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Science

Harming animals in the name of science is morally indefensible, but there are also important scientific problems with using animals that cannot be ignored.

The Problem

The BUAV estimates that on average at least 115 million animals are used and killed in the name of science every year, worldwide. The UK is one of the largest animal testing countries, carrying out over 4.1 million experiments in 2012 alone. Yet this use of animals is not only cruel but unproductive. Animals do not get many of the human diseases that people do such as heart disease, many types of cancer, HIV, Parkinson’s disease, or schizophrenia; these have to be artificially induced in the animal. The resulting ‘animal models’ are usually crude and incomplete representatives of the human disease. It is not surprising, therefore, to find that treatments tested on these ‘animal models’ rarely work in humans so not only are animals’ lives (as well as money and time) being wasted but that effective treatments are being mistakenly discarded. There is very little scientific evidence for the claims that animal tests have saved human lives. Indeed when scientists review the effectiveness of animal experiments over time, the results are damning.

For more information click the links on the right.

The Solution

Replacing animal tests does not mean putting patients at risk. It also does not mean halting medical progress. Replacing animal testing will improve both the quality and humanity of our science. Thankfully, the development of alternative methods is a growing scientific endeavour. Due to innovation in science, animal tests are being replaced in areas such as toxicity testing, neuroscience and drug development. However, much more needs to be done. The reasons why animal testing persists are often not scientific but conservatism within the scientific establishment and the bureaucratic hurdles to implementing and enforcing the use of alternative methods. The BUAV is working to save as many animals as we can by exposing cruel and pointless experiments and by encouraging regulators to promote and accept alternative methods to animal testing.

For more information click the links on the right.