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Using Animals for Testing: Pros Versus Cons

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 13 Nov 2019 | comments*Discuss
Benefits Animal Testing Pros Cons

There are many pros and cons to the practice of animal testing. Unfortunately, neither seem to fully tip the scale to a side that pleases everyone – including the general public, government and scientists.

Pros or Postives of Animal Testing

1. Helps researchers to find drugs and treatments:
The major pro for animal testing is that it aids researchers in finding drugs and treatments to improve health and medicine. Many medical treatments have been made possible by animal testing, including cancer and HIV drugs, insulin, antibiotics, vaccines and many more.

2. Improves human health:
It is for this reason that animal testing is considered vital for improving human health and it is also why the scientific community and many members of the public support its use. In fact, there are also individuals who are against animal testing for cosmetics but still support animal testing for medicine and the development of new drugs for disease.

3. Helps ensure safety of drugs:
Another important aspect to note is that animal testing helps to ensure the safety of drugs and many other substances humans use or are exposed to regularly. Drugs in particular can carry significant dangers with their use but animal testing allows researchers to initially gauge the safety of drugs prior to commencing trials on humans. This means that human harm is reduced and human lives are saved – not simply from avoidance of the dangers of drugs but because the drugs themselves save lives as well as improve the quality of human life.

4. Alternative methods of testing do not simulate humans in the same way
Scientists typically use animals for testing purposes because they are considered similar to humans. As such, researchers do recognise the limitations and differences but the testing is done on animals because they are thought to be the closest match and best one with regards to applying this data to humans.

Cons or Negatives of Animal Testing

1. Animals are killed or kept in captivity:
In animal testing, countless animals are experimented on and then killed after their use. Others are injured and will still live the remainder of their lives in captivity.

2. Some substances tested, may never be used for anything useful:
The unfortunate aspect is that many of these animals received tests for substances that will never actually see approval or public consumption and use. It is this aspect of animal testing that many view as a major negative against the practice, as it seems that the animal died in vain because no direct benefit to humans occurred.

3. It is very expensive:
Another con on the issue of animal testing is the price. Animal testing generally costs an enormous amount of money, as the animals must be fed, housed, cared for and treated with drugs or a similar experimental substance. On top of that, animal testing may occur more than once and over the course of months, which means that additional costs are incurred. The price of animals themselves must also be factored into the equation. There are companies who breed animals specifically for testing and animals can be purchased through them.

4. Animals and humans are never exactly the same:
There is also the argument that the reaction of a drug in an animal's body is quite different from the reaction in a human. The main criticism here is that some believe animal testing is unreliable. Following on that criticism is the premise that because animals are in an unnatural environment, they will be under stress. Therefore, they won't react to the drugs in the same way compared to their potential reaction in a natural environment. This argument further weakens the validity of animal experimentation.

Personal Choice

While there are numerous pros and cons of animal testing, the ethical aspect overshadows both of them, which means that emotion may be the ultimate determining factor in whether a person believes the benefits of animal testing outweigh the problems associated with the practice.

For more information about the ethics of animal testing on this site, read the following features:

1. The controversy of animal testing
2. Medical treatments that have been found as a result of animal testing
3. Medical trials on humans.

External Resources

Read around the subject at external sites - here are two very good resources:

The BBC education page on animal ethics

The Government legislation relating to animal testing

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IrishJesus - 11-Nov-19 @ 10:41 AM
ok updte my pet gorla iz fat cuz he gotted teiged on, so sd.
clouuse - 11-Nov-19 @ 10:41 AM
bravo 6 this is bravo 4 we have a man down!
bravo 4 - 6-Nov-19 @ 11:30 AM
nvg lads we got hostages to save lets move out
bravo 6 - 6-Nov-19 @ 11:27 AM
i was testing to see how long animals could go without oxygen so we could move our civilization to a new planet.
bro - 6-Nov-19 @ 11:21 AM
i was testing my left nut to see if it would last before i die
animals suck ass - 6-Nov-19 @ 11:19 AM
Of course theres a 'karen' complaining on here lmaoooo
nigsqueezer420 - 24-Oct-19 @ 2:46 PM
i fuly supirt anmal testyng ait moder he cow and chcen
drek - 24-Oct-19 @ 10:19 AM
you sucked up little punks The kill animals you dipwads.
jayden - 22-Oct-19 @ 9:19 PM
i am rat i was tusted un ad it dyd a hirt i lyved bit i sybbirt anmimal tusting
i am rat - 30-Sep-19 @ 7:38 PM
eggs, CwumseEeE Qacc Qacc, jimmy egg, sAd BiRb, and Bile Ilsh; Your language isn't funny and is in fact very immature. This topic is no laughing matter. I shall be reporting you to the website director and asking to have you banned from either this site or comment sections. Thank you for your ignorance to show as a bad expel to society.
Karen McKeegan - 28-Sep-19 @ 12:11 AM
WHy stel meh doyg it madyde me var ysad I cried four ntomtoewr pls halp @sAd BiRb
eggs - 27-Sep-19 @ 7:17 PM
dnt leik anumils tussing cus iit bab pher dh anumils
CwumseEeE Qacc Qacc - 26-Sep-19 @ 7:28 PM
wjt hek myd og very sik from anmla tstg ples help am cri
jimmy egg - 26-Sep-19 @ 7:23 PM
@Bile Ilsh: very sd for doggo, snding halp from teh polees. wil captur bad man hoo stol d'34oggo
sAd BiRb - 23-Sep-19 @ 7:37 PM
henlo frenz, iz ostrich and is sad becwuz anmil tiesig iz much bad, big no no. My cuzinz teh jirafs are sd becwuz wun uv them is smol been due to anml tesig. plz stahp or all oschrich wil attacc
sAd BiRb - 23-Sep-19 @ 7:31 PM
I don leik anmal tyest cuz it bad. My d.ogg very sd wen he se anmal tsting adds and he cri. It very sad ;(
Bile Ilsh - 23-Sep-19 @ 7:25 PM
Hi, I am not an expert about animal testing or something but I know that if we don’t test medicine on animal who well we tested on. All of you who are against animal testing should know that we need to test medicine on something ( not humans).
I don’t care q - 16-Sep-19 @ 8:20 AM
global warming is a myth. prove me wrong.
bro - 13-Sep-19 @ 9:28 AM
I curse anyone that test animals I have two pet rats and I wouldn’t even think about resting them never ever ever if someone poked you with a needle all day that would change your mind about it
Mickymouse - 11-Sep-19 @ 10:15 AM
animal esting is horrible and cruel how would you like it if a dog started poking needles in you that could kill you now that would change your name. (sassy click)
mickyyyy - 10-Sep-19 @ 3:08 PM
I am going to hate everyone that says they should be tested like whatever ??-?-?
ads - 30-Aug-19 @ 11:36 PM
I hate animal testing it is very very stupid most of the time it is not valid
Herobrine - 19-Jul-19 @ 1:26 AM
i love my dog but i also love test subjects #love my dog
kumquat - 3-Jun-19 @ 10:07 PM
my buddy caden clarkson smashed his osuin then the kid came out and it had alot of problems like the engine was broken inside its nose was in his mouth
kumquat - 3-Jun-19 @ 9:58 PM
my main goal is to blow up. then act like i dont know nobody
agagagagagag - 28-May-19 @ 9:25 PM
"i am against this stupid animal testing cause no matter what it doesnt mean that animals are the same as people there are some people that could be allergic to some kind of meds that were tested on animals"-Cobra ALso im agianst it becuase of how they treat them like its really sad they dont show love or affection there just treated like wild animals ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
#THickerthanAsnicker - 13-May-19 @ 3:53 PM
Look, in one year, we eat up to9,150,000,000 animals if not more. When we experiment on animals, we use a little over 26,000,000 a year. If you really want to save the animals, then turn vegan. They would be able to save more animals by turning vegan, than scientist testing on humans instead of animals. One does not have an effect to anyone, while the other saves a life, and that life could be yours.
AF - 10-May-19 @ 3:27 PM
also, to the person asking 'why do you think it's called an animal cell', humans are superior, yes, but we still are living sentient beings that can move and therefore use animal cells. your argument is flimsy and easily defeated. try commenting again once you actually know about this topic and/or have a intellectual argument.
... - 24-Apr-19 @ 3:30 PM
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