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What is Animal Testing?

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 25 Oct 2017 | comments*Discuss
Animal Testing Uk Drugs Products

Animal testing is a phrase that most people have heard but are perhaps still unsure of exactly what is involved. Whether it is called animal testing, animal experimentation or animal research, it refers to the experimentation carried out on animals. It is used to assess the safety and effectiveness of everything from medication to cosmetics, as well as understanding how the human body works. While supporters believe it is a necessary practice, those opposed to animal testing believe that it involves the torture and Suffering Of Animals.

Understanding Animal Testing

Animal testing is conducted virtually everywhere and its uses are broad. In the UK, standards are quite strict with regards to animal testing and monitoring is similarly rigorous. Animal testing only occurs if there is no other viable alternative to the methods. Animal testing may take place at:
  • Universities
  • Medical schools
  • Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies
  • Military defence establishments

Using Animal Testing

Animal testing is used for countless products and applications. Everything from toiletries to medications have likely been tested on animals at some point prior to their distribution. Some of the products that commonly involve animal testing are:
  • Cosmetics
  • Drugs
  • Food additives
  • Supplements
  • Household products
  • Pesticides
  • Industrial chemicals

Animal Testing for Medical Treatments

Virtually every available Medical Treatment today has, to some degree, involved animal testing. The animals themselves may be bred specifically for testing or they may be captured in the wild. There are also commercial establishments that sell animals specifically for use in animal testing facilities. Animals are considered to be similar to humans in terms of assessing safety, which means that there are Strict Requirements for testing on animals with regards to new drugs.

In the UK, for example, a new drug must have been tested on two different species of live mammal. However, those who are opposed to animal testing and view it as an unnecessary infliction of suffering cite that the stress an animal experiences will impact the accuracy of the results, rendering them useless. For now, however, animal testing is required before drugs and some other products are available for consumer use.

Continued Debate

Animal testing is a controversial subject. Because it is so controversial, the biases that exist on either side can skew the accurate definition of the practice. Those against it would reply that animal testing creates pain and suffering. They would tend to define animal testing as nothing more than animal suffering. Those who support animal testing may define it as experimentation that uses animals to benefit humans, where it saves lives and provides vital medical treatments.

Find out More

Read about the history of animal testing in our article Background and History of Animal Testing.

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BRAAAINZ - 25-Jan-17 @ 9:22 AM
Thanks for helping me to get some ideas about animal testing
Maliya - 7-Oct-16 @ 7:36 AM
Hey so i have a problem. Our school supports Jeans for Genes and we do lots of charity work. I'm a huge believer in no animal testing and I was researching about Jeans for Genes and apparently they use animal testing. I know its morally wrong but Im inclined to just let it go and go ahead promoting it but idk......
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Debs - 30-Jun-16 @ 1:52 AM
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dinosaur - 5-May-16 @ 1:06 AM
This site is very help full, as I was doing a project on animal testing and needed to know information this site as told me a lot but I am against this because we should not be hurting poor animals but at the same time I think this is a good idea because we would not of been able to survive with out testing on these animals.
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Jot - 11-Jan-16 @ 2:08 PM
Cruel to monkeys they're no different to us,but not cruel to rats they are pests.It's all foryour own benefit. Inhumanity would be if it was tested on humans first.
Liya - 8-Dec-15 @ 6:46 PM
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Shingly - 26-Oct-15 @ 3:33 PM
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Kyla - 24-Aug-15 @ 8:19 AM
So So cruel, how can people do this to animals, they are living beings like us, what puts us above them??????
Dylan - 19-Aug-15 @ 11:01 AM
@Someone, There's a difference between testing potentially deadly things on babies and on rats bred for that purpose.Babies may not have a voice, but they're still human.Rats aren't.Personally, I think that if you feel so strongly about not testing on rats, you should volunteer to be given cancer and test a drug that may or may not kill you.If you aren't willing to, wouldn't it make sense to do it on not a human?
me - 20-May-15 @ 10:09 PM
I think animal testing is very crusial to animals because it is very bad i think by caitln jean laura mary mccourt
Katie - 13-May-15 @ 4:31 PM
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RiantheNerd - 15-Apr-15 @ 3:50 AM
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Trap trap trap - 17-Feb-15 @ 5:54 PM
Some animal testing really cannot be justified at all!
TC - 28-Jan-15 @ 11:07 AM
What about the horrible suffering animals go through with some of these experiments? They don't have a say because they can't speak for themselves, why don't we test on babies?? They cannot speak just like animals. There's basically no difference but people would think of it to be horrible because its a child that cant speak for itself. Same goes with animals don't you think?
Someone - 19-Nov-14 @ 3:43 AM
Thanks @Corcor glad you find it useful.
AboutAnimalTesting - 4-Nov-14 @ 9:55 AM
It is very useful information for all ages
Corcor - 3-Nov-14 @ 10:21 AM
@interested. There is lots of information on this website, giving impartial details about all aspects of animal testing. Check out each of the categories first to scan through the lists of articles. Keep an eye for topics in the news and the media as this is a subject which can be emotive and controversial.
AboutAnimalTesting - 14-Oct-14 @ 11:59 AM
I would really love to know more about this subject.Can you help?
Interested - 13-Oct-14 @ 7:10 PM
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