such as 'rights'. A caramel Jersey Cow is not going to walk beside you in a field and say: "Moo-self and 'moo' ancestors really appreciate what you've done regarding our rights; it's been milked for years". I share a view with Descartes (French Philosopher) which questions the consciousness of an animal; they cannot comprehend anything of a more complex intellect, than what they're borne with. 'Natural Selection' is how we can measure a form of intelligence. An ability to survive via instinct alone a method which we humans aren't that adapt to anymore in comparison - considering that some of us have evolved beyond our Stone Age existence. I therefore sway in allegiance to Descartes, he as does many philosophers deem undomesticated animals, no more than 'biological robots'.

          Nevertheless, in the US - Animal-law courses are now available. Makes you ponder if 'Dr. Doolittle' may have something to do with it. Irrationalism plagues us, just as rationalism educates us. Animals duly don't relate to morals of any formula. They have a Machiavellian stance to nature (such as eating meat) just as we do - their stance is they do it for survival. Oh wait a minute, human-kind are doing exactly the same thing as animals when it comes to survival. The difference is via intelligence. By being of intellectual mind - researchers are eliminating fatal diseases/conditions to safeguard our species survival. Over the last few years', pandemics have threatened us, yet as far none has defeated us, this is due to the extensive testing on NHP's (Non-Human Primates). In 2010, pandemic threats were real and in response 10% more animal research was required, as a necessity funded and organized by the WHO (World Health Organization). Animal testing is paramount for the human species to develop, evolve, and improve upon our own welfare and deteriorating human conditions. If, such tests prove to help cosmetic/pharmaceutical corporations improve product effectiveness, surely that is a plus. Funding wise it will aid research centres, instead of it being reliant on the public finances. Sadly, stem-cell research has practically stopped in the US due to their austerity measures and pressures from 'Animal-Law' activists, who prey on corporations that fund animal laboratories and research centres.

          In the developed world the term 'animal rights' has gone beyond being an oxymoron - in fact it has become an obsession that in some areas has made food chains become suddenly non-viable for human consumption. Now it is deemed as unethical, by those who make it their life's work to protect sub-humans/animals who have no ethics or moral judgments of their own - the term 'barking up the wrong tree' comes to mind, as it is the same odious groups who'll aim to stop NHP research for good. Who protest for protest sake; without thinking it through? That is when reality strikes home, when it becomes apparent a relative or a friend requires a drug to aid a disease or condition. Reality, like 'Peter Falk in the TV series Columbo' has an eerie trait of turning up unannounced - and it is the same with diseases and conditions. NHP tests has improved the condition of those with Diabetes, Parkinson disease, stroke sufferers, heart disease, prolong the condition of HEP C sufferers via transfusion , colon cancer, the tranquilizer, and renewal spinal cord therapy. A special mention goes out to the remarkable researchers who go further than the call of duty in the most adverse times, under the deranged noses of the 'politically correct, animal right protestors'. Whatever the political bill, suits the thrill, types - if these morons get it their way, soon animals will appear in court along with an animal lawyer (once was attempted in Switzerland) claiming he/she knows what the animal is feeling and saying - herewith, the true meaning of a kangaroo court.

          An acquaintance of mine is giving her body to science, after death - many disagree she should. She has a right to do this - animals have no rights in the first place. It appeared to me people generally haven't a clue how their medicine came into fruition, so long it works and they're feeling better because of it- its origins are long forgotten. Usually they're anti-animal testing; until you remind them of course that their beloved Uncle John was able to fully recover from a stroke thanks to NHP testing.

          Stringent measures are in place so that the conditions of the animals are in peek condition, prior to testing; otherwise contamination will occur. No other alternative procedures are available - hereby; we should let the scientists do their job, and by doing so, we may survive another few thousand years.

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            09.11.2009 12:39
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            An argument with no real right answer

            As I know that this topic is a sensitive one and one which many hold close to their hearts I would like to state arguyments both for and against this and finish with a clear evaluation with the aim of educating people further on this topic and aiding them in making their own decision.

            1) Every day, thousands of people are saved from painful diseases and death by powerful medical drugs and treatments. This incredible gift of medicine would not be possible without animal testing.
            However, in response to this you could argue that despite the overwhelming benefits of animal testing, some people are calling for animal testing to be banned because of alleged cruelty.

            2) Although it is inhumane to be conducting tests on innocent animals, surely it would be much more inhumane to do tests on children or adults. Even if this was possible it would take far longer to see any potential effects because of our superior lifespan (approximately 80+ years) compared to that of lab animals such as rats or rabbits.
            Opponents to animal testing would argue that the results are not applicable to humans meaning that animals are being put through un-necessary pain for a drug that is in the end not suitable for humans.

