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EN 102

Sabrina Berman EN 102- Paper 5 S. McWaters April 3, 2013 AnAnimal for anAnimal Makes the Whole World Healthier History serves humanity with concrete evidence of the successes and failures of society; is the most logical approach to ignore these past experiences or to learn from them?Animal testing began documentation with “Roman physician Galen [who] dissected pigs and apes to demonstrate that veins carry blood”(“Animal Experimentation”). William Harvey dissected many animals, such as frogs and fish, in the early 1600’s (“Animal Experimentation”).Animals were later on provided for researching the role of microorganisms in causing disease (“Animal Experimentation”). During WWII, an increase in animal experimentation emerged, which lead to the development of “open-heart surgery, organ transplants, treating diabetes with insulin, and other medical advances” (“Animal Experimentation”). Many people argue that animal experimentation is “cruel” and “unethical,” but these animal activists exaggerate statistics to gain support; two thirds of Nobel Peace Prize winners in the medical field conducted research on animals (“Animal Experimentation”).Also, only “seven percent of the procedures” involving animals do not use anesthesia or pain medication because it would alter the results of the experiment (“UsingAnimals for Medical Testing Is Both Ethical and Essential”).Animal testing has lead to innumerable cures for the human race and animals.Animal activists also argue that the animals are unprotected, but the government has enforced laws to regulate the situation. In 1966, TheAnimal WelfareAct was enacted and amended six times; this law “sets minimum standards on how animals should be housed, treated, and transported” (“Animal Experimentation”). Animal researchers also choose to regulate their own practices, in addition to honoring government regulations, such as TheAssociation forAssessment andAccreditation of LaboratoryAnimal Care International. They set their “own guidelines and rules promoting the comfort and welfare of laboratory animals (including rats and mice)” and also organize “inspections to ensure its accredited members comply with its standards” (“Animal Experimentation”). One of the most detrimental issues involved with animal experimentation are the rebellious acts performed by radical animal activists; their actions interrupt the work of scientists and doctors, which causes the research procedure to become very expensive and inefficient: Members of Animal Liberation Front and other groups have harassed animal researchers, broken into laboratories, released animals, and destroyed equipment and data. In one case in 1999, activists ransacked twelve laboratories…disrupted dozens of research projects, and ‘liberated’ one hundred pigeons, rats, mice, and other animals. These tactics have been called ‘domestic terrorism’…research centers have spent millions of dollars in securing their laboratories. The Animal Enterprise Protection Act, passed in 1992, makes it a federal crime to cross a state border to physically disrupt an animal research facility (“Animal Experimentation”). A compromise must be constructed for this domestic terrorism to cease. People against animal testing aim for the entire practice to become illegal, but this solution is illogical; it would damage the progression of science and medical fields enormously. Animal experimentation is a necessity to the advancement of scientific research. Activists are interrupting significant research studies that could lead to future medical advances. PETAand other animal activist organizations can have their ideas honored through a process of feasible arrangements conducted by the government. Rather than the eradication of animal testing, laws can be created to alleviate the tension between the two sides of the argument. This dispute over the existence of animal testing can be resolved through the enactment of several laws that require: alternative methods to be conducted prior to animal testing (in vitro methods and computer modeling), amending the Animal Welfare act accordingly, employing a sufficient amount of USDA inspectors to oversee the experiments, and guaranteed protection over the animals. Animal activists are fighting for the rights of animals but their idea of a “solution” would cause more harm to the progression of humanity than to the animals involved in experiments. Activists believe animal remain unprotected unless animal experimentation is abolished. This radical decision would cause a notorious decline in medical advances and an unnecessary delay in the discovery of new treatments and medication for humans and animals. Although legal processes take a substantial amount of time, a compromise between the opposing sides of the argument on animal experimentation is feasible. One provision that could be taken accordingly is proposing a law that requires animal researchers to practice alternative testing methods before animals are expended. These animal rights activists complain, “most countries have grossly inadequate regulatory measures” to protect the animals from “suffering and distress” and complain animals are involved when “non- animal” approaches are available (“Using Animals for Medical Testing is Unethical and Unnecessary”). There are several alternatives to animal testing, such as in vitro methods that use “cell and tissue cultures” from animals instead of testing directly on them. These tissues are taken to a lab where their reactions to certain chemicals are recorded. Human cancers cells can also be “cultivated” to create cancer treatments (“Animal Experimentation”). Another alternative to animal testing is computer modeling; these programs “mimic [the] biological processes” of the human body and “predict” how certain chemicals would react to an actual human body (“Animal Experimentation”). However, scientists argue that the human body remains too “complex” to accurately predict the outcomes of chemicals through a computer simulation program (“Animal Experimentation”). This process would be very time consuming and costly for the scientists and researchers, but the money that is now used to finance intense security systems for protection of laboratories would then finance the use of alternative methods prior to animal experimentation. Activists claim that animals are carelessly expended for irrelevant experiments (“Using Animals for Medical Testing is Unethical and Unnecessary”). If researchers practice alternative methods of experimentation prior to animal testing, the animal activists no longer have a valid argument because animal involvement is evident through trials of alternative methods. Litigating the requirement of alternative testing methods prevents animal experimentation temporarily, but activists will not be satisfied with this; they would understand that animals would eventually become involved and remain concerned until animal protection is guaranteed. The Animal Welfare Act is the only current law that protects the treatment of animals (“Animal Experimentation”). PETA and other animal rights organizations argue for the protection of the small animals that are exempt from the AWA such as “mice, rats, birds, reptiles, and amphibians” (“Using Animals for Medical Testing is Unethical and Unnecessary”). Because these animals are exempt from the act, activists criticize its guidelines; for instance, they complain laboratories “don’t even have to count the mice and rats they kill” (“Using Animals for Medical Testing is Unethical and Unnecessary”). Essentially, laboratories that study “exclusively” on these small animals are exempt from any “federal laws or inspections” involving the experiments they conduct (“Using Animals for Medical Testing is Unethical and Unnecessary”). Amending the Animal Welfare Act from excluding these small animals and having the
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