Asians for Humans, Animals & Nature

Animal Experimentation

Most Americans believe that only a few animals are used in research. There’s no way of knowing how many animals are used, because American laws do not require researchers to report on the experiments they perform. The best estimate is that about 80 million animals were used in American experiments in 1980. That’s about 6 to 7 million a month.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of cats and dogs end in laboratories. Hundreds of thousands of farm animals….horses…pigs…. and cows. Millions of birds are used….as well as frogs, mice and rats. The business of breeding and selling animals in the United States is growing. Fifty years age the use of lab animals was just four percent of what it is today. Five to six billion dollars of taxpayers’ money was spent by the U.S. government in 1982 for grants to biomedical research.

The law itself does not touch the experiments. It does not regulate the experiments at all. Sometimes the research facility will have an animal care committee which may discuss the procedures within the experiments. The subject of pain never comes up.

Probably the biggest myth that exits is that all animal experimentation is for some urgently necessary medical purpose. This is very, very far from the truth. There are huge areas of experimentation that have nothing to do with saving lives or curing diseases.

The United States government funds about two thirds of all experimentation in biomedical research each year. It was during World War II that every branch of the military began to use significant sums of taxpayers’ money for animal research, animals was used in A-bomb testing.

Animals of many kinds were shipped aboard the target vessels to serve as proxies for human crews in man’s endeavor to discover measures to counteract the deadly results of nuclear fission. The result does not tell us what scientific results were obtained, since all of the animals were killed.

Monkeys at the Los Alamos Science Labs are serving as substitutes for jet pilots. The purpose of the experiment is to determine how well and how long a bomber pilot can function after fatal doses of radiation.

The laboratory animal industry has done a fairly good job in keeping away from the public a lot of knowledge about how unnecessary and also how painful these experiments are. If the public did know, they would be a lot more disturbed.

The majority of animal experiments are wasteful. We know for a fact that species vary in different ways in how susceptible they are to certain things. So there are some things that will make humans ill that would have no effect on a dog, or a monkey, or a mouse.

Aspirin can kill cats at low doses, but not human beings. If guinea pigs had been used to test penicillin, we might not have this useful drug. At low doses it can kill guinea pigs.

Insulin can produce deformities in infant rabbits and mice, but not in human beings.

We should care about our animals and respect them as we respect human beings.

It has been said that from every animal’s eye comes the gleam of humanity as they look out at us, and from that gleam they claim a fellowship with us.