Where Does Animal Testing Occur?
Animal testing can occur in a range of locations, which often relates to the focus of those performing the research and the intended audience. Private companies, for example, are scattered all across the world and are more likely than a university to undertake research outside of the home country. One reason for this is due to the less stringent regulations on animal testing that exist in other countries, which allows researchers at private companies to outsource their animal testing and thus be more likely to avoid prosecution for any potential abuses. Testing must occur in a facility with ample space and materials required to house the specific animals to be used. Checks are performed in most countries with animal testing regulations. This maintains quality of care for animals and also identifies any hazards within the facilities or any abuses that may be occurring.
Private facilities include an endless list of product applications, from pharmaceutical companies testing drugs and treatments to cosmetics companies testing a lipstick formulation. Industrial chemicals, household products and shampoos all utilise animal testing. Given the desires and wishes for consumers to have a virtually unlimited array of products to choose from, private facilities are major ones. For some, laboratories may be remote or they can be contracted through hospitals or in central city areas.
Government laboratories are quite extensive and include many organisations that fall under the non-profit umbrella but are representative of the government and rely primarily on government funding. These types of laboratories are often medically or environmentally based and focus on eradicating some of the most detrimental diseases that threaten human life. Government laboratories are, however, now particularly focused on using non-animal models of testing whenever possible as a response to public scrutiny and criticism regarding the practice of animal testing. These include computer models and cell cultures, among other techniques. In particular, these types of models are thought to be important and beneficial for testing in areas such as pesticides and household cleaners.
Many non-profit organisations perform animal testing to further their organisational goals and aims. An organisation that is focused on treatment and support for those with cancer, for instance, may have facilities to perform animal testing. In a sense, some non-profit facilities are government laboratories but they are set up under non-profit status and they are strongly focused on improving public outcomes through their research and use of animal testing.
Universities are research focused, for the most part, and their international and national standing improves when research ratings are high. Facilities are based at the university and will be available in different departments, depending on the research focus. University laboratories can actually be particularly advanced because they involve animal testing for research facilities as well as student learning. One example of the educational aspect would be medical students performing dissections.
Animal Testing Regulations
It's important to remember that whether an organisation is private, non-profit, government based or at a university campus, the rules and regulations all apply to each facility. Animals must be treated humanely, respectfully and with care to their basic needs as well as being given any pain relievers where appropriate to minimise animal suffering.