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Throughout history, scientists have been solving medical problems, developing new techniques and treatments, and curing

diseases Using animals in biomedical research.

Vaccinations for polio, diphtheria, mumps, measles, rubella, pertussis, and hepatitis. Treatments for asthma, severe burns, juvenile diabetes, leukemia, newborn sickness and premature births. Prevention and treatment of birth defects. Antibiotics for a variety of bacterial infections. Microsurgery to reattach severed limbs. Remedies for childhood poisonings. Management of epilepsy, cystic fibrosis. Organ transplants. Correction of congenital heart defects.

Polio would kill or cripple thousands of unvaccinated adults and children each year. Most of the nations one million insulin-dependent diabetics would be dead. More than 60 million Americans would risk death from heart attacks, strokes or kidney failure because there would be no medicine to combat high blood pressure. Chemotherapy wouldnt exist and couldnt save 70 percent of children who now survive acute lymphocytic leukemia. People disabled by strokes or spinal cord injuries could not benefit from rehabilitation techniques.

More than 1 million Americans would be blind in at least one eye there would be no surgery to correct cataracts. Newborns who develop jaundice each year would contract cerebral palsy, now preventable through phototherapy. There would be no kidney dialysis. Surgery of any type would be rare and extremely painful because there would be no anesthesia. Smallpox, which has been eradicated, would continue unchecked. Millions of dogs, cats, other pets and farm animals would have died from anthrax, distemper, canine parvovirus, feline leukemia, rabies and more than 200 other diseases now preventable.

Because of biomedical research both humans and animals now have:

Life-saving surgical procedures;

Cancer therapies; Organ transplantation; Vaccines; Safe consumer products; and

Treatments and cures for countless other medical

disorders and diseases.


from vaccinations to prevent measles to product safety testing, the knowledge gained from animals used in research helps every single one of us, our pets, and the wildlife around us.
Thousands of our pet cats and dogs are vaccinated each year and are thus spared from diseases such as feline leukemia, rabies, etc. Every time we take an aspirin or other pain reliever, apply sunscreen, or even brush our teeth, we are reaping the benefits of biomedical research. Reproductive techniques discovered through animal research can potentially save many endangered wildlife species from extinction

" irtually every major medical advance for both humans and animals has been achieved through biomedical research using animal models to study and find a cure for a disease and through animal testing to prove the safety and efficacy of a new treatment. C. Everett Koop, M.D Former U.S. Surgeon General

Why are animals used in research?

organs and body systems similar to humans and other


susceptible to the same diseases that affect humans; short life span allows animals to be studied throughout their entire life;

environment easily controllable to keep experimental variables to a minimum;

Animals are similar to humans in many ways. Not only do they have similar anatomies, but their physiologies are comparable as well. For instance, even though they may be different sizes and shapes, humans and animals both have bones that contain marrow and produce blood cells. Both have the same hormones that aid digestion and regulate the reproductive cycle


humans and animals share some of the same diseases including many cancers, diabetes, and heart diseases. in case of a dog with similar cardiovascular systems as humans few of the many successful medical breakthroughs that can be attributed to the dog and that are now commonly applied to humans includes:
Heart transplantation Development of the heart-lung machine which allows surgeons to keep the patient alive while performing heart surgery Coronary bypass surgery Artificial heart valves used to replace damaged or defective


Most research animals, especially rodents

such as rats and mice, have short life spans

so they can be studied throughout their

entire life and even through several generations within a short period of time.

Researchers are looking to see if their drug, surgery, or technique is effective. To allow for the most accurate and reliable data, they must keep experimental variables to a minimum. When animals are stressed, the research is not reliable. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the research being conducted for researcher to see that animals are maintained with regulated environments such as light, humidity, temperature, and

What animals are used in research?

Laboratory mice are used in research more often than any other animal species;
It is estimated that nearly 20 million rodents are bred for research annually. Mice are used for studies of cancer, aging, AIDS, immunology, and genetics. They are also used to learn and perfect embryo transfer techniques in humans and domestic and endangered animal species.