            3) We simply do not have alternative methods of testing. Computer models are not advanced enough, and testing on plants will provide much less reliable results than tests on animals such as monkeys as these are the closest thing we can get to a human. Until we have a better system, we must use animal testing.

            4) A further point often raised against animal testing is that it is cruel. It could be argued that some of the tests certainly seem painful, but the great majority of people on this planet eat meat or wear leather without any guilt and surely this is just as bad because innocent animals are still being sacrificed for the gain of humans.
            Those in opposition of animal testing may argue that meat is an essential part of most people's diets and the animals used for meat are killed with far less pain than when they are being tested on.

            5) Furthermore, animals clearly do not feel the same way as humans, and scientists asure us that they take every procedure possible to minimise stress and pain in the animals, since this would damage their research and give them inaccurate results.

            In conclusion, I have considered both sides of the argument and although I do not agree with the use of animal testing, as i am a lover of animals myself, I see no other way until scientists develop new ways of testing products, I only hope that the testing is kept to the minimum to prevent unnecessary pain to innocent animals that do not deserve it.

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              26.04.2008 00:24

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              I am a cosmetologist currently making my own skin care range that has no animal sources and has not been tested on animals!!There is so much that everyone needs to be made aware of that goes in skin products!! one main one is PIG FAT being used as an emulsifiers!!where coconut and palm oil can be used instead as i do!! BORAX is stil used in uks skin care products whereas its been banned in western europe because of the dangers,and posioning causing children anemia!! I obviously dont go near the stuff!! there is no excuse to test on our precious animals!!!

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              06.04.2008 03:31
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              please sign petition

              Have you ever felt deceived? I had watched videos of animals tortured in laboratories, but had never imagined that I was encouraging these atrocities. My concept of a company that test on animals was a small laboratory in a rural place; this however is not the case! Covergirl? Pantene? Colgate? Kotex? I used these products day by day and was never aware of the dark and bloody stories behind them.
              I could not sleep after I discovered that most of my cosmetics are cruelly tested on animals.
              I disposed all of them but still felt guilty. In one of my newly acquired nights of insomnia, I came up with an excellent plan to ease my conscience. I created a petition on the internet. I realized that creating a petition to ban animal testing would not stop it from being done, so I decided to take a different approach. I have created a petition to force companies to indicate on their packaging if they conduct or sponsor animal research in the making of their cosmetic products.

              please sign this petition in order to make cosmetic companies indicate weather they sponsor animal reasearch in the making of their cosmetic products. please crosspost and try to raise awareness on the petition

              http://www. thepetitionsite. com/1/make-companies-that-test-on-animals-indicate-it-in-their-logos

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                18.10.2006 03:28
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                my reasons why animal testing is wrong

                People need to stop doing it. Animals do feel the pain so why do it. How would you like to be tested on? And the companies are only doing it for the money and fame so just stop being so greedy and rude. Im only 13 but im doing my 8th grade science project on animal testing and why its so wrong! If you are a company stop testing on animals! Please!
                sincerly, alicia newman

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                  04.12.2005 20:58
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                  Animal testing does not have a place in the modern society.

                  Every year millions of animals suffer and die as a result of experiments, and most of these experiments cannot even be trusted. Animal testing is unreliable and the major reason for this is because animals have a completely different physiology to humans, so they respond differently to chemicals and medications. The results from animal tests are unreliable as a means of predicting effects in humans. Many people that use cosmetic products that have been tested on animals choose not to think about the terrible treatment of animals in laboratories, and assume that medical research on animals is beneficial. I hope that this article will inform you of some the problems associated with medical research on animals.

                  ~ NON-ANIMAL RESEARCH ~

                  Contrary to general belief, the majority of current medical and scientific research does not involve animals. Today there are many highly sophisticated techniques including computer modelling, tissue cultures, epidemiological studies and clinical studies. All of these studies are of direct relevance to humans. A skin substitute (corrositex) has been developed which can be used to test how corrosive a substance is without having to try it out on animals. If more of these methods where used less animal testing would be required.

                  There is a long history of medical progress without the use of animals:

                  • The childhood leukaemia drug methotrexate was introduced in the 1940s through human study and testing.
                  • The asthma drug sodium cromoglycate was discovered by a doctor that did not have much faith in animal testing. He was allergic to guinea pigs, so he exposed himself to them to induce asthma attacks in order to test the results of drugs.
                  • The artificial hip was invented by John Charnley who refused to experiment on animals. The design of hip that he developed is still considered the best by orthopaedic surgeons.

