US researchers defend animal testing

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, February 21, 2011 16:15 EDT
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Animal testing
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WASHINGTON – US researchers defended animal testing, telling a small group at one of the biggest science conferences in the United States that not doing animal research would be unethical and cost human lives.

The researchers, who are or have been involved in animal research, told a symposium at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) that testing on animals has led to “dramatic developments in research that have improved and affected the quality of human life.”

“To not do animal testing would mean that we would not be able to bring treatments and interventions and cures in a timely way. And what that means is people would die,” Stuart Zola of Emory University, which is home to the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, told AFP after the symposium.

Treatments for diseases such as diabetes and polio were made possible through animal research, the researchers said, and animals are currently being used in hepatitis-, HIV- and stem cell-related research, among others.

But animal rights activists continue to bring pressure on laboratories that use animals to develop drugs and vaccines, urging them to stop the practice and use other means to develop the next wonder drug, treatment or cure.

Animal rights activists also insist they will never use medications developed through animal testing, but the researchers said they probably already have done.

“I get a lot of emails from animal rights activists, and one of them said, ‘I have hepatitis C, and if you discover any drugs using chimpanzees that help hepatitis C patients, I’m not going to take them,’” John Vandenberg of the Southwest National Primate Research Center in Texas told AFP.

“I didn’t communicate back to him that if he’s taking any drug whatsoever for hepatitis C, it was developed with chimpanzees. There’s this ignorance in the world as to where these drugs come from, where vaccines come from,” he said.

The researchers also argued that animal research in the United States is covered by a bevy of rules and regulations to ensure that the animals used in testing are treated humanely.

“It is quite dramatically regulated,” said Zola.

Institutions that receive federal funding have to have an “animal care and use committee that reviews every protocol that uses even a single rodent,” said Zola.

That protocol is then reviewed by another panel, which includes veterinarians, experts in medicine, and a representative of the public, and only when everyone has signed off on the protocol can testing proceed.

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  • Anonymous

    “US researchers defend animal testing”

    Good. Research no further than the tories and the elephant they rode in on.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JETED5IFXLBHDCPATGS3JUS5HU Dip Stick

    Then I take these scientists are ok with their own organs being used for testing. Anybody who could deliberately inflict pain and suffering for something as perverse as money is an animal.

  • Anonymous

    More corporate lies. If you want to discuss ethics let’s start with the fact that testing on animals is extremely inhumane and unnecessary. To continue this anachronistic form of research serves no purpose other than preserving the status quo, ergo fast profits.

    The person in the story dwells in the past. Today computer simulation models are rapidly taking the place of barbaric methods conducted on innocent, sentient animals. These very intelligent relatives of ours have to live in a metal case for 20, 30, 40 years to life with no interaction with each other, no exercise or playtime. It is torture, many become deranged, some commit suicide.To mention researchers concerns about human quality of life being reduced, if animals aren’t used, is completely self-serving outdated hack talk.

    Near the end of the article is this quote, “It is quite dramatically regulated,” said Zola.
    We all know how things are regulated in this country, such as banks, wall street, oil wells in the gulf etc, etc. One scam after another shafting the ordinary people to achieve maximum profits for a few. This mentality is also prevalent in drug/cosmetic research labs.

    Animals cannot speak up for themselves so we have to do it for them. To ignore their
    right to exist independently, without pain and suffering, is about as non human as a
    human can be. But to do it to maximize profits conjures up images of subhumans that
    only exist in the “laboratory”.

  • Anonymous


  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/LEUDUVF5EGJZRZETF3KV53P7BQ Thomas

    If animal testing was so good, then there wouldn’t be all the disclaimers during the commercials. I suspect that there are those in the animal testing labs who “get off” watching animals suffering. It’s just another money maker for the drug companies.

  • enorceht

    this is bull$h*t with capital letters

  • Anonymous

    It is easy to bad mouth something you do not have experience with. I have experience with overseeing a program that has research animals. Admittedly, they do suffer somewhat during the experimental portion, the rest of the time they live a total life of luxury. Mubarak did not live with more opulence.

  • http://twitter.com/AnneBirthistle Anne Birthistle

    They conveniently forget to mention that Vioxx was developed through non-human primate research, and went on to cause over 140,000 heart attacks and strokes. They manage to overlook the fact that try as they might, they can’t get chimps to develop ful-blown AIDS. When they claim the animals in laboratories are treated so very humanely, they don’t mention the crushing of joints (meant to simulate arthritis), the severing of spinal cords (to cause paralysis), the blindings, scaldings and decapitations…. They certainly don’t dwell on the horrific psychological studies, in which our closest cousins, non-human primates, are tormented by the electrification of their food bowls, by solitary confinement, by maternal deprivation of needy, terrified infant monkeys: one researcher invented a ‘marching monster’ to terrify the baby monkeys in their isolated cells.
    If and when I get one of our human maladies, Dr. Vandenberg, I won’t be taking your ‘medications’ – you’ll need them yourself, when and again if old age gives you the nightmares of realization you so richly deserve.

  • http://twitter.com/AnneBirthistle Anne Birthistle

    In Canada, our government allows Category of Invasiveness Level E -oo it up on CCAC website….. Luxury is its complete opposite

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1046573071 Matt Mosley

    Animal testing for things to help humans live YES – for botox and hair products and all that other shit no f*cking way, if you’re so for it volunteer your own body