Animal Testing Facts That You Should Know

animal testing facts

Animal testing also called in vitro testing, animal testing, and phlebotomy, is the study of animals in vivo or in situ testing, utilizing inanimate objects in experimental methods to manipulate the factors that influence the biological system behavior under study. The importance of animal testing can hardly be overstated. Every medical or industrial product must pass strict requirements for the quality and purity of the product that it manufactures if it wants to retain a place in the market or be trusted by consumers. In this competitive market, companies’ first impression on prospective consumers can be quite the determining factor in whether they gain market status and establish themselves as reputable manufacturers. This is why animal testing is inevitable.

More Than A Hundred Million Animals Are Used For Animal Testing

A bird sitting on a ledge

According to some sources, more than a hundred million animals are used in animal testing across the world each year. India is said to be home to most animals that undergo such testing and are used in pharmaceutical and food productions. Animals are used for various reasons, ranging from simple tests for eye function and skin sensitivity to research purposes like studying reproductive behavior in animals and finding out the effects of carcinogens on humans. Animals are also used in veterinary medicine for pre-surgical blood tests and tissue samples for bone and muscle analysis. In any case, the animals used are usually paid for by the pharmaceutical or biotechnological company conducting the research.

There Many Medical Experiments Conducted Every Year

A close up of a dog

In the field of medical experimentation, animal testing facts can be very confusing. There are just so many different experiments being conducted on so many thousands of different mammals and bird species. Some pharmaceutical companies have even lost track of the exact number of animals used in their drug development process! For example, one drug company claimed that they had used ten million animals worldwide in clinical trials and that their new product’s efficacy was established.

But how true is this? How true is it that we are putting these innocent creatures through suffering when they are not even aware that we are killing them in the process? The sad truth is that most animal testing is performed to determine the safety, toxicity, and even effectiveness of the many pharmaceutical products that are developed each year. And some of the results are never made available to the public or to the scientists who do the research.

New Artificial Eye Tissue Manufacturing Process

For example, take a study being conducted on rats that were to be used in a new artificial eye tissue manufacturing process. At first glance, it would appear that the scientists should have taken many precautions before handling these animals. They would surely have noticed that there are no signs of disease in the animals, which would suggest that the new tissue is healthy. However, the scientists did not take any precautions and let the animals live until they died. Only after these animals’ deaths did the scientists conclude that the new tissue being produced was indeed healthy.

The same thing can be said for humans. When scientists discover that the mice are dying soon after being injected with the human growth hormone, they often do not conclude that this is due to a deficiency in the growth hormone. Instead, they conclude that the human body’s lack of growth hormone is causing the mice to become smaller. This conclusion may be true in many respects, but the mice also showed better lung capacity, higher heart rate, and other physical improvements, which are not found in the smaller mice.

Animal Experiments Are Not Always Accurate

We can conclude that the results of animal experiments are not always accurate, and it is only through the efforts of dedicated and well-funded animal testing and medical research teams that we get to know what is happening to the animals. For instance, there are many instances where scientists have used laboratory animals that are genetically very similar to humans to conduct medical research. These animals are then given drugs that are known to cause side effects in humans. But after extensive research, the scientists have still proved that the drugs are safe for the animals.

Final Words

All this information should appreciate that animal experiments are important and necessary, but that there are sometimes conflicting interests among the various parties involved. While the drug companies want to make quick money, they are not necessarily concerned about what happens to the animals during the drug trial. Politicians and others who benefit from animal experimentation may want to use the trial as a way to get more tax dollars. And finally, some people want to see animals treated humanely, but they may not want to pay more taxes to fund these activities.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter