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What Happens to Animals After Testing?

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 24 May 2019 | comments*Discuss
Animal Testing After What Happens

Many members of the public are interested to learn what happens to animals after they are used for testing to ensure they are treated humanely. In fact, those who work with these animals often share this sentiment.

Virtually everyone cares about the well being of animals and it’s important to make sure animals are ethically treated not only during testing but also afterwards. However, we first need to briefly look at what is happening to animals during testing before we can understand the decisions needed regarding animal welfare after testing.

Animals During Testing

You may already know that animals are used in testing for a variety of purposes. In more recent years, their use in cosmetics has been banned in many parts of the world. During testing, animals may receive anesthesia to control or eliminate pain they could potentially experience.

As expected, what will happen to an animal after testing depends on its health and viability after testing. Since many experiments conducted on animals are actually considered minimally invasive, these animals will be used again for testing purposes in another experiment. Such minimally invasive experiments can include the provision of blood or urine samples from the animal.

Where surgical procedures are involved, an animal may be euthanized after the experiment. For example, an animal may have tissues or organs removed for analysis after a treatment.

Many people do not realise that animals used in experiments are usually bred in captivity. These animals cannot simply be sent into the wild or into homes as they would not be able to cope and survive. While some people question why this does not occur, the reality is that it would not be humane to do so despite it seeming like an attractive option in theory.

Euthanizing Animals After Testing

For animals that must be euthanized after testing, this is done quickly and humanely to avoid any pain to the animals. There is a wide variety of methods used to euthanize animals after testing, depending on the animal.

Some animals are euthanized using a gas that is inhaled and results in rapid death. The animal may be put into a chamber where it will then inhale the gas. An example of a gas used is carbon monoxide.

Another method used to euthanize an animal after it is used for testing is a sedative or anesthetic. In fact, such methods are used in water to euthanize fish that have been used for animal testing.

There are other methods used that may sound rather barbaric but actually result in a very fast death for the animal. These methods involve physical force such as decapitation or breaking the animal’s spine. Often, this is the method of choice for smaller animals.

Yet another option is brain irradiation. This allows a researcher to still keep brain tissue while causing rapid death to the animal. Typically, this method of euthanization is appropriate for rodents. Although not widely used, gunshots are also used to euthanize animals after testing. Electrocution is used as well, particularly for larger animals such as cattle or sheep.

Common Misconceptions About Animals After Testing

A common misconception about animals after testing is that they can simply be released into the wild or adopted. For a variety of reasons, this would be far less humane than killing the animals. For instance, there are strict laws and regulations controlling the release of animals into the wild. When it comes to the idea of adoption, animals used for testing would not be able to cope with the home environment. Most animals used for testing are bred specifically for that purpose. Also, the injuries sustained from testing would make it unrealistic for them to be placed in a home.

Caring for Animals After Testing

There are, however, still some rare exceptions where it can be successful to place animals in a ‘home’ after testing. There is one ranch in particular that has accepted animals after laboratory testing. Animals accepted include sheep, pigs, dogs and cats. Such places, however, are a minority.

What Can You Do?

Members of the public continue to be concerned about what happens to animals – both during and after testing. What you can do is to stay up-to-date on news about animal testing to learn more about how these animals are treated.

Contrary to popular belief, most scientists and animal technicians care deeply about animals and want to ensure humane treatment during and after animal testing. These animals are used to find treatments to improve and save human lives. However, the animals’ well-being is also respected to the fullest extent possible. The small number of researchers who have brought a poor name to the area of animal testing are held accountable by members of the public – just like you – who write letters and campaign publicly against such treatment.

