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Facts About Animal Testing

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 21 Jan 2018 | comments*Discuss
Animal Testing Quick Facts Controversy

Animal testing involves a lot of controversy and confusion regarding its practices, implementation and monitoring. Conflicting opinions and exaggerated information can also compound the confusion. It's helpful to examine some of the most important facts to better understand the different aspects of animal testing. This means that you can make a more Informed Decision regarding your stance on animal testing and which aspects, if any, that you support. It also means that your understanding can allow you to actively participate in any discussion about animal testing as well as contribute to organisations that have a focus related to animal testing, whether the organisation supports or condemns the practice.

Fast Facts

Animal testing is used to assess the Safety and Effectiveness of Drugs as well as understand how the human body functions. It is also used for education and training.

Animal testing is used for research, typically in a laboratory environment.

Those who defend animal testing do so for its impact on medicine and health. Animal testing is held particularly important for its contribution to the development of insulin, antibiotics, vaccines and drugs with high mortality rates such as cancer. They cite the suffering and loss of life for animals to be worth the enhancement in human health and the reduction of human suffering. At this time, they don't believe that Alternatives to Animal Testing are sufficient to replace the whole organism in all cases.

Those who are against animal testing cite it as a hurtful, cruel and scientifically lacking practice. They also claim that the benefits are often misconstrued. They believe that alternatives such as cellular or computer models are sufficient enough to replace animal models.

A key point of debate in animal testing is the inability of animals to give informed consent. Animal rights activists often cite that human experimentation is appropriate specifically because of this informed consent.

Animal testing can occur virtually anywhere in the research process although it usually does occur prior to drug testing in humans. It may, however, also occur after a human trial.

Animal testing for cosmetics is banned in the United Kingdom (UK). Non-cosmetics animal testing in the UK is strictly regulated and monitored. The government assesses the level of severity of animal testing under the bands mild, moderate, substantial or unclassified.

  • Internationally, animal tests are used for everything from drugs to cosmetics.
  • In the UK, universities are the top users of animal testing, followed by private companies, charities and the government.
  • Primates and other mammals are the least commonly used animals for testing in the UK. Primates do, however, remain one of the most controversial animals used for testing purposes.
  • In the UK, millions in estimated damages are caused each year to property by animal rights activists. Millions are also spent each year on policing and preventing damage.
  • The vast majority of medical treatments you have used were, at one point, tested on animals.
  • In the UK, the majority of animals used for testing purposes are rats.

Making a Choice

Animal testing is riddled with debate and misconceptions, both on the sides of animal testing supporters and those who are against it. Aim to learn more about the facts of animal testing so that you can make an informed decision regarding its benefit and validity in your life.

What to Read Next...

If you would like to explore more animal testing facts read our article on Quick Statistics on Animal Testing.

