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Facts About Animal Testing

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 18 Mar 2017 | 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]
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
Animals should not be treated this way. Humans are animals too, but just because we put ourselves in a better ranking than these poor animals does not make it right. I live for the day to see this animal cruelty banned.
worldpeace - 19-Feb-15 @ 7:53 PM
Thanks for an informative article
TC - 28-Jan-15 @ 11:03 AM
Will there ever be a time when animal testing is banned?
C - 28-Jan-15 @ 10:58 AM
god bless all the animals who have lost their live i say i say no sir to the man with that cruel idea p.s. amen
Rev'd Whitie - 27-Jan-15 @ 7:58 PM
Would you test a new cancer drug on an animal if you knew it would save your aunty's life?
controversy cat - 22-Jan-15 @ 1:52 PM
@Pineapples I completely agree! Why should testing animals be allowed when if you burned, poisoned or crippled humans you would be sent to prison for life! The animals were here before us.We shouldn't be taking advantage of them! Think about this the next time you go to choke a monkey to test a new lipstick. Or the next time you shove tubes done their faces. Or even the next time you make a dog smoke cocaine!
Jayjay - 7-Jan-15 @ 11:54 PM
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