Use of animals in scientific experiments dates back to the nineteenth century. It involves conducting sciethe ntific experiments using animals as test objects. In past decades, the number of animals used in experiments has increased significantly. Ithe n the 1980s, the number was smaller owing to public resistance and financial constraints that reduced frequency of research.
Research studies estimate that about 100 million animals are usthe ed in scientific experiments every year (Watson 31). In the European Union alone, approximately 11 million animals are used as scientific test objects every year (Watson 31). Examples of animals used include rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, dogs, cats, birds, fish, and mice.
Use of animals in scientific experiments should be abolished because it the violates animal rights, causes stress and suffering, and alternatives are available that could exclude animals from the unethical ordeal.
First, animal use in scientific experiments should be abolished because it violates animal rights (Watson 35). Similar to humans, animals have rights that should be respected and upheld. Animal welfare is always in danger of compromise by research scientists who use crude methods of animal handling and research procedures. Animal welfare is violated by exposing animals to harsh living conditions and using procedures that hurt them.
It is impossible to create a lab environment that guarantees optimal growth and development of animals in the same way natural environment does. Even though the lab environment is controlled, it differs significantly from the environment of animals’ natural habitats. Many animal breeding and confinement facilities are small and desolate. Animals need a free and challenging environment to avoid apathy, aggression, and boredom.
Housing structures used in laboratories encourage boredom, isolation, and overcrowding. Boredom leads to self-injury while overcrowding leads to aggression towards other animals.
Secondly, animal testing is unethical and inhumane because it subjects animals to pain and suffering through the use of inappropriate procedures (Watson 36). It is unethical to use methods that inflict pain and suffering on animals. Most experimental procedures cause stress, fear, and intense pain. Many researchers do not use drugs to alleviate pain because they claim that drugs interfere with the accuracy of results.
This subjects animals to intense pain. Everyday procedures such as injections, blood retrieval, and animal handling cause stress in considerable amounts.
Procedures that hurt animals include crushing of spinal cord in rats, seizures, drilling holes through skulls, skin branding in pigs and sheep, and inserting plastic bags through the throat into the stomach. In addition, animals bred for experiments are killed when experiments are complete. This is unethical and inhuman because animals have a right to life.
Thirdly, animals testing in experiments should be abolished because other alternatives are available (Watson 38). In addition, alternative methods are faster, more accurate, and cheaper than the use of animals. These methods are more accurate because they predict human reactions to certain products such as vaccines and drugs.
Therefore, they should be encouraged. Despite the availability of alternative methods, animal use is still rampant in colleges, universities, and research institutions. Some research companies have yielded to public pressure and adopted the use of alternative methods.
However, many others are still adamant and use animals for experiments. Governments fund many research projects. However, the money is used to support experiments that cause pain and suffering to animals. Instead, the money should be used to fund experiments that guarantee faster and more accurate results.
Opponents argue that the use of animals in experiments should not be abolished because it has made remarkable contributions that cannot be ignored. They argue that the use of animals in experiments has resulted in monumental discoveries and research findings that have improved human welfare. These discoveries include new treatment remedies for diseases, the discovery of vitamins, vaccines, and antibodies.
In addition, they are used to test the safety of drugs before human beings use them. However, animal use is unethical and cruel. Abolishing animal use is both ethical and humane because it will foster animal welfare and uphold their rights. Existence of cheaper and faster alternatives renders the use of animals immoral. These medical discoveries could have been achieved if alternatives to the use of animals were used for experiments.
Animal testing in experiments is both unethical and inhumane because it uses cruel research methods that inflict pain and suffering on animals. These methods include skin-branding, insertion of plastic bags through mouths of animals, crushing of spinal cords, and injection with potentially poisonous drugs and chemicals. Opponents of the abolishment of animal use argue that it has led to great contributions in the medical field.
They claim that animal experiments have led to monumental discoveries that have improved human welfare greatly. Even though their argument is valid, it ignores the fact that the discoveries have caused great stress and suffering to animals used in the experiments. Moreover, alternatives to animal use are available.
These alternatives are better than animal use because they are faster, more accurate, and cheaper. Animal use in experiments should be abolished because it subjects animals to great suffering, pain and stress violates animal rights, and because of the availability of cheaper, more accurate, and faster alternatives.
Watson, Stephanie. Animal Testing: Issues and Ethics. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2009. Print.