• Petitioned United States Department of Agriculture

This petition was delivered to:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
United States Department of Agriculture
Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate

United States Department of Agriculture: End unnessasary Animal Testing for Medical, Product & Educational Research.

    1. Melinda Vickery
    2. Petition by

      Melinda Vickery

      Coldwater, United States

Just as unethical experimentation on a group of humans cannot be justified by a benefit to humanity at large, the same holds true for animal experimentation. Like humans, animals are sentient beings with interests in their own lives and freedom. To treat them differently and say that experimentation on non-human animals is justified but experimentation on humans is not would be speciesist.

In the United States, the Animal Welfare Act appears to set certain minimum requirements for the humane treatment of non-human animals in laboratories and other settings, but in fact is very ineffective. For example, the AWA explicitly excludes from protection all rats and mice, which make up approximately 95% of the animals used in laboratories. The AWA also requires institutions that perform vivisection to have Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees that are supposed to oversee and approve the proposed use of animals, making sure that non-animal alternatives are considered. However, since IACUC’s include the institution’s own researchers, they tend to rubber stamp the proposals. Furthermore, the AWA does not prohibit invasive procedures or the killing of the animals when the experiments are over. The AWA tends to address more superficial concerns, such as cage size, toys, and anesthesia.

However, regardless of how large the cages are or whether the animals are anesthetized before they are cut open, vivisection is antithetical to animal rights because animals have a right to be free from experimentation, imprisonment, and killing.

How many animals are used in vivisection every year in the US?

No one knows. Because the AWA does not cover mice or rats, these animals go unreported unless the experiments lead to published research. Estimates range from 17 million to 70 million to 100 million.

Does ending vivisection mean ending medical progress?

Ending vivisection would not end medical progress, because non-animal research would continue. There are so many medical issues that go unexplored because of lack of resources, if we took all the resources that go into animal research and redirected them towards non-animal research, we would continue to make medical progress. Some examples of the types of research that would still continue include human cell and tissue cultures, epidemiological studies, and ethical human experimentation with fully informed consent.

What kinds of medical advances were made without vivisection?

The cause and cure for scurvy were discovered without using animals, with studies done on human subjects who already had scurvy. The first vaccine was invented in the 18th century without animal experimentation, when people were inoculated with cowpox in order to build up their resistance to smallpox. Penicillin was also discovered without animal research. More recently, the Heimlich maneuver was developed without vivisection and has saved countless lives. Also, studying human populations has led to many important medical discoveries, including the connection between heart disease and cholesterol, and the connection between smoking and cancer. Does ending vivisection mean ending medical progress?

Ending vivisection would not end medical progress, because non-animal research would continue. There are so many medical issues that go unexplored because of lack of resources, if we took all the resources that go into animal research and redirected them towards non-animal research, we would continue to make medical progress. Some examples of the types of research that would still continue include human cell and tissue cultures, epidemiological studies, and ethical human experimentation with fully informed consent.

What kinds of medical advances were made without vivisection?

The cause and cure for scurvy were discovered without using animals, with studies done on human subjects who already had scurvy. The first vaccine was invented in the 18th century without animal experimentation, when people were inoculated with cowpox in order to build up their resistance to smallpox. Penicillin was also discovered without animal research. More recently, the Heimlich maneuver was developed without vivisection and has saved countless lives. Also, studying human populations has led to many important medical discoveries, including the connection between heart disease and cholesterol, and the connection between smoking and cancer. 

One of the most significant trends in modern research in recent years has been the recognition that the results of animal tests are rarely relevant to humans. Studies in esteemed publications such as the Journal of the American Medical Association and theBritish Medical Journal have repeatedly concluded that because of the fundamental biological differences among species, animal tests do not reliably predict outcomes in humans. These same studies have also concluded that the overwhelming majority of animal experiments fail to lead to medical advances that improve the health of humans and, in fact, are often dangerously misleading.

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    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 8 months ago

      Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character; and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.

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    • Erica Writesel COLUMBUS, UNITED STATES
      • 9 months ago

      PLEASE SIGN

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    • Hilda Pessoa RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
      • 9 months ago

      Animals do have feelings and they do suffer. It's a matter of respecting creation.

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    • Diana Baritz ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
      • 9 months ago

      End unnecessary animal testing!

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    • Lígia Silva RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
      • 9 months ago

      Sou estudante de veterinária e acredito que o bem-estar animal deve estar em primeiro lugar.

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