                  Many more drugs have been developed without animal research: beta blockers for blood pressure, digitalis for heart failure, morphine as a pain killer, salicylic acid in aspirin, nitrate drugs for angina and quinine for malaria.

                  Additionally, many surgical procedures have been developed without the use of animal testing. These include the removal of the appendix, the removal of bladder stones, and Brock’s technique for blue baby surgery. Also, scientists have developed a detailed understanding of blood groups, blood circulation and hormones, by human study.

                  ~ MOST ANIMALS BRED FOR EXPERIMENTS ARE DESTROYED ~

                  To maintain stocks of animals of different sexes, sizes, weights and ages, scientists constantly over breed, so millions of animals are slaughtered because they are not needed. Approximately three quarters of animals bred are killed because they are surplus to requirements. Last year, in one London medical school 33,328 animals were killed in gas chambers. Since the numbers are so large, the majority of the dead animals, of which a large proportion are rodents, are thrown into bin bags or back into cages with live animals. It is clear that animal testing is extremely wasteful.

                  ~ IS ANIMAL TESTING BENEFICIAL TO MEDICAL RESEARCH? ~

                  Many people say that they are against animal testing for cosmetics and beauty products, and assume that animal research is beneficial for medical studies. However I will present to you evidence that demonstrates how inaccurate animal research can be, and how dangerous has been to release drugs on the basis of results from animal tests.

                  • Morphine is a strong painkiller and has sedative effect in people, but in experiments it was found to actually cause excitement in cats, mice, pigs, goats, horses and cattle.
                  • Aspirin causes birth defects in cats and dogs but causes none in humans.
                  • The cancer drug 6-azauridine can be used for long periods of time in humans, but small doses produce lethal results in a few day when tested on dogs.
                  • Unlike people, pigs can tolerate transplanted tissue for months without the need for drugs to suppress the immune system.
                  • Penicillin injected into the muscles of horses often causes adverse reactions, and in many cases, death – but it is safe for humans.
                  • After a project using 18,000 mice, Teropterin was used to treat acute childhood leukaemia, but in actual fact, when given to children, they died more quickly than if they had not been treated.
                  • The drug tamoxifen was patented as a contraceptive, as it suppressed fertility in rats, but in women it has the opposite effect. It is now used as a breast cancer drug, despite actually causing cancer in rats.
                  • Pigs, cattle and sheep can be safely sedated with the drug etorphine hydrochloride, however it is toxic, sometimes fatal in people.
                  • The drug eraldin was studied on animals and seemed to help heart disease, however none of the animal tests warned of the serious side effects in humans, such as blindness, growths, stomach troubles, and joint pains.

                  ~ THERE ARE HUGE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE BODIES OF HUMANS AND OTHER ANIMALS ~

                  The shocking effects listed above are due to the vastly different physiologies and body compositions of humans and other animals. The human body is unique, so many of the experiments conducted on animals incorrectly predict the effects of drugs or medical procedures on humans.

                  • Cats are deficient in a liver enzyme, and they consequently metabolise many drugs more slowly than humans, so are more susceptible to their toxic effects.
                  • Even though rabbits are commonly used for eye irritation tests, the composition of their eye is different to that of a human, so they inevitably react to products differently, making much of the research into irritants useless.
                  • A drug used successfully for Legionnaires' disease in humans did not cure infected guinea pigs.
                  • The spleens of cattle, horses, pigs, cats and dogs is different from a human spleen.
                  • Unlike humans, most other animals are unable to vomit.
                  • Animals react to shock differently: a rabbit’s heart rate actually decreases when it is frightened.

                  Animals suffer from different diseases, and what is more, the artificial models of disease created in laboratories are not the same as real disease, in the real world, so produce different results. For example, when they induce cancer in animals the disease may not be identical to the real disease in humans, so drugs may display different reactions in animals in comparison to the disease in humans. It is also important to note that each species responds differently to substances, so animal tests are unreliable as a way of predicting effects in people.

                  ~ THE PAIN ~

                  Inside laboratories, animals are burnt, blinded, mutilated; their limbs are deliberately broken, they are force-fed products by tubes, some are starved; toxic chemicals are dripped into their eyes; they are deliberately infected with disease, and so much more. Some tests involve drilling holes into the sculls of primates and inserting electrodes to study their brain activity. Many animals live in wire based cages so their urine and excrement can be collected below, and they develop terrible ulcers and lesions to their feet. Rodents are mutilated for identification purposes: toes are cut off and ears are snipped. When scientists need to sample blood, they simply cut off the end of their tail.

