The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?  (Read 13764 times)

Offline Titanscape

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 785
    • View Profile
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« on: 05/10/2011 05:25:25 »
www.peta.org asks for help to stop animal based research. Is such research necessary? What has it accomplished before? How can it be replaced?


 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8648
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #1 on: 05/10/2011 06:57:21 »
It's very expensive and generally unpopular.
Do you think people would keep doing it if it were not necessary?
There are already moves to replace it, but they really are not up to the job yet.
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #2 on: 05/10/2011 07:39:51 »
There are very strict review guidelines for animal experiments, and most experiments are done with minimum levels of discomfort for the animals.

Without anthropomorphizing animals too much, for some animals, life in a cage with regular meals, care, and cleaning may be better than for those living in the wild with irregular food sources, predators, weather, and etc.

The next time a new medication comes onto the market, you are welcome to volunteer to be the first to test it out.  Perhaps you and a buddy could team up to help determine the LD50 of the med.

There may be some things that don't require animal testing.  However, many of the tests are absolutely necessary.  New medications can not be introduced to he market without thorough testing of both efficacy and safety.  Not all of it can be done in a petri dish. 

And, while old meds may be good for some things, there is demand for new medications.  For example, unless a new class of antibiotics is developed soon, antibiotic resistance may grow into a far more serious problem.  New and better treatments for illnesses are being developed all the time.
 

Offline Don_1

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6890
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • A stupid comment for every occasion.
    • View Profile
    • Knight Light Haulage
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #3 on: 05/10/2011 10:29:54 »
While I agree that animal testing is a foul deed, there just doesn't seem to be a reliable alternative yet. Of course drugs should be tested in other ways as far as is practical and will give valuable results, but the final analysis seems to be only reliable with animal testing.

Testing of drugs is an unfortunate necessity, but testing of cosmetics, personal hygene products, household cleaners etc is totally unnecessary. We have more than enough of these products as it is.

One thing which concerns me, is that PETA and other bodies seek to outlaw animal testing in the UK, USA, Germany, France etc. I would rather have the testing done in these countries, where there are strict regulations to protect animals from unnecessary pain and suffering, than to have the testing carried out somewhere where such regulations are lax or nonexistent. And please do remember, that some of this animal testing is done for the benefit of the animals concerned; they too need drugs from time to time.
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #4 on: 05/10/2011 17:55:41 »
I would rather have the testing done in these countries, where there are strict regulations to protect animals from unnecessary pain and suffering, than to have the testing carried out somewhere where such regulations are lax or nonexistent.

I would also rather that drugs targeted for use in the USA would be developed in the USA or Europe rather than developing them in Nigeria where one can never be certain what the truth is.

There is also the risk of exporting human trials overseas.

In some cases it may be appropriate, for example testing AIDS vaccines in areas with the highest endemic infection rates, but there is always a risk of other motives for running the tests overseas.
 

Offline chris

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5337
  • Thanked: 65 times
  • The Naked Scientist
    • View Profile
    • The Naked Scientists
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #5 on: 05/10/2011 23:38:48 »
The reality is that, whilst a petri dish is a very good substitute for a mouse in many ways, it hasn't got an immune system. Were it not for experimental animals, we would not be able to perform organ transplants, we would not have made the advances in stem cell therapy that now save lives on a daily basis and, as alluded to above, many of the drugs that are in mainstream use would have had a much riskier route to market.

Animal experimentation is one of the most heavily regulated activities in the UK. The paperwork that a researcher must complete in order to obtain a personal and project license to permit them to carry out their desired investigations is rainforest-demolishingly large.

Furthermore, to keep a cohort of mice in an animal unit for scientific purposes now costs more than the average person's house.

And with grants and and scientists' time at an all-time premium, no one can afford to pursue this line of work without good reason.

"Good," you might say, since this will reduce the rates of animal experiments being conducted.

Sadly not. Instead what is happening is that the preclusive costs are leading to scientists being forced to establish testing collaborations with other countries - chiefly china - where in comparison there are virtually no regulations or financial deterrents to the use of animals; hence laboratory animal welfare in these settings is unlikely to be as high as it would be were the work being conducted in Britain.