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i am working on a project for school and my topic is animal testing i would be so happy if you could help me answer some questions. my question is how has animal testing changed over time
Gianna - 24-May-19 @ 7:29 PM
Animalsshouldn't be tested on because of the fact that they feel emotions and pain as any other human so why not just test in on humans if you need living creatures for research I bet you there'd be a lot of people willing to do it for money but the animals don't even get anything in return like the rest of their lives being free from any issues(like they live on with food and water and do what they want).
oof - 22-May-19 @ 5:50 PM
reasons why animal should be tested on first of al animal testing has contributed to many lives saving and provide cures and treatment for human disease. we can't use any other thing than animals because they check the safety of products destined for human use by testing it from animals
Dr.convee - 15-May-19 @ 9:11 PM
Keep in mind that these test could've been on a human.
Person - 16-Apr-19 @ 5:00 PM
This is it true, 92% of products tested on animals fail when tested on humans. There are cheaper, more effective, and more efficient alternatives to cosmetic testing. If you want to know what these animals go through on a daily basis, watch a video, and if you have any soul or compassion you will never support a company that uses animal testing again. It’s pretty straight forward, the animals we eat suffer tremendously, the products we By have been formed by suffering. I’m a vegan because I’ve seen things that many of us don’t, THE REALITY. Take an animal you love, and imagine the most cruel, disgusting experiments being done to them, now multiple that by 100 billion: that’s why I became vegan. If you buy meat from a factory farm, or buy detergent that’s come from animal testing, you are supporting animal cruelty, there is no way around it. Go and watch the reality, you will never look at yourself the same again, I GUARANTEE IT
BluesFan16 - 16-Apr-19 @ 4:15 PM
Animal testing is cruel and wrong. Most tests fail so why do people do the tests anyway. There is one test where they would break a beagals jaw and than pull out all of their teeth to try a new dental implants even though they don't have the same shaped jaws as us.
DezzyRae - 19-Mar-19 @ 1:53 PM
animal testing SHOULD BE BANNED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
cat55522 - 12-Feb-19 @ 10:01 PM
We’ve got a lot of human trash hanging around in prisons. Do experiments on pedophiles and serial killers.
Bla - 8-Feb-19 @ 2:53 AM
Everyone that is saying that it’s fine, for both medical or cosmetic use, I think that you’re wrong. Why should animals be dying and being sacrificed for human gain? Why should an animal die because a human wants to live longer or look prettier? If humans want to make a medical or cosmetic advancement that involves testing, they should get a human to be their test. An animal has no idea what is going on, only pain. A human would know what is going on and why. I think animal testing is horrible and should be abolished entirely.
xxcjx_x - 6-Feb-19 @ 6:40 PM
I've been looking more and more into this and it more I read about it in more discusses me.This is cruel to animals and all kinds and I think it is sad that we do this animals. I wish we can do something about it but the bad thing is it's kind of needed... I don't like but we sadly have to. P.S. I also have animals to i have a cat, 2 dogs, 8rabbits and 3 horses.
Spacedoglover001YT - 5-Feb-19 @ 10:20 PM
This article is so sugar coated my hands got sticky just reading it. These animals are tormented for cosmetics even though its not even mandatory in the United state. They are putbdisn afterwards bc they r in such poor health due to all the experiments they undergo. You can not test on animals & then turn around you care for them and have their best interest at heart . It takes a hallow soul to go to work everyday & inflicting pain on a living creature.People need to wake up and stop believing everything they read.You want an eye opener? Watch videos of how these animals are treated,how they cry out in pain , how their broken down bodies are barely even able to stand up
Elle - 27-Jan-19 @ 5:35 AM
what the heck is wrong with you why are animals being tested on in the first place they are going to react differently than humans :[
animal lover - 16-Jan-19 @ 7:29 PM
Animal shouldn't be tested on cosmetics period.
123QUEEN - 11-Dec-18 @ 1:54 PM
I think that animal Testing should be limited to rats and other rodents.
Da Doc - 9-Nov-18 @ 12:53 PM
Also by the way, if you want human testing instead of animal testing, you know how much more inhumane that is compared to animal testing, or at least equal. We're animals too, it changes nothing, except more guilt of killing a fellow equal person to those who say animals are equals too. Its not like the results change that much, animal testing is very accurate compared to humans, and also if you want prisoners to be tested on, they're as helpless as animals and is basically almost like sending them off to death row, as they will likely die. So if you agree with death row, or sending humans to be tested on, you are still a hypocrite.
LiterallyTheTruth - 23-Oct-18 @ 11:34 PM
I think it's horrible I think they should test on prisoner that kill others murders and rapists instead of helpless baby animalspeople are sick in the head .
Char - 23-Sep-18 @ 12:19 PM
I hate animal testing. whoever invented animal testing should be drunk out on the street and shot
kiki - 18-Sep-18 @ 8:46 AM
Absolutelydisgustinganimal testing,poor animals, born ,live a horrible life, then die cruelly,you must be horrible people to work in an environment like that.
