DEMAND AN END TO ANIMAL TESTING IN THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

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We demand the end of use of non-human animals in research

Vivisection, or “animal testing”, is the cruel practice of subjecting non-human animals to experiments that are painful, psychologically damaging and often fatal. They are considered too atrocious to conduct on humans, yet other sentient beings with equal capacity for suffering are routinely used and abused in this way. In the most recently available data, over 134,281 non-human animals were used for research by the ANU and CSIRO alone. This included the use of dogs, mice, rats, rabbits, cats, sheep, birds, native wildlife and amphibians.


We demand that:

  • Amendments to the Animal Welfare Act (1992) be made to ban animal testing of any kind in the ACT and to impose penalties on individuals who test, breed, or otherwise use non-human animals for research and teaching
  • All institutions performing animal testing including the ANU, CSIRO, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), and the ACT government commit to no further animal testing being approved.
  • Remove all use of non-human animals in coursework immediately, including dissection classes in primary and secondary schools, and in tertiary courses.
  • Increased funding for research which provides an alternative to animal testing including scholarships for early career researchers and students

What’s wrong with vivisection?
Vivisection, the practice of using non-human animals as test subjects in medical testing, is deeply unethical.


Morality
We first and foremost oppose the racing and exploitation of a fellow sentient being on moral grounds. Animals used in scientific experiments are conscious beings capable of suffering and we oppose any intentional harm to them. We reject speciesism in all its forms, including purposeful use of individuals for hypothetical gains of another, including that of humans.

Cruelty
The sentient beings utilised for science are usually purpose-bred, often with purposeful deformities or disorders, starved of normal social interactions and indeed anything resembling a normal existence. In Australia, there are primates such as macaques and baboons, dogs, cats, rats and mice, and cephalopods currently imprisoned in sterile cages and tanks awaiting invasive, painful and often fatal experimentation. They will never experience kindness, nor will many even see natural daylight

Inefficiency
Whilst there have been notable human health benefits resulting from animal testing, the bulk of research using animals does not result in such progress. Experiments are often justified by career researchers and the medical-industrial complex as necessary for human health and progress, however the costs and resources of using animal models in fact holds medical research back and has resulted in endless poor studies of little benefit to anyone.

Between 92% to 96% of drugs tested on animals and found to be ‘successful’ do not work in human subjects [1][2]. The reasons for this are the differences in physiology between the animals subjected to these experiments and humans, the artificial conditions of the laboratory (lighting, exposure to stressors, restricted housing), genetic alterations to lab animals for uniformity, poor understanding of disease and condition presentation in non-human animals (especially in the neurological and behavioural sciences), and the artificial induction of conditions which do not mirror the natural processes of disease in humans.

Further, many oft-quoted studies examining comparative results between humans and non-human animals have demonstrated exceedingly poor predictive value and misleading results [3]. The quality of research using animals is exceedingly poor and this partially due to the broader academic pressured to produce novel results to secure grant money and publication resulting in selective analysis, but also due to the poor study design and failure to account for differences in physiology [4].


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Reference:

1.Harding, A. (2004). More compounds failing phase I. The Scientist, 18(17), 47-48.

2. Pippin, J. J. (2012). Animal research in medical sciences: seeking a convergence of science, medicine, and animal law. S. Tex. L. Rev., 54, 469.

3.Matthews, R. A. (2008). Medical progress depends on animal models-doesn't it?. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 101(2), 95-98.

4.Pound, P., & Bracken, M. B. (2014). Is animal research sufficiently evidence based to be a cornerstone of biomedical research?. Bmj, 348, g3387.