Although advanced methods are steadily replacing animal research, outdated laws require animal tests before a product can be put on the market. Every year millions of animals suffer and die in experiments that can never be trusted.
As a method of predicting likely effects in humans, animal research is flawed in three key areas:
- ‘Species differences’. Each species responds differently to substances, therefore animal tests are an unreliable way to predict effects in humans.
- Human diseases in laboratory animals are not naturally occurring so need to be artificially created; they are different from the human condition they are attempting to mimic. This also affects results.
- Studies have shown that living in a laboratory environment can affect the outcome of an experiment, with test results differing due to the animal’s age, sex, diet and even their bedding material. So results vary from laboratory to laboratory.
Two of the main areas of animal use are in experiments to test the safety and effectiveness of drugs and other substances, also known as toxicology tests, and for fundamental or basic research which is experimental by nature with no specified application for human benefit.
Read more about toxicology research on animals here
Read more about fundamental research on animals here