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AnimalTesting

Animaltestinghasbeenamajorcontroversialissueworldwideformanyyears.Animal
testingharmsandkillsmillionsofanimalsinmultiplecountrieseveryyear.Therearemany
horrificteststhatanimalshavetosufferthroughforthebenefitofhumanssuchaseyeirritancy,
acutetoxicity,skinsensitization,etc.Animaltestingisinhumaneandmanyanimalsarenoteven
countedforwhendiscussinganimaltesting.Animaltestingneedstobebanned,oratleasthave
stricterregulations.AnimaltestingislegalintheU.S.forpharmaceuticaluseandcosmetological
usealthoughitisunethical.
ManycountriesareaheadoftheUnitedStatesinthematterofanimaltesting.The
EuropeanUnionbannedcosmetictestingonanimalsin2004,Norwayalsobannedcosmetic
animaltesting,whiletheU.S.stillhaslegalizedanimaltestingforpharmaceuticalandcosmetic
purposes.Althoughsomecountrieshaveadvancedtechnologyanddecidedtobananimaltesting
(atleastforcosmeticpurposes),mostcountriesstilluseanimaltestingforresearch.An
estimationofthenumberofanimalsusedinanimaltestingworldwideisover115million
however,thisestimationisnotentirelyaccurateduetothefactthatmanyanimalsarenot
countedfor.TheAnimalWelfareActprovidesminimalprotectionoveranimals,butcertain
animalsarenotprotectedorcountedforatall.ItistheonlyU.S.federallawthatprotects
animals,exceptforrats,mice,birds,andcoldbloodedanimals.Thisisthereasonthereisnotan
accurateestimatefortheamountofanimalstestedon,becauseabout90%ofanimalsusedfor
testingarenotcoveredbytheAnimalWelfareAct.
Therearemanydifferenttypesofterrible,painfulteststhatanimalshavetogothrough.
Themostcommontypeofanimaltestingatypeofanacutetoxicitytestcalledthelethaldose50

percent(LD50)testthatwascreatedduringWorldWar1.Thisisatestinwhichthetoxic
consequencesofachemicalorsubstancearetestedbyadministeringittoagroupofanimals
until50percentofthegroupdies.Scientistsforcethechemicalsintoanimalsthrough
forcefeeding,forcedinhalation,orabsorptionthroughtheskin.Thesehighdosesofchemicals
causemanypainfuleffectsinanimalssuchasdiarrhea,seizures,bleeding,paralysis,and
eventuallydeath.Othertestsincludetheeye/skinirritationtestinwhichrabbitsareimmobilized
sosomeonecandropasubstanceontoitsskinorinitseye.Thereactionwhichcouldbegetting
ulcers,bleeding,swolleneyelids,etc.isconcludedfortheevaluationofthesubstance.Testssuch
asthesecouldbepreventedbystricteranimaltestinglaws.
Therearemanywaystobringawarenesstoanimaltesting,andalternativestousing
animalsforexperiments.U.S.RepresentativeJimMoranproposedabillcalledtheHumane
CosmeticsAct.TheHumaneCosmeticsActwouldbananimaltestingforoneyear,thenbanthe
saleofproductsafterthreeyears.Companieswillhavethethreeyearstoselltherestoftheir
inventorythatismadebythehelpofanimaltesting.Sofarthereare100,638supportersofthe
petitionandthegoalis110,000supportersofthepetition.Therearealsoalternativesforanimal
testingsuchasInVitrotesting,computermodeling,andmicrodosing.InVitrotestingisatesting
methodperformedwithculturedskincellsinsteadofusingtraditionalanimalteststoidentify
chemicalskinirritants.HarvardsWynnInstitutehasinventedsmallchipsthatcontainhuman
cellsthatareusedindrugtesting,toxicitytesting,anddiseaseresearch.Invitrotestingisalso
morebeneficialthatanimaltesting,becauseitischeapertoperformthetests.Forexample,a
typeofgenetictoxicitytestingisasisterchromatidexchangewhichcosts$22,000foranimal
testing,butonly$8,000forinvitrotesting.Microdosingisanalternativeforanimaltestingin

whichhumanvolunteersareusedinsteadofanimalsfordrugtesting.Thehumanvolunteersare
givensmallenoughdosesofadrugtocausecellulareffects,butnotlargeenoughtoaffectthe
body.Thesearejusttwoofthemultiplealternativeteststhereareinsteadofanimaltestingin
todayssociety.

Manypeoplebelievethatanimalsarenecessaryforsuccessfulmedicaltesting.Animal
andhumanssharemanysimilaritiesintheirorgansystems,makingfunctionsverysimilarin
both.Miceandhumansshare95percentoftheirgeneswitheachother,whichisonereasonthat
miceandratsmakeupabout95percentofanimaltestingintheUnitedStates.Sinceanimalsand
humanshavemanygenesincommon,animalsandhumanssufferfromsimilardiseasesmaking
themsuccessfultestingsubjects.Peopleinfavoranimaltestingalsoproposethatanimaltesting
alternativesarenotaseffectiveasanimaltesting.Forexample,microfluidicchiptestingprovides
lessinformationthanfullbodytestinginanimals.Imagingstudiesisanalternativethatuses
differenttechnologiestoseeinsidethebody,butitcannotrevealalltheeffectsofdrugsinthe
body.
Althoughtherearesideeffectstousingalternatives,theeffectsarenotassevereasusing
animaltesting.Animaltestingisharmfultomillionsofanimalsworldwide,andthereare
differentsolutionstoanimaltesting.Thefirststeptoendinganimaltestingistostopanimal
testingforcosmeticsintheUnitedStates.PeoplecansupporttheAnimalWelfareAct,which
willbegintheendforcosmeticanimaltesting.Aftertheendofcosmeticanimaltesting,medical
animaltestingcanstarttodecreaseinpopularity.Withthehelpofanimaltestingawareness,
stricteranimalprotectionlaws,andsupportfrommanypeople,animaltestingintheUnited
Statesmaysomedaycometoanend.