• Question: are you for or against animal testing?

    Asked by minecraftherobrine to Ivan, Jessica, Nicola, Sarah on 20 Nov 2013.
    • Photo: Jessica Liley

      Jessica Liley answered on 20 Nov 2013:

      If I really had to choose, I think I would be for animal testing. It’s a really horrible part of research, but I think they are often an essential part of scientific discovery. Research is tested on cells and tissue cultures a lot, which is safe and brings no harm, but some questions can only be answered by testing on living things. (And I don’t think any human would be happy to put themselves forward instead! (In the early stages of a drug trial, for example.))

      So many discoveries like antibiotics, asthma medication and vaccines could never have been found out without animal research. I don’t think it is enough just to use cell cultures (called “in vitro” research), or computer modelling, sometimes we need to use something living with similar bodily functions to us (“in vivo”).

      One of my friends works with rats and mice to try and discover new medicines for Heart disease. She often reminds me how important animal research is to bring about new drug discoveries which are essential for humans. I also know from her that animal testing is never ever taken lightly – the controls they have to go through with the government is really strict, and there are so many rules which mean no unnecessary harm or hurt is done to animals. They are always sacrificed in the safest and best way possible.

      This is just my opinion though, many people have very different views! I guess it’s quite an ongoing controversial topic!!

    • Photo: Nicola Potts

      Nicola Potts answered on 20 Nov 2013:

      This is quite a touchy subject but I’m personally against animal testing.

      For me the greatest thing is I don’t see an animals life as any less than a humans and therefore don’t want to see them suffer or put through pain.

      A lot of great work is being done with artificial body parts rather than testing on animals and I would like to see more money put into that! It’s still a way off being like testing on an entire system (like an animal) but I hope great results for new medicines etc will be found in this way.

    • Photo: Sarah Tesh

      Sarah Tesh answered on 20 Nov 2013:

      This is a difficult question. I am against animal testing but I think I agree with Jessica in that unfortunately, with where science is at the moment, it is necessary for the development of new medicines. I don’t agree with using animals for cosmetic testing, it is vain and unnecessary, but there have been so many life saving break throughs in medicine because of animal testing.

      Personally, during my life I’ve had to be quite reliant on a variety of tablets because of health problems. I’m not sure the medicines would have been at such a developed and evolved stage or be as effective without the animal testing part. Like Jessica said, at the moment there is no substitute for testing on living things and very few people would volunteer to be the test subject.

      But, on the other hand, as Nicci has said they are developing alternatives. It’s just, unfortunately, until science advances and an alternative proves very successful, animal testing is a sad and horrid necessity for progress in medicine.