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[Add a Comment]
just because these animals can't communicate with us doesn't mean that they should die because we want to know if a drug is safe or not. I don't know why we have to kill these living things when they have the same right to life as all humans do, if we can live a nice peaceful life then why can't they?
josh - 21-Jan-18 @ 2:46 PM
animals were here before us and now we're treating them like nothing, killing them, burning them and abusing them. the world is a sick place if we do that to animals.
nope - 12-Nov-17 @ 12:19 AM
Alex is a stupid niiiiiiiiiii Gerrrr
Keemstar - 7-Jul-17 @ 12:20 PM
i am a fat cow and i love to shag
fat cow - 7-Jun-17 @ 2:14 PM
We are doing a debate about animal testing. What can you say that will help us prove that it is okay
lol_laughing_lolagai - 2-Jun-17 @ 5:28 PM
comcome on people why are you doing this to these poor and sweet animals that neber caused any harm, i mean we had to give my dog to the pound cause he was to hyper and his nails were to long and it hurt my little brother and every time i think of yall burning animals i think of my dog and what yall people could be doing to him righ now
devin - 7-Apr-17 @ 8:44 PM
No animal should have to suffer for us humans to live. They are innocent creatures that they just wish for so long to be free. If you had a choice to lend your animal to the lad to get tested on you would most likely say no because who wants their animal to have no legs or no eyes, or other things that were not there before, or they could even have died. These animals should deserve a home that will treat them right. These animals have been through enough.
Against animal testi - 17-Mar-17 @ 4:41 PM
According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way a bee should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies anyway because bees don't care what humans think is impossible.
meme - 10-Mar-17 @ 9:12 AM
it shouldn't be allowed idiots
69 - 4-Mar-17 @ 8:34 AM
I am also doing animal testing for a school internal and would like some information on a certain type of testing which is Genotoxicity/ mutagenicity do you have any negatives towards the testing on animals. if that is possible
Hijnij - 26-Jun-16 @ 10:55 PM
im doing animal testing at school can you tell me some facts about for and against animal testing
jjmjgkikl - 13-Apr-16 @ 10:04 AM
I love deez nutaz especially animals deez nutz :)
deez nutz - 9-Apr-16 @ 1:10 PM
i am doing a project and im dissagreeing could anyone help on opinions?????????
Icy Cold Winters - 7-Apr-16 @ 9:24 PM
It's sad really cause innocent animals are getting harmed for what reason just for shampoo and all that stuff that we use.
Awesome - 15-Mar-16 @ 6:39 PM
I think that medical animal testing is okay. Only 3% of animal deaths come from medical animal testing, and medicine is something most people can't live without. That being said, I also think that cosmetic animal testing should be stopped completely. 97% of animal deaths come from cosmetic animal testing, so that's a LOT of animal deaths. Makeup is something a lot of people live without, so why do we even feel the need to test it on animals? I mean, can't we just test it on humans? That's what Lush does, and you can even be PAID for doing it, so why don't we just do that???
EmeraldJoJo360 - 3-Mar-16 @ 4:18 AM
I love that they are testing on animals because it kills them. I would also like to test some animals myself... If you know what I mean. -Micah DeMontgomery
WildcatsMicah - 2-Mar-16 @ 7:31 PM
animal testing is wrong its like testing on humans YOU WOULDN'T DO IT the animals were here first so respect that
blocky - 9-Feb-16 @ 9:02 AM
Animal testing could save someones life, they aren't locked up they get taken to the doctors house and get taken care of.
Pat - 3-Feb-16 @ 12:40 PM
92 out of every 100 drugs that pass animal tests fail on humans. Over half of side affects can't be detected in lab animals.Less than 2% of human illnesses are ever seen in animals, and over 98% never affect animals. 92% of drugs passed by animal tests immediately fail when first tried on humans because they are useless, dangerous, or both. The two most common illnesses in the world are lung cancer from smoking and heart disease. Neither can be reproduced in lab animals.
luna - 5-Dec-15 @ 9:39 AM
So unhappy wiv lab tests. I love animals. screw dead animals
georgegriffiths - 30-Sep-15 @ 3:12 PM
I know that i dont know all the facts but i am against animal testing, because there are other way other than animal testing, although i know we cant test it on humans there are other cellular tests and things like that which are proven to me more effective. also animal testing doesnt always work because 92% of animal tested products fail and end up hurting humans anyways. Now i have nothing against people with the opinion animal testing should continue because it can prove helpful in some way like when animal testing fails they dont put it on the market and just remove it. So 880/972 dangerous drugs are removed and are not going to be used for products. So either way there is Pro's and Con's. Im not saying i know everything im just saying my opinion.
GilNightray - 10-Jul-15 @ 5:18 PM
i think that animal testing is so rude to the animals and the animals that you tested on they could of had a good life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ladybug - 12-Jun-15 @ 2:52 AM
It's definitely debatable, i'm on both sides, i feel that only mice and rats should be provided for testing, maybe even fish, but rabbits and anything bigger is just over the top.
Tristan - 20-May-15 @ 5:53 PM
IJIM disagree with animal testing
JJ - 17-May-15 @ 8:07 PM
do not ever test animals! how rude.
Dr. Bunnyphoo - 13-Apr-15 @ 6:17 PM
I think that animal testing is cruel
jj - 13-Apr-15 @ 6:11 PM
As most of you disparage animal testing, please think about this fact as well: Substances tested on animals for later human use also can help prevent your own animals such as pets or exposed wildlife if they eat, drink, or absorb it through their skin for treatment so that they do not die. Just because you feel that animal testing is wrong doesn't mean you have all the facts. Once you know everything then attempt to make an unbiased decision, remember to put yourself in every hypothetical situation. Ex. "Today I found out that my child has ... he can be saved however his treatment was tested on animals; whose live is more important your child's or an unknown animal that was tested upon."
catlover - 3-Mar-15 @ 1:30 PM
i highly disagree with animal testing and believe it should not exist.
abbie - 26-Feb-15 @ 9:51 AM
The only reason I say no to dissection or testing is because I hate humans and want all dead
Jasper Davis drives - 24-Feb-15 @ 5:41 PM
I don't think it's fair the animals to lose their lives because animal testing testing could be good for something so as human Stacy but I think it's very cruel and extremely rude because animals have a life just like us humans you Magent waiting on a hospital bed and then one or two second right after there's a gigantic needle or something huge injecting into your body that can be poison gosh who knows no one knows and every day and animal loses her lives because of this animal testing ??????????
Brooke - 22-Feb-15 @ 8:35 PM
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Latest Comments
  • one word cruel !
    Re: Cats and Dogs Used for Testing
    All the scientist that have tested on animals should half to feel what those animals are feeling!
    22 January 2018
  • Human with a heart
    Re: Cats and Dogs Used for Testing
    First of all i think testing on animals is cruel !!!! Alot of people ask me would you rather save your pet or your dog , well…
    22 January 2018
  • josh
    Re: Facts About Animal Testing
    just because these animals can't communicate with us doesn't mean that they should die because we want to know if a drug is safe or…
    21 January 2018
  • karen
    Re: Animal Testing in Canada
    They have other alternatives that are more productive then using animals. Stem cell research as well as new software applications are…
    18 January 2018
  • Youdon'tgetit
    Re: What Happens to Animals After Testing?
    I hear so many people saying how horrible animal testing is. I don't think you know that you have endorsed and…
    16 January 2018
  • sar bear
    Re: Allegations of Abuse in Animal Testing
    I believe that animal testing should be banned too
    12 January 2018
  • Jdawg
    Re: Animal Testing on Cosmetics
    To be clear, animals are not used for cosmetics testing in the UK, nor can you import animal tested cosmetics or their ingredients.…
    6 January 2018
  • Slick
    Re: Allegations of Abuse in Animal Testing
    Evidence shows animals have feelings and intelligence that are the basis of their subjective experience and of the…
    21 December 2017
  • Chilli
    Re: What Happens to Animals After Testing?
    Can you all please get off your high horses. The fact of the matter is that the FDA will not allow drugs be tested in…
    14 December 2017
  • my opinion
    Re: Animal Testing Myths
    I don't think they should do drugs on any animals but if it has to be done they should try to do it on a animal that is already dying after…
    14 December 2017
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