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March 12, 2018

Q. Why is it necessary to test potential medicines on animals?

Do medical research to save human lives and to prevent people suffering a small but vital part of that involves the use of animals.

Q. Can't we test them on cells and tissue culture and do computer modeling? 

Already make good use of alternatives and most research is now done in computers and cell cultures or human volunteers but there are times when we still need to use animals because for example you can't study a beating heart in a test tube you can't get your computer to cough.

Q. Aren't animals different people?

There are of course differences between humans and animals but there are also remarkable similarities we share for example over 90% of our genes just with a mouse and many of the major biological systems in an animal from digestion to the cardiovascular system these work in the same way with humans.

Q. If we're so similar why is it that many drugs that are successful in animal trials go on to fail in human trials?

Testing on new medicines both using animals and the alternatives is remarkably effective so that virtually all new modern medicines when they go on the market are safe and effective.

Q. If animal testing was banned surely the medical community could cope?

Any ban on the use of animals would be disastrous for biomedical research it would grind gradually to a halt and would send us back to the dark days when for example the last time we gave a medicine to people that wasn't properly tested on animals was slid imides.

Q. Many animal tests are cruel causing pain and suffering.

It would be wrong to gloss over the fact that animals do suffer in research for the benefit of people but much of this discomfort is mild and it's similar to when you take your pet to the vet it might involve sampling of blood or minor operations.

Q. What medical improvements have we actually gained from medical experimentation?

It has been a vast array of new medicines and treatments that depended on animal research and over 70% of Nobel prizes in medicine or physiology have depended on the use of animals this includes antibiotics anesthetics and treatments for genetic diseases a vast a range.

Q. How to explain the fact that so many videos put out by the anti-testing organizations show cruelty to animals?

The independent inquiries have shown time after time that the claims of the animal rights groups are simply false and they distort the evidence having said that, of course, some people do wrong things to animals occasionally just as some doctors mistreat their patients and some older people in nursing homes are badly treated.

Q. Yet the public still seems concerned about the use of animals.

To recognize public concern about animal research and it is a very difficult ethical judgment that has to be made but ultimately the benefits for Humanity is so great and we have to remember to animals benefit from animal research.