                  ~ COSMETIC TESTING ~

                  Unfortunately a large number of cosmetic companies choose to test their products on animals (and many household cleaners are also tested in the same way). A lot of companies claim to not test on animals, but it is often the case that the chemicals they buy from other sources have in fact been tested on animals. Personally, I believe that cosmetic testing is an utter disgrace. Animals are tortured and mutilated by chemicals to see if they are safe to use in make up and skin care products, but how about not using such hazardous substances in the first place? It doesn’t seem to make sense. When I buy products I always look at the ingredient label, and hate seeing a long list of chemicals and numbers. I would rather cosmetics contained safe and natural ingredients only, that didn’t need to be tested on animals in the first place. The thought of using a product that has been tested on animals makes me feel sick and terribly guilty, and I would never choose to use such products.

                  The world must be corrupt: people are so vain and self-obsessed that they are happy to see animals tortured in order to have nice eyeshadows and lipsticks. Companies are not very open about whether they test on animals, so it is difficult to know which products to avoid. However, if you visit the BUAV website (www.buav.org) you will find a list of products that are cruelty-free and vegetarian, and many of the companies have online shops.

                  ~ FINALLY ~

                  I decided not to write an article saying that animals should have rights (even though this is how I feel) as I was concerned that people would stop reading and think that I was just being ridiculously naive. Instead I decided to present to you some bare facts and evidence outlining the uselessness of animal medical research. If you believe that animals don’t have enough rights (like I do) then you may be interested to visit www.peta.org which has lots of information about how you can help stop this kind of research. If you didn’t know much about animal research before, then I hope I have opened your eyes slightly to the barbaric treatment of animals, that is in (apparently) the name of science (and also makeup).

                  Lastly, I’d like to say that I am aware that there have been many remarkable discoveries based on animal research (and people will probably point them out to me in the comments) but I feel that in today’s modern world animal testing is no longer necessary. We are now so advanced in terms of medicine that scientists are able to replicate tests that were formally carried out on animals, on tissue cultures and by other means. We need to have respect for life – of both humans and other animals.