These mice, plus other rodents such as rats and hamsters, make up more than 90% of the total number of animals used; and
Their small size and low cost makes them ideal for laboratory experiments. In addition, scientists can breed different strains of mice with natural genetic deficiencies to achieve specific models of human diseases.

What animals are used in research?

Other animal species, including dogs, cats, rabbits, farm animals, fish, frogs, birds, nonhuman primates, and many others, make up the remaining 10% of animals used in research.
According to the USDA, about 70,000 dogs, 23,000 cats, and 49,000 primates were used for research between 10/1/2000 and 9/30/2001. In most cases, these animals are specifically bred for research purposes and are purchased from animal breeders.

When are animals used in research?


literature searches and comparison of data to previous research ;

Researchers are required to conduct extensive literature searches before having their animal protocols approved by an IACUC. This literature search must assure that their research plans do not unnecessarily duplicate previous research or that there are not other alternatives available that will meet their needs.


computer model simulations and cell and/or tissue culture research;

Computer models are often used instead of animal testing, or in conjunction with animal testing. However, a computer simply cant mimic the complexities of an entire biological system. Thats why animals are used.

When are animals used in research?



an IACUC-approved animal use

The Animal Welfare Act requires that each institution establish an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), which is responsible for evaluating the total animal care program, as well as for scrutinizing all proposed animal experiments. The committee must include at least one person who is unaffiliated with the institution and one veterinarian. Researchers proposing a procedure must explain to the committee in writing the number of animals they plan to use, why a certain species is necessary, and what steps will be taken to prevent unnecessary suffering. The committee has the power to reject any research proposal and stop ongoing projects if it believes USDA standards are not being met.

When are animals used in research?


extensive training and education on the handling, care, and use of animals;
Every facility must provide training on proper handling and techniques for anyone handling a research animal.


before HUMAN clinical testing.

Clinical trials on humans are conducted ONLY after the product or technique is proved to be safe and efficient in animals. Human subjects volunteer to go into these trials fully informed of any possible side effects or risks.
Resources: www.; ALAT Training Manual, page 10;

Who cares about the research animals?

Research institutions;
Scientists and their research staff; Veterinarians, laboratory animal technicians, cagewashers, and other animal care personnel;

Federal and local government agencies;

Scientific organizations; and most of all,



well-being of animals used in biomedical research is of utmost importance to all involved in research. Research institutions, scientists, animal care personnel, government agencies, scientific organizations, and even medical patients all recognize that animals are essential to our continuing search for medical breakthroughs and feel these animals should receive the utmost care and respect. All of these people know that the quality of the research received is commensurate with the quality of the care the research animals receive; thus excellent animal care equals

Some of the many health problems affecting both humans and animals include:

heart disease allergies kidney disease arthritis Lyme disease birth defects ulcers cancer measles tuberculosis influenza asthma hypertension epilepsy

l l l l l

glaucoma diabetes bronchitis leukemia deafness just to mention a few

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the use of animals in medical research:

How can we learn from medical research using animals and help humans?
much of what we know about the immune system has come from studies with mice, much of what we know about the heart and lungs of humans has come from studies with dogs.

How can we be sure that lost or stolen pets are not used in research?
State laws and local states that these dealers must be licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and must adhere to Animal Welfare Act standards of care. Both dealers and research facilities can obtain dogs and cats only from specified sources and must comply with detailed recordkeeping and waiting-period requirements. In addition, USDA conducts unannounced inspections of dealers and research facilities for compliance to help ensure research animals are not missing pets.

More FAQs:

Why do veterinarians, who are supposed to take care of sick animals, work with researchers who do experiments on them?
Arent the animals in laboratories suffering and in pain?

More FAQs:

Why is it important to conduct product safety tests on animals when cruelty-free products are available? What happens to animals once an experiment is completed?

More FAQs:

Why are increasing numbers of animals sacrificed for research, especially for repetitive experiments? Why cant alternatives such as computer models and cell and tissue cultures replace animals in medical research?

More FAQs:

Do we really have the right to experiment on animals? What about their rights? Dont people choose careers in medical research using animals because it is an easy way to receive funding dollars and make high salaries?

With the knowledge gained through

research on animals, we can continue improving the lives of not only humans, but our pets, wildlife, and other animals.