For centuries animals have been abused for many research purposes. Millions of animals became the victim of sometimes extremely cruel experiments. For a lot of these experiments the real purpose is questionable. It is true that vivisection in the past has helped to develop several drugs and vaccines. The question is whether it is still necessary to use animal testing nowadays.
Reptiles, ferrets, cats, goats, dogs, horses, sheep, amphibians, cattle, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, pigs, fish, birds, rats and mice. These are all animals to undertake numerous tests each day in the Netherlands. A total of about 600.000 animals are annually diverted to animal testing in the Netherlands alone. The main purpose of these tests are generally for medical reasons. The animals are being deliberately infected with various diseases for these studies, such as hepatitis or HIV. Besides using vivisection as a means for medical studies, animals are also used for testing other things; such as the toxicity of (the ingredients of) cleaning detergents and many other purposes. As an example psychology students use animals for the most absurd tests. Some of these bizarre animal tests consist of intentionally addicting the animal to some sort of substance after which the students will examine how the animals react after long abstinence, sudden cessation of the substance or to an overdose.
Increasingly genetically engineered animals are used for both medical and biological research.
Researchers try to create the perfect animal for the testing, eliminating or creating certain qualities in the animal. Since animals are in many ways different to humans they adjust the animal so that they are genetically more like us. To create the “perfect” animal researchers crossbreed the animals over and over again meanwhile selecting the animals that correspond to the disease they want to investigate. Through constant inbreeding animals arise who contain the desired diseases or disorders. Given the fact humanity has learned more about the genetic codes during the recent decades it is now possible for researchers to “built in” hereditary characteristics (characteristics seen only in humans) directly in to the animal. All the changes made to the animals DNA are permanent, all of their offspring will carry the same anomalies. The patrons of genetic engineering claim that this genetic engineering will eventually lead to a decline in the number of animals needed for vivisection. The animal will automatically contain the desired piece of genetic code through birth. They forget to mention that before the “perfect desired animal” is created millions of animals will lose their life during the process. Every year more than 300.000 animals are genetically engineered for research purposes. Less than one quarter of these animals are actually going to be used for research. The other three quarters will be slain instantly, they are not “useful”, they don’t carry the desired gene or they are simply said not fully compliant.
Most animals, who are subjected to testing, will die afterwards. Sometimes the death is a significant part of the test because researchers want to know how the testing has affected the internal organs. Some animals might get so “lucky” that they can be recycled for another or even a third test but for the majority of the animals this is not the case. The advocates of animal testing always use the argument of the “humane endpoints”, which means that animals who contract a fatal disease or a tumor during the test will be euthanized before the symptoms get to severe. By this method animals should experience less suffering. The one thing they don’t tell you is that the animal will only be euthanized if this doesn’t interfere with the specific test. If the researchers perceive it as an important part of the test to see the animals languish and demise, by diseases if in humans would be seen as abominable, the will simply do it. During testing the animal is regarded as simply an object. Such rules as the humane endpoints are easily tampered with and only meant to soothe the minds of opponents of vivisection. Of course there is the need to better understand certain diseases and try to develop a cure or vaccine for them, but is absurd that so many animals have to suffer for this cause.
Nowadays there are many alternatives for animal testing; such as cells that are kept alive in a test tube, stem cells, bacteria and/ or computer simulations. It is ridiculous to think that without animal testing for example the quest for finding a cure for cancer could not continue.
Progress in research doesn’t go accordingly with animal cruelty. Unfortunately governments and companies do not see the need to implement these changes. To date, much more money is invested in vivisection, annually around 500 million Euros, then there is money invested to find an alternative to vivisection, annually about 3. 5 million Euros.
The Dutch government could easily change something to the situation the animals have to live their lives. They could for example pas a law would restrict vivisection, one that is not easily diverted by companies and researchers. Why isn’t our government doing this? Of course there are some political parties who are against vivisection, but in our current political system they are a minority. Also the EU has the Netherlands on a tight leash, we have to conform to what the EU decides. If for example the Netherlands would ban the import of products tested on animals we would be sued by a council of the EU. They will not allow “unfair competition” for companies who do use animal testing. Of course the aspect money is a big deal in the whole matter. A huge sum of money revolves in the companies that use animal testing. For the companies and nowadays governments making (more) money is always more important then the welfare of animals.
Luckily, more and more protests arise against animal testing. Ever more people come to see that with the current technologies it is no longer needed to abuse animals for all sorts of nonsense studies. On march 11 2009 there has already been made a significant step forwards in the battle against animal testing; a European ban on using vivisection for cosmetics or importing cosmetics for which animal testing has been used. Fortunately that is already one less ridiculous reason for which animals are abused. But who knows this again could only be a thing to keep people who care about animals quiet. Only time can tell if there ever will be a complete end to the massive suffering that is vivisection.
Source: Green Nationalists