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                    03.02.2004 20:31
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                    Don't know why, but I seem to be going for the more controversial topics this morning, and going against the general flow. As with Capital Punishment, if you are against animal testing, then chances are I'm not gonna be able to change you mind in any way at all, no matter what I say, no matter what inciteful arguements I have, no matter how well I put across my points. I am for animal testing, but only partially. I disagree with loads of albino rats and rabbits being kept in tiny cages in laboratories and having lipstick shoved into their eyes to see if they go blind. That disgusts me totally. being a bloke I don't wear lipstick (well only at the weekend when I temporarily change my name to Jamesina). If you want to wear lipstick then you should take the risk yourself, not pass it on to some other creature that cannot defenc itsel;f properly. It's you that wants to look beautiful with mascara that thickens your eyelashes, glittering lipstick, blusher that makes you glow, non-whitening deoderant that keeps your black clothes black, black clothes where the dye has probably been tested on rabbits in the rain to make sure they don't burn your skin. Chances are, that if we took animal testing reall seriously and attempted to stop using any product that had been tested on animals then chances are you'd have to revert to becoming a cave person. Until you grew all your own hemp. Even animal rights-championing companies like Body Shop realise that it would be too difficult to cut out all of the animal tested products and so they distort the facts to make them sound fantastic and great. "Body Shop will not use products tested on animals in the last five years". This was their way of claiming to stop using animal tested products. What they have failed to mention that it is a rolling 5 year period. That means that while today they won't use a product that is currently being tested on animals, in five years time they will d
                    o. No point letting a moral stand-point get in the way of a profit. Heaven forbid that someone might come up with a new product that has been tested on animals and we can never use it... I also have to argue with some of the points put across with animal activists - the main one being that in no way areanimals equal to humans. If they were then they'd be helping run the country, teaching our children, making us bacon butties on Sunday morning. Well, the pigs kinda help out with that last one, but you know what I mean. Animals are not equal. "Think about their feelings!" Can a rabbit be depressed? Yes, it can feel pain and I sympahise with that, but no-one knows whether animals are content, or bored, or anything else. We just don't know if they have it in their make-up to feel emotions such as this, other than those they require for their natural survival. Fear is probably the number one emotion animals use to survive, and maternal and paternal instincts keep offspring alive, but does that mean animals can love? I don't think so. Animal testing for things like cosmetics should not be allowed at all. No person or animal should be allowed to suffer for the vanity of some people. What about the medical implications though? If a drug can be tested sucessfully and safely on a few rabbits, and then goes on to save hundreds of lives is that not a good deal? Some people have been asking that tests like this should be tested on humans, or should be tested on cloned organs etc. instead of animals. Again, it all comes down to money. Tests carried out like this have to be done over and over again, so that drugs or procedures being tested can be shown to work over a series of tests, and not just on a one off patient. Scientists working on a cancer drug will not just infect one rabbit and hope that they drug works for them. They will infect many different rabbits and then grade how well it helps each one. To do this to huma
                    n cloned tissue you would need both many different DNA doners, and many different samples to clone from. This costs an absolute fortune, and if hospitals and research labs were forced to go down this path, then they would all go bankrupt very quickly, and cures for diseases and virii would never be created. Using animals is a low cost way of preliminary research before the doctors and scientists move on to human subjects. One of the most vivid pieces I have watched on television has stuck in my head, and I saw this program about two years ago. It showed what breakthroughs had been made when products were tested on both living and dead humans. These breakthroughs were both medical and technological, and the majority shown in the program happened just before, during, and just after the Second World War. Problem was, the majority of these tests carried out before and during the war were by Nazi scientists and doctors on Jews held in concentration camps. Not only did many Jews die during testing, but also dead bodies of those who died elsewhere were used. In no way would I ever claim that such deaths under tests were justified as a means to an end, but one of the doctors in one such camp refused to use any live Jews in his experiments. He refused to be responsible for the deaths of any of his fellow men, but he was happy to use bodies of those who had died elsewhere. This doctor made some significant breakthroughs that we still use today, such as car safety systems ranging from how a seat belt works through to preliminary works on crumple zones. After the way this one doctor set up a business doing safety work, and would accept people's bodies donated for medical research in his work. Many lives saved through this one doctors work can be put down to having the right equipmnent to work with, in this case, human bodies. Unfortunately, the company has closed down since then under immense public pressure. Not happy with revol
                    utionising the safety of seat belts for adults, the company realised that many of the safety systems in place for child-seats are totally inadequate, and some of those in place now recognised as safety measures actually put the lives of our children more at risk in the envent of an accident. So this company started to carry out tests in this department in the same way they had just after the war, taking donations of childrens' bodies to use in their experiments. What was the result? Safer child seats for our cars? Nobel prizes for innovation and safety? Complete and utter uproar. The factory was pretty much surrounded by anyone in Germany who had ever lost a child ever under any circumstances. Tens of thousands of letter were sent to the company demanding that these tests cease immediately. Then tens of thousands of letters were sent to the government demanding that they make these tests stop immediately. And so they did. The company was stopped from using human baby carcasses for testing purposes, and were forced to use... monkeys. This sidated the populace for about a decade, and then under the animals testing lobbies of the 80's this company came under even more pressure to cease tests. It did, then it went bankrupt. The point of this long winded story is this: ever scientist under the sun who carries out tests on animals for the good of humans would much rather work on human tissue for their tests. Why go for a second-rate subject of a rat or a rabbit when you're testing something for a human? The problem is people. Yes, you get people standing in the street harassing you on Saturday afternoon about animal testing when you're trying to shop. But imagine what it would be like if humans were used in this way? It's the lesser of two evils, and that's why it will stay for a long time yet.

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                      11.01.2004 17:19
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                      • "playing god"

