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Yilei Wang (estella) Kristen Foster CO150.403 28 October, 2013 Should Animals Be Used In Experiments? Animals have helped to develop drug and cure for us at the cost of their life for a long time. In most bioscience labs, dozens of animals, especially rats, are locked in cages, waiting to be poisoned or dissected. Drug factories test drugs by observing their reaction to the pills. Scientists discover treatments to diseases by testing repeatedly on animals. Students studying bioscience learn how our body works by dissecting animals since they are mostly similar to us. Though animal experimentation contributes to many breakthroughs in bioscience history, many people are calling for attention not to use animals in experiments. With millions of animals used in labs every year, the debate whether animals should be used in experiments has been a great concern. For this project, I want to investigate into this heated debate. This topic question is worthy investigating because animal experimentation is an essential part in bioscience, relating to everyone. It is also a great concern for ethical development. The choice between animal friends and scientific development will determine humans health problem in the next few decades. Before talking about should animals be used in experiments, I need to learn more information on animal experimentation. I started with looking for the timeline of animal experimentation. The website About Animal Testing(Murnaghan) offered me basic facts of animal testing. According to Murnaghan, Animal testing prospered after 1922 when animal

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testing allowed for insulin to be isolated from dogs (Murnaghan). Whats more, I learned that Britain was the first country to carry out regulations on animal experimentation. Those regulations were later developed into the 3R rules that are to replace animals, reduce numbers and refine the ways (Murnaghan). To get more accurate, recent and reliable statistics of how animal testing is going, I turned to a statistics report from the UK government. It was Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2012. I found that most of the numbers of animals used in experiments have increased. The summary is included as follows, which I quoted from the report. In 2012, 4.11 million scientific procedures were started in Great Britain, an increase of eight per cent (+317,200 procedures) compared with 2011. There were increases in 2012 in the numbers of procedures for the following species: mice (+379,058 or +14%); sheep (+5,157 or +14%); goats (+1,462 or +746%), up from 196; guinea pigs (+1,203 or +10%); and non-human primates (+545 or +22%). (The Stationary Office) The report reveals that the numbers of animals being used in experiments are still increasing though Britain was the first to regulate animal experimentation. After years of promoting 3R rules, why do the numbers keep soaring? Why did not government use stricter regulations on animal experimentation? Are scientists deliberately ignoring the 3R rules? The report leaves me with wonder why more people are using animals in experiments while government and regulations are encouraging them not to. It was the day after the library instruction class, I decided to look for information in Morgan Library so that I can find some

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formal essays explaining reasons. I searched for books with the key words animal experimentation in database and found the reference book The Animal Experimentation Debate edited by David E. Newton. After scanning the contents of the book, the article The Importance of Biomedical Research grabbed my attention since the title indicates that this essay may give answer to my question, why people are still using animal experimentation? Matt Schaff, the author, is a senior majoring neuroscience at the University of Pittsburg (Newton 133). As a student, Schaff argues that animal research has helped greatly to learn how our body works and most important of all, it has made significant contributions to major medical advance and big health issues(Schaff 131). Whats more, according to Schaff, computer models are not yet that advanced to replace the animal models. Finally, Schaff concludes that animal experimentation is important and cannot be abandoned. Schaffs essay helps to explain why animals should be used in experiments. Since this was just the beginning of my project, I would like to hear voice from both sides rather than rush to conclusion. So my next step is to find out the other side of this debate, why should we not use animals in experiments? I plugged against animal experimentation into Google and found that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals(PETA) is such an organization that I looked for. I browsed their website and found an article Animal Testing Is Bad Science: Point/Counterpoint. The article lists several points supporting animal experimentation and then uses counterpoints to argue against them. The article, from the perspective of animal rights organization, argues that for those medical students, dissecting animals is no more a must because cell-based research methods have been improved and are more reliable, precise and less expensive. For drug factories, testing drugs on animals is not the best option since

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drugs proved effective on animals sometimes dont work on humans and may cause serious side effects. In addition, for those who believe animal experimentation makes major contributes to bioscience and thus improves our life, its not the case. It is improved nutrition, sanitation and other environmental or behavioral factors, rather than animal research, are responsible for longer lives. Since many people are standing on this side, I got much more articles than I wanted. Another article that is pretty impressive is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal written by Hope R. Ferdowsian and Nancy Beck. I found it by using EBSCO as recommended by the instructor from library. Dr. Ferdowsian, the author, is the assistant professor of the George Washington (GW) University School of Medicine and according to her profile on GW website, has years of experience in project on ethical animal research (The GW Medical Faculty Associates). Ferdowsian, from the perspective of a scientist, calls for ethical ways to treat animals and scientific alternatives to replace animals in a research. One of her reasons is that according to several experiments, animals can feel the pain and fear just like the humans do. Also, Ferdowsian quotes other research showing that findings proved successful on animals may not work on humans (Ferdowsian). In addition, she names several alternatives underway to replace animal research, which are more predictive (Ferdowsian). In all, Ferdowsian concludes that from both ethical and scientific regards, animals should not be used in experiments. PETA and Ferdowsian gave me good reasons to understand why we are not supposed to use animals in experiments. The first article argues from different stakeholders, like students and drug factories. The second article, however, explains the reasons based on scientific researches. As a matter of fact, when I was searching for information online, I found that most

