When testing medicines for potential toxicity, the lives of human volunteers should not be put in danger unnecessarily.
It would be unethical to perform invasive experimental procedures on human beings before the methods have been tested on animals, and some experiments involve genetic manipulation that would be unacceptable to impose on human subjects before animal testing.
Humane treatment is enforced by each facility's IACUC, and most major research institutions' programs are voluntarily reviewed for humane practices by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC).
Laboratory mice, for example, live for only two to three years, so researchers can study the effects of treatments or genetic manipulation over a whole lifespan, or across several generations, which would be infeasible using human subjects.
Microfluidic chips ("organs on a chip"), which are lined with human cells and recreate the functions of human organs, are in advanced stages of development.
Computer models, such as virtual reconstructions of human molecular structures, can predict the toxicity of substances without invasive experiments on animals.Animals do not have the cognitive ability or moral judgment that humans do and because of this they have been treated differently than humans by nearly every culture throughout recorded history.If we granted animals rights, all humans would have to become vegetarians, and hunting would need to be outlawed.The AWA covered 820,812 animals used for testing in fiscal year 2016, which leaves around 25 million other animals that are not covered.These animals are especially vulnerable to mistreatment and abuse without the protection of the AWA.Paul Furlong, Professor of Clinical Neuroimaging at Aston University (UK), states that "it's very hard to create an animal model that even equates closely to what we're trying to achieve in the human." Animal tests on the arthritis drug Vioxx showed that it had a protective effect on the hearts of mice, yet the drug went on to cause more than 27,000 heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths before being pulled from the market.The AWA does not cover rats, mice, fish and birds, which comprise around 95% of the animals used in research.As well as stipulating minimum housing standards for research animals (enclosure size, temperature, access to clean food and water, and others), the AWA also requires regular inspections by veterinarians.All proposals to use animals for research must be approved by an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) set up by each research facility.The American Cancer Society, American Physiological Society, National Association for Biomedical Research, American Heart Association, and the Society of Toxicology all advocate the use of animals in scientific research.Mosquito repellent, which helps protect people from malaria and other dangerous illnesses, must undergo toxicological testing (which involves animal testing) in order to be sold in the United States and Europe. let them [human beings] have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." The BBC reports that Jewish, Christian, and Muslim teaching allows for animal experimentation as long as there is no unnecessary pain inflicted and there is a real possibility of benefit to human beings.