So, by introducing over-burdensome and over-priced regulations, we've shot ourselves in the foot twice over: 1) because we're haemorrhaging IP and money to China, and 2) because the animals are actually coming off worse in the long run.
 

Offline ablestmage

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #6 on: 06/10/2011 05:10:26 »
I find it curious that pet owners would object to animal testing, when animal testing is how the very pet food that owner purchases is determined to be beneficial. How else would they be able to tell if pet food were beneficial to animals, had they not tested the food on animals?  How is it not hypocritical, to be against animal testing, yet purchase food unashamedly that was tested on animals?
 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8648
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #7 on: 06/10/2011 07:12:02 »
Medicines are tested on humans; do you refuse to use them?
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #8 on: 06/10/2011 08:43:53 »
Pet foods are vastly different than animal testing. 
They are mostly derived from natural products and byproducts, and may just fall under GRAS.  Protein levels, however, may be manipulated based on information gleaned from other studies.

Do they actually test the pet foods to see if pets like them?  Or is it mainly marketing to appease pet owners?

The Chinese, of course, failed to test a synthetic protein supplement melamine that made its way into US pet foods with disastrous results in 2007.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_adulteration_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_pet_food_recalls

Actually, apparently melamine had been studied as early as 1953 (animal studies), and the toxicity had been known long before the Chinese added it as a pet food supplement in 2007.
« Last Edit: 06/10/2011 08:45:50 by CliffordK »
 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8648
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #9 on: 06/10/2011 20:53:06 »
A friend of a friend of mine used to work for a pet food manufacturer as a taster.

The animals on which pet foods are tested get paid.
 

Offline chris

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5337
  • Thanked: 65 times
  • The Naked Scientist
    • View Profile
    • The Naked Scientists
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #10 on: 07/10/2011 08:02:16 »
...
A friend of a friend of mine used to work for a pet food manufacturer as a taster.
The animals on which pet foods are tested get paid.

...in Pedigree Chum, presumably?
 

Offline damocles

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 756
  • Thanked: 1 times
    • View Profile
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #11 on: 07/10/2011 15:03:05 »
from CliffordK

Quote
The Chinese, of course, failed to test a synthetic protein supplement melamine that made its way into US pet foods with disastrous results in 2007.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_adulteration_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_pet_food_recalls

Actually, apparently melamine had been studied as early as 1953 (animal studies), and the toxicity had been known long before the Chinese added it as a pet food supplement in 2007.

Melamine is not actually a "synthetic protein supplement". It is a very simple chemical whose sole purpose as a pet food additive is to mimic protein in analytical chemistry tests so that the protein content of a product appears to be higher than it really is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melamine

It is indeed quite toxic; its actual biochemistry is more closely related to that of cyanide than to protein.
 

Offline imatfaal

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2787
  • rouge moderator
    • View Profile
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #12 on: 07/10/2011 16:20:26 »
The Chinese, of course, failed to test a synthetic protein supplement melamine that made its way into US pet foods with disastrous results in 2007.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_adulteration_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_pet_food_recalls
 

With respect; the damage to US pets is unimportant in my opinion - the real scandal is that 6 children died and 50,000 were hospitalised because melamine was used to artificially boost the protein test results of baby milk. 

I am implacable opposed to the death penalty so I will not condone the chinese authorities actions in response - but the culprits, who did this action to make extra money in full knowledge of the potential dangers were executed.

Guardian Story Here
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #13 on: 08/10/2011 01:54:16 »
Ahem! Just to lighten things up a bit, this reminds me of a very old story:

The key players in a pet food company were all assembled in the board room to review the latest dog food product and all the promotional material. After an interminable series of presentations from marketing, operations, sales, etc. etc., the wise old CEO stopped the meeting and asked,

"But will dogs eat it?"
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #14 on: 08/10/2011 04:57:19 »
"But will dogs eat it?"

I suppose that is important...  a bit.
The question of whether the dogs actually like it is irrelevant, as long as the dog owners like to buy it.

Heck, many dogs I've seen would be perfectly happy eating manure.
 