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of the articles relating to this debate call for attention to stop animal experimentation. It seems like a overwhelming success for the against party. But why are animal experimentation still not stopped? The question went back to the stage when I finished reading the statistics from the British Government. To move ahead, I decided to leave this question aside for now and analyzed what Ive read first rather than stay in that loop. Here is what I analysis after hearing from both sides of the debate, I recognized that both sides have good reasons to support their arguments since they are different stakeholders related to this topic. Students may argue for more accesses to animal research and managers of drug factories want their drugs to be tested with secure. Animal rights protectors, of course, protest against animal experimentation. Scientists however are divided into two groups. Scientists who test treatment and cure prefer more animal testing to improve their research and accuracy while scientists developing new technology or scientists studying ethical problems want to find alternative ways to replace animals. As I was making conclusion with stakeholders, I realized that I ignored another perspective, the public view. Everyone is related to the public health development and should have the right to decide whether we should use animals in experiments. So what is the publics view to our animal friends? I used the key word public view on animal testing to search on Google. I got an analysis of a survey Are public attitudes to animal research changing? written by Kiran Nandra. The survey was conducted by Ipsos MORI, which was the second largest market research organization in the United Kingdom (Ipsos MORI). According to Nandras analysis, I know that most people accept the animal experimentation now while people used extreme behaviors to protest against it before. The change in publics attitude,

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according to Nandra, is because people are getting closer to science and realize that animal experimentation is an important in scientific research. Nandra also states that scientists exposure to public provides people with the chance to know how experiments are performed and regulated and how it benefits the human beings (Nandra). Nandras analysis gave me the answer that public used to protest against the animal experimentation because people thought it was just so cruel but people are now accepting it since we realize that there are regulations on animal experiments and most important of all, we benefit from such experiments. It might also answer my previous question, why are animal experiments not stopped? Its because humans do benefit a lot from such experiments. But this only reason still seems weak and far from enough. Is there any other reason why we cant stop animal experimentation? It was already close to the ending of my research. I have gathered information from both sides and perspectives from different stakeholders. But apart from the previous unsolved question, other questions were still piling up. Will we use or not use animal experiments in the future? How would animal experimentation develop? Will we one day find an alternative to replace animals? With curiosity, I searched with the key words future and animal experimentation, and then got a newspaper article Will we ever eliminate animal experimentation from BBC. The author, Alla Katsnelson, answers my questions that the number of animals used in experiments will decrease one day in the future due to the development of technology, but the exact date is unknown. According to Katsnelson, development of technology like improvements in imaging methods and the ability to re-program skin cells to any specific cell in human body is the main reason why we can decrease the numbers of animals used in experiments. She also states that models built with

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computers are more effective and less expensive and will be adopted more widely. After reading her prediction, I realized that no one would like to hurt animals if those experiments are absolutely useless. For development, we are sacrificing those animal friends in exchange for less death for humans. But once technology, which is not that advance now, is developed, we would be able not to use animals in experiments. So now this article not only gave me response to the future of animal experimentation but also helped me jump out of that loop by answering the previous question, why are animal experimentation not stopped? Its not only because of the benefits we get but also the lack of technology to develop bioscience without animals. Different stakeholders have different sides on this debate. For ethical reasons, animal rights protectors, scientists who are developing technology and studying on ethical problems may fight against the animal experimentation. While majority of people, bio scientists and students may support animal experimentation due to the benefits and lack of technology. But once the technology is ready to be applied, we dont have to struggle between whether to use animals in experiments then. The research is still to be continued. The next question interested to me is the development of technology that is concerned to replace animals used in experiments. It is a little bit off track with my current topic, should animals be used in experiments but it is a good further exploration for the argument essay.

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Works cited: Animal Testing Is Bad Science: Point/Counterpoint. Web, n.p. n.d. Web. 11 October. 2013 Ferdowsian, Hope R., and Nancy Beck. "Ethical And Scientific Considerations Regarding Animal Testing and Research." PloS ONE 6.9 (2011): 1-4. Academic Search Premier. Web. 20 Oct. 2013. "Ipsos MORI." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 11 Aug. 2013. Web. 20 Oct. 2013 Katsnelson, Alla. Will we evereliminate animal experimentation? BBC. 10 June. 2013 Web. 13 October. 2013 Murnaghan, Ian. About Animal Testing. 29 August. 2013 Web. 5 October. 2013 Nandra, Kiran. Are public attitudes to animal research changing? OBR. 6 March. 2013 Web. 15 October. 2013 Newton, David E. The Animal Experimentation Debate. Newton. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2013. 130-133. Print. Schaff, Matt. The Importance of Biomedical Research The Animal Experimentation Debate. Ed. David E. Newton. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2013. 130-133. Print. The GW Medical Faculty Associates. The George Washington University, 2013. Web. 20 October 2013. The Stationary Office. Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2012. LONDON: The Stationery Office,2013. Print