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What is Animal Testing?

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 12 Dec 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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These are my own opinions on animal testing - they are not perfect but they won't be far wrong.Written for the animals. Humans could be tested on more, slowly and in teensy ways.The public and prisoners can be experimented on (voluntarily), as long as they want to and are able to consent to it.They would need good rewards, and do so only at a small risk.People could be paid to be tested on instead of putting money into expensive animal maintenance. A lot of people get cancer these days, and some experimenters say that it becomes a matter of 'mouse cancer' to deal with, not human cancer.Animal tests are inaccurate in order to account for human ones.Not caring for an animal means not caring for a human. Computers in animation sounds like amazing new technology, it must be that the animal's senses and everything is recorded on the screen. They could invent a computer animal/human. Computer wizards need to be working on this new technology 24/7 and brainstorming, as we speak.Make a human robot with feelings someone! My knowledge nowadays of Pavlov's dog is that it had something implanted into its jaw, sounds like a mean animal experiment. We could all catch a mutating disease perhaps from the animals as they could live in dirty laboratories.I have seen footage of testers without gloves on when handling animals, and so then they touch the ingredients, and so on. Testers inject awful human diseases into animals and animals don't get these kind of diseases. They will stop animal testing in cosmetics, it is a question of when. Animal testing for food and drugs is next hopefully. The public want this stopped effective, immediately, and then the new ideas will spring forth. It is better to give 'animal test' a new name of 'animal abuse'. Chemicals for me are annoying, I like natural ingredients, that is the way of the future.
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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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Eazy - 31-May-16 @ 2:37 AM
This helped with my research assignment soooo much! thank you!
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.
jazzy - 11-Apr-16 @ 4:26 PM
i love this deeze nuts gatcha this web has cruel things im reporting it
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Briannaisboss - 16-Mar-16 @ 12:37 PM
I love this site I was doing a project on animal testing and I foundthis site it gave me all the info I needed
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.
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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
Hi. I'm a kid from an Australian school. I was asked to do a project on animal cruelty and theme I found out all this info. Wow! It's just cruelty!
RiantheNerd - 15-Apr-15 @ 3:50 AM
I love this site helping me with my school,work thanks
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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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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