                      Let me ask a Question first of all. What if there wasn’t or ever had been any animal testing? Now keep this is mind without putting your morality aside. This for me is a great quandary with an unsuitable solution. Every day, thousands of people are saved from painful diseases and death by powerful medical drugs and treatments. This incredible gift of medicine would not be possible without animal testing. Despite these overwhelming benefits, however, some people are calling for animal testing to be banned because of alleged cruelty. Using animals, especially those that are bred in the lab specifically for medical research is not only cost effective, it is morally the correct thing to do. Some animal activists point to research done by cosmetic firms as a use of animals in testing that should be banned. One expert notes, "Rights thought dictates that we cannot kill one rights-holder to save another – or even more than one other – whether or not the life of the former is 'different' from that of the latter." However, millions also use cosmetics and health care products, and if any ingredient is potentially harmful, it is far better to discover it in animal testing rather than in testing on humans. Animal testing simply makes sense for a variety of reasons, including cost savings, preservation of human life, and the safety and security of future generations. A further point often raised against animal testing is that it is cruel. Some of the tests certainly seem painful, but the great majority of people on this planet eat meat or wear leather without any guilt. Where is their sympathy for animals? Furthermore, animals clearly do not feel the same way as humans, and scientists are careful to minimize stress in the animals, since this would damage their research. Medicinal product can only be placed on the market in the EU only when the developer after a has been granted either
                      a national or European marketing authorisation has been granted. Council Directive 65/65/EEC details the particulars and documents that must be provided when making a marketing authorisation application. A mandatory part of the documentation for a pharmaceutical product containing a new active substance is the results of pharmacological and toxicological tests (Article 4.8). These tests involve a variety of biological studies employing both non-animal and animal models. The global nature of drug development coupled with international harmonisation of guidelines enables companies to assemble a single dossier of toxicopharmacological studies, thus minimising the number of animals employed. However, any EU (or UK) initiatives involving a switch to non-animal models that was considered premature or inappropriate in other parts of the world could well lead to an increase in the use of animals since non-EU countries would still require the dossier of conventional studies. In my opinion the most conclusive set of guidelines is adhered to buy the Canadian Psychological Association. This is mirrored throughout the world in one way or another in legal jargon. In a nutshell this describes it best in laymans terms. Guidline1. Prior to undertaking a research or instructional project with animals, the scientist has a responsibility to be sufficiently knowledgeable to ensure compliance with these guidelines. When in doubt about compliance, the scientist should consult with informed colleagues and institutional review committees (e.g., animal care committee), and give due regard to their advice. Guideline 2. A scientist trained in research methods and experienced in the care of laboratory animals should ensure that the comfort, health, and humane treatment of experimental animals are given appropriate consideration. Guideline 3.The scientist should ensure that all individuals under his/her supervision have the training a
                      nd competence needed to carry out their responsibilities for experimental procedures, care, maintenance, and handling of the species being used. Guideline 4. The scientist should be fully cognizant of the Canadian Council on Animal Care's Guide to the Care and Use of Experimental Animals and of current federal, provincial, and local laws and regulations concerning the acquisition, care, use and disposal of animals. Guideline 5. There must be a reasonable expectation that studies involving animals will give good results. Guideline 6. Procedures subjecting animals to pain, stress, privation, or death should be used only when an acceptable alternative procedure is unavailable. Guideline 7. Scientists should examine methodological and procedural techniques for the purpose of minimizing discomfort, illness, and pain to animals. Guideline 8. An experiment should be terminated whenever it becomes apparent to the scientist that its continuation will result in injury or suffering that is incompatible with these guidelines. Guideline 9. The killing or other disposition of experimental animals must be accomplished in a humane manner at the termination of the experiment. Guideline 10. The decision to use animals for instructional purposes must be based on a consideration of educational objectives rather than contributions to new scientific knowledge. In other respects, ethical practices in the care and treatment of animals are the same as those that apply to the use of animals in research. Guideline 11. Classroom demonstrations involving animals should only be used when instructional objectives cannot be achieved through the use of videotapes, films, or other methods. Careful consideration should be given to whether the type of demonstration is warranted by the anticipated instructional gain. Guideline 12. Student projects involving pain or distress to animals should be undert
                      aken judiciously and only when training objectives cannot be achieved in any other way. I must admit that there are alternatives to testing on animals. The information gathered is not, I believe, as conclusive as it would be on live subjects, however it does give credibility to the moral side of the argument. Eytex Produced by the National Testing Corp. in Palm Springs, California, Eytex is an in-vitro (test-tube) procedure that measures eye irritancy via a protein alteration system. A vegetable protein from the jack bean mimics the reaction of the cornea to an alien substance. This alternative is used by Avon instead of the cruel Draize eye irritancy test. Skintex An in-vitro method to assess skin irritancy that uses pumpkin rind to mimic the reaction of a foreign substance on human skin (both Eytex and Skintex can measure 5,000 different materials). EpiPack Produced by Clonetics in San Diego, California, the EpiPack uses cloned human tissue to test potentially harmful substances. Neutral Red Bioassay Developed at Rockefeller University and promoted by Clonetics, the Neutral Red Bioassay is cultured human cells that are used to compute the absorption of a water-soluble dye to measure relative toxicity. Testskin Produced by Organogenesis in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Testskin uses human skin grown in a sterile plastic bag and can be used for measuring irritancy, etc. (this method is used by Avon, Amway, and Estee Lauder). TOPKAT Produced by Health Design, Inc. in Rochester, New York, TOPKAT is a computer software program that measures toxicity, mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, and teratonogenicity (this method is used by the U.S. Army, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration). Ames Test Tests for carcinogenicity by mixing a test culture with Salmonella typhimurium and adding activating enzymes. It was able to detect 156 out of 174 (90%) anima
                      l carcinogens and 90 out of 100 (88%) non-carcinogenes. Agarose Diffusion Method Tests for toxicity of plastic and synthetic devices used in medical devices such as heart valves, artificial joints, and intravenous lines. Human cells and the test material are placed in a flask and are separated by a thin-layer of agarose (a derivative of seaweed agar). If the material tested is an irritant, an area of killed cells appears around the substance. I think the individual should decide if it is right or wrong to test on animals. Both sides have been examined in this opinion. I always think its best to go with the heart, which is of course my individual input. Thanks for reading. Further information is available from www.ifaw.org/ifaw/general.

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                        08.12.2003 15:17
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                        I?m sure everyone knows that there are two different types of animal testing, which are very different. The first is cosmetic testing: shampoos, make-up, perfume. The second is medical: to help diabetes, other illnesses. Whatever anyone else says, there is definitely a great distinction between the two. So, what exactly is animal testing then? ?Vivisection is the action of cutting into or dissecting a living body, and the practice of subjecting living animals to cutting operations?. Without these methods being used in the past we may still be at risk from very serious diseases, smallpox for example. Louis Pasteur carried out tests on chickens in 1881 to develop a vaccine and since 1980 the disease has been ?extinct?. Think about it?you could be lais in hospital seriously ill if Pasteur had not been able to contemplate cutting up animals. I think you can probably tell from what I have said above that I see no problem whatsoever with animal testing when it is for medical purposes. There are so many people around me who would be dead by now without the vaccines/medication discovered by testing on animals. I am grateful for all medical advances and although some animals have lost their lives I really do believe that it is for the good of men. On the other hand, cosmetic testing is just plain wrong. Shampoos, for example, were frequently tested on rabbits. Surely it would be more successful to test it on a human, after all it is the human who will be using it in the future, not the rabbit. As far as I know, rabbits don?t mind having greasy hair! Nowadays we see a lot of beauty products which state ?Not tested on animals? on the packaging. Much of the time this is misleading. Often the ingredients will have been tested in the past in order to meet regulations. There are many people who seem willing enough to test beauty products themselves, rather than leaving it to the poor animals. Why not just let humans do
                        the trials? It seems like an easy solution to me. But as for medical testing, I really think that if it is saving lives then it is worthwhile. Thank you very much for having taken the time to read this. My first op in ages!!! Please let me know what you think ? thanks x

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                          14.10.2003 01:30
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                          • "High risking of human death as result."

                          Reading a couple of the other reviews present on this subject, I couldn't help noticing how often they have actually given acknowledgement to some kind of scientific benefit in animal experimentation. Therefore, I'd like to register here the fact that animal experimentation is complete scientific fraud, not to mention a sick and immoral act of, and I have no doubt in this wording, evil. It is absolutely impossible to create a working 'animal model' as they have dubbed it, simply because of the quite obvious variation between species. It's nothing to do with 'calling someone a rat' as one of my fellow reviewers had put it. Species so 'similar' as rats and mice, or even different types of rat provide different results in relation to different tests. So farcical is this practice, that even the time of day, conditions or mood of the testee can alter completely the results of a test. For this reason, anything can be proven safe or dangerous, at the animal experimenter, and the government's discretion. We only need to look at America, where drugs tested on animals, taken in the given dosage are the 4th biggest killer - taking 100,000+ lives annually. In fact, so pathetically pointless is this practice, that better odds for a correct outcome are offered by flipping a coin, a 50% success rate, in comparison to a 20-30% lucky-dip esque rate in animal testing. A practice that would have seemed to make sense in the middle ages, but now, all too apparently a waste of precious time - existing only to make exceptionally big bucks for some very malicious people NEEDS to be abolished, to save not only our fellow species' - but also our children, who are subject to this misleading and thus lethal practice everytime they take medicine. I urge any and all good people to do all they can to rid the world of this greed fueled, evil industry.

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                            25.08.2003 01:52
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                            I don't think animals should be used in any way to test beauty products, from botox to moisturisers. This does look like companies are trying to make the effort not to use them. This is another fault in society due to the obsession with beauty (often blamed on men though I only ever hear women commenting on other womens weights looks etc (bitching)) and all the other problems it causes such as bulmia, etc. Unfortunatly animals will still be needed to develop new drugs. If you want to live outside the NHS then that is fine by me. If you trully believe it shouldn't be used then whenever you get sick, you should just go to bed and rest and read the bible or try homeopathy or something otherwise your a hypocrite. As unfortunatly nearly every drug has been or used animals in some way. There is no real alternative at the moment, I don't think we have the research to be able to model how new drugs will work. Who shall we test instead? criminals? paedophiles? So what size casket do you require?

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                              10.04.2003 05:20
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                              I have chosen to write about Animal Testing, due to it being mentioned in the news recently, particularly at Crufts 2003. People arriving at or leaving Crufts were greeted with dozens of posters, banners, protesters, and human-sized dogs, highlighting the fact that Iams has killed hundreds of cats and dogs in 'pet' food research and continues to harm and kill animals in the development of Iams and Eukanuba foods. To get some horrific details out of the way, Iams have been accused of: - Kidney failure and death inflicted on dogs - Cats cut open and killed - Cats made obese and then starved - liver damage observed - Severe allergic reaction provoked in husky puppies - Skin wounds inflicted on 36 dogs and puppies I personally think that things like that are too horrific to talk about, and although they are serious issues that need to be sorted out, in the rest of my opinion I will be speaking about an issue I feel strongly about - testing on animals for cosmetic purposes. There are so many companies out there who have tested on animals in the past. A few names off of the top of my head include: Clairol, Colgate Palmolive Co., Coty, Gillette, Johnson and Johnson, Kimberley Clark (the makers of Kleenex and Huggies), Procter and Gamble, Cover Girl, Max Factor and Pantene. They are just ten of the hundreds of companies that either test on animals today or have done so in the past. Only in recent years, has animal testing become an issue that concerns many. It has made a huge impact on the cosmetic and toiletry market, and has encouraged companies to stop testing their products on animals, as well as promote themselves as 'cruelty-free'. The first company to my knowledge to promote this much kinder option was Avon in 1989. Boots, Yardley, Max Factor, Rimmel and Revlon are a few of the companies that now claim 'not to test on animals', although what they mean by this is still not completely clear. O
                              ften, these cosmetic companies are owned by larger brands, and although certain make-up products themselves are not tested on animals, the company still carry out animal testing on ingredients. It has to be stressed that it is certainly not essential for tests to be carried out on animals. There is nowhere in this world where beauty products are required to be animal tested by law. Most laws nowadays state that cosmetics must be suitable for human use, but there is no mention on animal testing. Animal experimentation is not necessary. A lot of cosmetics do not need to be tested on animals, because humans using them for a prolonged number of years have demonstrated them as safe. The most common tests involve soaking a material into rabbits' eyes or applying it to the bald backs of rabbits or guinea pigs and studying the resulting irritation or damage. Animals are also force fed or dosed with substances to measure affects. In some cases the tests can cause suffering and even death. In July 1991, it was revealed that Procter and Gamble had carried out tests on approximately three hundred guinea pigs. This was for a new sunscreen product hat they were trying to create, and by using the guinea pigs; they were supposed to tell if it would cause an allergic reaction or irritation. It was already clear that human knowledge and data was available and counted as enough to go by. In 1992, government records showed that Procter and Gamble had increased its use of dogs, hamsters and ferrets between 1986 and 1989. Procter and Gamble are the makers of Max Factor, Cover Girl, Mary Quant, Maxi, Outdoor Girl, Head and Shoulders, Vidal Sassoon and Clearasil. Colgate-Palmolive like to do their animal testing discretely which is why they choose to employ an outside company to carry out these tests for them. A couple of years ago, it was discovered that guinea pigs were kept locked into small plastic tubes and a strong solution of soluti
                              ons were applied for four hours a day, three days a week. This caused cracked and bleeding skin on the animals. SmithKline and Beecham, the makers of Vosene and Pure and Simple, have previously been accused of cruelty to animals. The way that they house them is atrocious according to undercover workers. An undercover anti-vivisection society worker went into their labs in 1990, and reported that baby mice had their toes removed, beagles were kept in tiny metal cages with concrete floor and no bedding and dogs being transported - two in a crate. It is estimated that over 35,000 animals are used in cosmetic testing, each year alone in Europe. According to statistics, 50% of these animals will die in this expirement 2 to 3 weeks later. In countries such as America and Japan, testing is extensive, but information on how many animals used is not publicly available. With so many people nowadays against animal testing, it makes you wonder why it is still carrying on. The demand by companies in the cosmetics industry for 'new' or 'improved' ingredients for products is one reason that they seem to give, along with regulatory pressures in some countries to test materials such as preservatives and sunscreen filters. The Body Shop is one of my favourite shops. Cruelty-free companies are becoming more popular, because our knowledge of cosmetic testing is improving. Yes, the prices of the products may be a little bit more expensive than in other shops, but you can rest assured that none of the products are tested on animals, and also a percentage of the profit goes towards a natural cause. The Body Shop believes cosmetics testing on animals is unethical, unnecessary and should be banned. I agree with this statement. Animal testing is inhumane and no animal should be forced to suffer such torture.

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