When animals are used for testing, we inflict sever pain on them. This brings a question of should animals be used for research?
Using the animals for research is a common practice.
They have a live body whose functions and physiology are similar to humans.
Further, they can trained, induced or genetically modified to mimic most of the human disorders and conditions.
Hence, the new drugs with a promise of efficacy in disease treatment are taken up for testing in animals in pre-clinical trials.
These help us to understand any adverse or toxic effects of the drug on the general body functions and avoid them in humans.
But if we see this with human instinct, it is very unacceptable to inflict pain, suffering and even death to animals.
Hence many nations have their own ethics boards and prevention of cruelty to animals laws.
Should Animals be Used for Research
Before we go into conclusions lets us see few important aspects of drug testing.
Negative traits involved:
- Misuse of animals
- No direct correlation of data in many cases
- Not all medicines can be tested in this method
- Unnecessary use of animals in the name of research.
- Improper treatment
Positive traits involved:
- Record the safety profile of drug.
- Checking if the drug is effective.
- Ability to test multiple forms of drugs in short time.
- Minimal cost of drug testing.
Misuse of drugs: Animals are misused many a time in drug testing. There are many instances where they were killed because of negligence in giving proper food, water, heath support and cleanliness. Also few of them make mistakes in testing procedure and repeat them on few more fresh animals. If the researcher is well planned and informed he could avoid it. But, it is quite common that drugs are tested on animals in a hurry or with incomplete planning, sacrificed and when they discover some mistake, they repeat whole procedure in another set of experiment.
Unnecessary use of animals: If we notice many scientists or academicians who publish many scientific papers. They use animals for their career enhancement work. Their work in most cases is just a waste. They are done to get publications and improve their academic scores. They perform all sorts of experiments regardless of the benefit to society. Their own motto is to get a scientific publication and career based incentives and promotions. But in no means they add value to the society at large.
No direct correlation of data: Though drugs are tested on animals, no all the data obtained is reflective of human data. Since there are few variation like enzymes, hormones in the animals body function and structure when compared to humans. So one need not require animals drug testing for all the drugs and conditions.
Even mental disorders like depression, anxiety, mania etc. cannot be precisely induced in animals. So the data and effectiveness cannot be reliable for human use.
Not all medicines can be tested: Though animal testing is useful for evaluation of drugs, not all drugs can be evaluated similarly. This is again due to impractical problems.
Improper treatment: This is a widespread issue where in the experimenter does not give proper care to animals. This can happen before, during and after completing of animal drug testing. THose animals which are not meant to be killed as a part of experiment are killed and not reused or fed till their normal death. This is said to be due to financial constraints. But still animals kept be given proper care and after complete recovery, they could let to go free. In most cases this does not happen.
In the positive side we have application like discovery of new drugs, identification of toxicity, side effects etc. But still how far we have been using animals judiciously?
Unlike us, they can’t communicate their pain or suffering. Further, they readily believe in humans and undergo whatever procedure tested on them.
In one way, we humans have been exploiting them for money and career growth.
So, there is a requirement of strict policies to control misuse of animals in the name of drug research and testing.