Offline MikeS

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1044
  • The Devils Advocate
    • View Profile
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #15 on: 08/10/2011 07:16:48 »
My dogs all time favourite is donkey poo.
 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8648
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #16 on: 08/10/2011 14:55:29 »
...
A friend of a friend of mine used to work for a pet food manufacturer as a taster.
The animals on which pet foods are tested get paid.

...in Pedigree Chum, presumably?

No, she was paid in pounds sterling.
 

Offline chris

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5337
  • Thanked: 65 times
  • The Naked Scientist
    • View Profile
    • The Naked Scientists
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #17 on: 08/10/2011 21:54:42 »
So do dogs have to pay tax on their "earnings"? I'm wondering if I could get my pets "working" for me, testing an (ahem) new variety of dog food I'm inventing; they'll need their expenses covering too, of course...!
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #18 on: 09/10/2011 00:13:04 »
My dogs all time favourite is donkey poo.

Eating it is bad enough, but I really take exception when they decide to roll around in the stuff (we just had to give Shona a bath because she decided Eau de Deer Poop was the fragrance of the month.)
 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8648
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #19 on: 09/10/2011 10:52:42 »
So do dogs have to pay tax on their "earnings"? I'm wondering if I could get my pets "working" for me, testing an (ahem) new variety of dog food I'm inventing; they'll need their expenses covering too, of course...!

Why the talk about dogs? The tester in this case is human.
 

Offline Phil1907

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 71
    • View Profile
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #20 on: 14/10/2011 14:48:27 »
Animal feeding studies are indeed part of the pet food R&D process and they are for the human food industry and testing in are both equaly benign.  Drug, cosmetic, etc indsutries have adopted some in vitro testing and use animals only when other valid models are not available to address the risk.  Even then and as was said before, animal testing is carefully controlled in companies both externally by regulation and internally by systems and animal use protocols.

That said, peta is a dogmatic organization interested 1st in funding that is better raised by its adopting an absolute objective rather than understanding the reasons folks continue to use such testing.  Let's not forget that peta is against even pet ownership.
 

Offline JohnMethyu

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #21 on: 20/10/2011 10:20:44 »
Most of scientist are doing experiment with animals for testing drugs.first they tests drugs on animals then if it is beneficial for animals then they supply that drugs for human.Sometime drugs harmful and dangerous for animals.Better to do less experiment with animals.


spam deleted
« Last Edit: 20/10/2011 10:58:13 by imatfaal »
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #22 on: 20/10/2011 19:22:44 »
Most of scientist are doing experiment with animals for testing drugs.first they tests drugs on animals then if it is beneficial for animals then they supply that drugs for human.
It is not that the drugs are beneficial for the animals.  Or, that the intended use in animals is very widespread.  The target for the drug development is usually humans.  The drugs are just tested in animals to verify efficacy and safety.

How many animals need anti-hypertensive medications?  Anti-Cholesterol medications?

There are some animals that are bred specifically for animal testing.  For example, Nude Rats have minimal rejection of human tissue.  So, they might receive a graft of human tissue, and then receive medications to treat an induced disease condition.

 

Offline Phil1907

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 71
    • View Profile
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #23 on: 22/10/2011 19:05:05 »
Animals are used in drug testing in its preclinical phase.  Verification of safety and efficacy has to come from clincal studies with humans.
 

Offline Airthumbs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 958
  • Personal Text
    • View Profile
Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #24 on: 22/10/2011 21:44:14 »
Without anthropomorphizing animals too much, for some animals, life in a cage with regular meals, care, and cleaning may be better than for those living in the wild with irregular food sources, predators, weather, and etc.

CliffordK!!  How can you say such things!  I am almost speechless, almost..........

For those of you with the same mindset, can you please, when you have the time visit this webpage and have a quick look.

Here is a quick short list of some things that caged animals suffer from.........

Anxiety
Cannibalism
Hair loss
Stress
Death

I suspect that there will be a come back from this along the lines of well certain animals are bred for testing, well in response that's not very nice either is it!!

Yes we all know that we owe a lot to animals, you might even go as far to say they have affected our gene pool?   ;D




 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Are Experiments on Animals Necessary?
« Reply #24 on: 22/10/2011 21:44:14 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums