The Use of Animals in Scientific Research: The Good and the Bad

In biological research, animals have been used for a long period. This is because many researchers believe that it is the best way to research on a whole living organism effectively.

They defend this method with the claim that there is a countless number of treatments both for humans and animals that have been successfully developed through animal testing.

While this argument is correct, those who are opposed to it claim that the benefits of animal testing are so few that it should be abolished and other methods be used.

So, if you are thinking of carrying out a research project using animals, you will need to weigh the benefits of the research versus the ethical concerns about the animals.

The good

Animal testing has brought tremendous health benefits with the discovery of drugs like antibiotics, vaccines, insulin and penicillin among many others. If this kind of research were to be stopped, it is possible that new discoveries and medical treatments that would have been developed in this way will never see the light of day.

Apart from this, different kinds of surgeries and transplants are now possible thanks to experimentations that were done on dogs.

Apart from the research being beneficial to humans, it is also good for the animals because new treatments that are discovered are also being used to treat animal diseases. In other words, you can say that a few numbers of animals are sacrificed for the greater good which is to save other animals as well as human beings.

When drugs are developed even though other research methods other than animal testing, it is tested on animals to figure out their safety before commencing any human trials.

Although human physiology may be different from that of animals, it will give an idea of what to expect regarding things like side effects.

The bad

The primary concern surrounding animal research is the ethical issues that are associated with it. For instance, the majority of the experiments done on animals are painful and causes a lot of suffering to the animals given that they are unable to defend themselves. The worst part of it is that the research process usually takes long period of time.

The handlers of research animals are not usually good and careful. Many of them do not adhere to good practices regarding the handling and care of experimental animals.

Most of the time, even though the lab is spacious and outfitted with modern glass sinks and other amenities,  these animals are confined to small spaces without proper feeding. This abuse is minor when compared to the needle poking, cuts, chemicals, and infectious strains and falls that these animals have to endure during tests.

During animal experiments, most of the animals die in the process. You could say that animals die every time they are slaughtered for food but at least those get to die in one shot, not after a long time of suffering. This is despite the fact that 92% of all animal research projects fail.

The discussion on whether or not to use animal testing is a long one and while alternative and effective ways of testing are yet to be found, animals will continue to be at the center of it. What is required is the humane treatment of animals during the entire testing process.

This can happen by using methods that have been proven to cause the least impact on animals like lab animal ID during the identification process.

Another thing is to reduce the number of animals involved in ensuring that only important and promising research are carried out on animals. This means that animals should not be used in any form of misleading research or commercial testing.

Author Bio:

Jim Thompson

Title: Super-Connector at OutreachMama

Jim is a super-connector with Towering SEO and OutreachMama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking.  He is a professional writer who has been in the business for 5 years. He has hands on experience with cars, tech, and relationship advice, among other things. Because of how quickly he can turn articles around, he is able to take on multiple projects at once. His writing experience spans from SEO articles to technical guides and everything in between.