Animal research will always be a very controversial subject in the veterinary field and also in the general public. Most people that are against it are just uneducated about all of the aspects of animal research and the high importance of it. The most significant threat against animal research is the organization called PETA. Yet, the president of PETA is an insulin dependent diabetic. I am sure the president of PETA is ignorant to the fact that without animal research, there wouldn’t be insulin for her to use. As a veterinary technician myself, research on animals seems to be against everything I believe in.
In all reality, I have looked at the facts in several different articles and it is very evident the importance of research on animals. It has allowed for numerous life changing medical break throughs in the human medical field and also the veterinary medical field. The most significant breakthroughs have been with vaccines and viral infections, antibiotics and bacterial infections, cancer, genetic diseases, autoimmune disorders, heart disease, kidney disease, asthma, alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and lastly veterinary medicine. Research obtained through an animal patient has led to many different vaccines
and treatments of viruses in humans. The reason that the cases of smallpox, polio, mumps, and measles have been diminished over time is due to experiments on animals. Smallpox has disappeared in children now a days because of the vaccine that was developed from using calves and than tested on animals to make sure it was safe for humans. The vaccination for polio that was discovered in the 1950’s by using monkeys has saved millions of lives. AIDS is another viral infection that kills humans every year. According to Seriously Ill for Medical Research (SIMR), “Already more than 150 drugs exist or are under development and 13 potential vaccines are being developed” for AIDS. (SIMR, 2000).
2 CONTROVERSY OVER ANIMAL RESEARCH Antibiotics used for bacterial infections such as pneumonia, typhoid, cholera, scarlet fever, and legionnaires disease have all been discovered because of experiments on animals. Javier Burgos, president of The Nature of Wellness organization, disagrees with all aspects of animal research. He makes a great point when he states, “Asprin kills cats and penicillin kills guinea pigs. Yet, the same guinea pigs can safely eat strychnine-one of the deadliest poisons for humans, but not for monkeys.
Sheep can swallow enormous quantities of arsenic-once the murderers’ favorite poison. Potassium cyanide, deadly for humans, is harmless for the owl. ” (Burgos, 2000). Cancer kills millions everywhere each year. The use of an animal model led to the discovery of both radiotherapy and chemotherapy. During radiotherapy, radiation causes the tumor to shrink in size without doing to much damage to the rest of the patients body.
Chemotherapy is a concoction of drugs that stop and kill the tumor from dividing and causing more cancer cells. Hodgkins disease is amongst the leading types of cancers that kills people everyday. Patients with Hodgkins disease, without any treatment will always die but because of animal research they are now able to be treated. According to SIMR, “ Today 6 out of every 10 children that develop leukaemia can be cured and overall 4 out of 10 people who develop cancer are now cured. Twenty years ago, the figure was 2 out of 10. ” (SIMR, 2000). The facts themselves prove that animal research is a necessity in treating and possibly finding a cure to cancer in the future.
In today’s society, genetic diseases are becoming a bigger issue because of the new technologies that are able to detect it early on. The use of a mouse has contributed new knowledge concerning human genetics because of the similarities between the two. 3 CONTROVERSY OVER ANIMAL RESEARCH Because of the mouse, a disease causing human gene is able to be mutated and than replicated in a mouse. Animal research not only helps with medical breakthroughs in the human medicine field, it also has led to breakthroughs in the veterinary field.
The benefits of doing experiments on animals for the direct care of companion pets is often overlooked. Without the use of laboratory experiments on animals, vaccinations for our companion pets would not exist. Dogs can suffer from an array of different diseases that have all been learned to prevent through vaccinations. Distemper, infectious hepatitis, leptospirosis, kennel cough, and parvovirus infections can all be prevented for the mot part by use of a vaccination. Cats can also transmit infectious diseases such as the cat flu, feline enteritis, and leukemia.
These diseases also have vaccinations that would not have been able to be discovered without the animal model in a research facility. In conclusion, animal research will always be a controversial topic among members of the veterinary filed and also general animal lovers. In my opinion, I cringe at the thought of a dog or cat living its entire life in a research facility, but its for an amazing cause. Unfortunately, experiments on animals will always be needed in order to understand diseases in humans and in animals. Anyone that is totally against animal research needs to look at all the facts and statistics.
Because of animal research there have been tremendous amounts of medical breakthroughs, specifically with vaccines and viral infections, antibiotics and bacterial infections, cancer, genetic diseases, autoimmune disorders, heart disease, kidney disease, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and most importantly to me veterinary medicine.
4 CONTROVERSY OVER ANIMAL RESEARCH Bibliography Burgos, J. B. (2000). Animal Experimentation Is Unscientific. In D. M. Haugen (Ed. ), At Issue. Animal Experimentation. San Diego: Greenhaven Press.
(Reprinted from 5 CONTROVERSY OVER ANIMAL RESEARCH Can Human Medicine Be Based on Veterinary Medicine? A Plea for Logic and Common Sense, http://home. earthlink. net/~supress/javier. html, n. d. ) Retrieved from Opposing Viewpoints. Seriously Ill for Medical Research. (2000). Animal Research Has Led to Medical Breakthroughs. In D. M. Haugen (Ed. ), At Issue. Animal Experimentation. San Diego: Greenhaven Press. (Reprinted from Serious Illness and Medical Research: The Role of Animal Experiments, www. simr. dircon. co. uk/research. html, n. d. ) Retrieved from Opposing Viewpoints. 6.