Maltreatment of Animals in Science
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Animals have long been exploited in American laboratories for testing. Over 100 million animals are burned, crippled, poisoned, and abused in labs just in the United States alone. The lack of proper laws and/or regulations against animal testing has prompted this act of disregard to continue. While the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) is set in place to protect animals, it excuses laboratories that use mice, rats, birds, reptiles, and amphibians from minimal protections under the AWA. Even animals that are protected by the AWA are tortured and abused. This act is pathetically upheld and needs to be changed immediately. The argument to continue animal testing in laboratories is non-existent.
Animal cruelty is inhumane as well as ineffective. Diseases such as HIV, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, and many types of cancers are artificially induced in animals to mimic the symptoms normally found in humans. 95% of drugs fail in humans despite their promising results in animal testing. Vioxx, a drug used to treat arthritis, was safe when tested on monkeys and five other animal species but caused around 140,000 deaths worldwide. A recent study has shown that out of 93 dangerous side effects, only 19% are predicted by animal testing. Because of the inaccuracy in animal testing, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves only 25 new medications annually. The drugs that are approved are not always effective primarily due to the differences between humans and animals. Mice, which are the main animals tested, only share 50% of the same DNA as humans and animals do not get many of the diseases humans do.
Europe, the world’s largest cosmetic market, has already banned the use of animals for testing. They have also banned the sale and import of cosmetic products that have used animal testing and as a result nothing has changed. Europe’s cosmetic industry is still thriving and continuing to boom. There is no excuse for the horrid treatment of animals in laboratories and it is our job as civil human beings to rectify this issue and save these animals.
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