Animal Research Background

AAVS believes that animals have the right to not be exploited for science.
Over 100 million animals are used every year in the United States as models in biological and medical research to study human disease, injury, development, psychology, and anatomy and physiology. Animals often suffer greatly in these studies, as they are inflicted with diseases, traumas, and pain they would not normally experience in order to mimic human conditions.

An entire industry has been built around supplying animals for research that treats animals as tools rather than as thinking, feeling beings. Animals are purposely bred for research or bought from auctions, pounds, shelters, ‘free to good home’ ads, or other random sources. Kept in sterile environments with little attention or enrichment, treated roughly for not ‘cooperating,’ and transported under unacceptable conditions, the pain and distress that animals used in research experience actually starts long before they enter a laboratory.

Increasingly, scientists are turning towards genetic engineering technologies to ‘create’ animals that more closely exhibit human diseases. These experiments cause even greater suffering, high death rates, and other negative health consequences for the millions of animals used. In addition to the ethical concerns these studies raise, they also face the same problems as all animal research.

In particular, animal research is generally recognized to be costly, time-consuming, and unreliable, and much of the research is neither appropriate nor applicable to humans. Natural differences in physiology, metabolism, and anatomy between humans and other animals lead to very different reactions to various stimuli. In addition, animals are kept in sterile, stressful environments that cause them to develop abnormal physiological and behavioral responses. Besides the obvious welfare implications, this also casts doubt on the validity of any results obtained using such animals.

Indeed, animal research in antiquated and cruel, often impeding discovery. In numerous cases, important findings have been or could have been made without the use of animals. People should not have to choose between inflicting pain and suffering on animals and finding medical cures. New technologies, alternatives, and clinical and epidemiological studies in humans can provide us better, more relevant answers without causing animal suffering.
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Ending the Use of Animals in Science