MC - 15-Sep-18 @ 12:27 PM
lots of scientists need the Bible and Jesus in their lives,they don't realise that what they areb doing is wrong and evil.I wanted to be a scientist at first but now im having second thoughts when reading this.Who else agrees with me that this should be stopped NOW?Comment back to me if you do agree.
Linzi - 2-Sep-18 @ 8:01 AM
Animal testing is very cruel and should be stopped IMMIDIATELY!!!Imagine if humans were tested on how would you feel?The part that hurts me the most is where it says that rodent's spines are broken,infact the whole area that mentions how animals are euthanized.I was crying and i still am.We are losing rare and majestic animals that helped us improve the enviroment.These animals are soon gonna be extinct,then we might forget how animals looked like or even what were they.Some animals get mutated and some die and don't even survive for a minute.Now scientists listen and listen closely,God made animals for a reason/purpose not to be tested on just like he made us he didn't make us to get tested on did he?You all need the Bible.When animals are extinct you should just remember most of them died because of you.You all need Jesus in your life and you need him NOW not later NOW!!!You hear me.
Linzi - 1-Sep-18 @ 5:28 PM
Animal testing is very cruel,people should stand up to scientist that want to test a chemical on an animal.We are losing rare and majestic animals that help us to make the enviroment better for example:some animals take out alien plants which take up a lot of water and space.Animals die from these and soon we might forget what they looked like or if they even existed,they are soon gonna become extinct.So scientist you might be smart but you should know one thing,that you were the ones who were killing these precious creatures that God created for a purpose and soon we are going to forget them because of you.I'm not saying don't test things i'm sayingn don't test them on these majestic animals.
Linzi - 1-Sep-18 @ 4:40 PM
Why does it have to be animals? Why can't we have human volunteers? How many hairsprays do we really need? How many animals are we going to kill for the same tacky lipstick?
red - 21-Jun-18 @ 8:21 AM
I think animal testing is cruel and should never be done to animals because they did not do anything to you so you should not do anything to the animals that can not protect themselves they are not even being used for anything good they are just being used to die
greatat - 8-May-18 @ 5:47 PM
I see a couple people saying that testing should be done to people who deserve it such as criminals.I just want to say that there is a law regarding this, saying that humans cannot be tested on for the first trial. Instead, I (and many others) suggest that scientists should use alternatives. I know most have posted comments in 2015 and 2016 and have probably changed their mind by now, but I wanted to give my... viewpoint.
Bandit - 22-Mar-18 @ 1:54 AM
I DONT LIKE ANIMAL TESTING IT SHOULD NOT BE ALOUD and i agree with ccec and Tiahna
urmom - 15-Mar-18 @ 7:42 PM
This article is the standard propaganda.Aside from the fact that the anesthesia that the animals"may" receive is often not given, the whole thing is a FRAUD from top to bottom. Everyone should read "Vivisection Or Science, A Choice to Make," by Dr. Pietro Croce, which is available to read onlline. Vivisection is not done to find cures or help people.It's done to protect corporations, make money, and it provides a safe haven for psychotic sadists. As Dr. Anna Kingsford, England's first woman doctor wrote (and she is so right): "The spiritual malady that rages in the soul of the vivisector is in itself sufficient to render him incapable of acquiring the highest and best knowledge. He finds it easier to propagate and multiply disease than to discover the secret of health. Seeking for the germs of life, he invents only new methods of death." WAKE UP, people.Don't buy the lies anymore.
Suki - 14-Mar-18 @ 7:20 AM
Animal testing is cruel, and should not be done as often to ensure animals' safety. Animals aren't ours to use, wear, or eat really. Most of the time, animals are NOT given pain medicine to help them through the procedure, and many die during or after the test. One test involved holding a rabbit's eyes open with clips, trapping it in a sock, and putting chemicals in the eyes, not letting the rabbit blink it away. Just to see how it would affect the eyes. this was most likely REALLY painful to the animal.
Bridget - 15-Feb-18 @ 2:12 PM
I think that animal testing is good and bad at the same time. The good thing is that it has created many cures and other things that help humans, the bad thing is that it harms and kills a bunch of animals every day.
:) - 12-Feb-18 @ 10:58 PM
many people think that testing id good but they are just stupid like the people who eat tide pods
Allison - 2-Feb-18 @ 5:58 PM
I hear so many people saying how horrible animal testing is. I don't think you know that you have endorsed and supported animal testing. Almost every pill, every vitamin, and every medicine you've taken has been tested on animals. Animal testing has resulted in cures for so many conditions and diseases. It is a necessary part of medicine and the health industry. I've heard so many people complain about it, but nobody has suggested a better alternative. Computer programs are not advanced enough to accurately predict the risk of certain treatments, and cell cultivation is even more inefficient than animal testing. I ask any one of you to present me with an argument that isn't straight pathos. Please dispute me, animal testing is the best logical course of action.
Youdon'tgetit - 16-Jan-18 @ 4:56 PM
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