Do we have the right to experiment on animals?
Task 1: Background Information
“Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is: 'Because the animals are like us.' Ask the experimenters why it is morally OK to experiment on animals, and the answer is: 'Because the animals are not like us.' Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction.” — Professor Charles R. Magel http://www.unleashed.org.au/change_the_world/animal_testing/
Animal experiments are widely used to develop new medicines and to test the safety of other products. Many of these experiments cause pain to the animals involved or reduce their quality of life in other ways. If it is morally wrong to cause animals to suffer then experimenting on animals produces serious moral problems. Animal experimenters are very aware of this ethical problem and acknowledge that experiments should be made as humane as possible. They also agree that it's wrong to use animals if alternative testing methods would produce equally valid results.
Two positions on animal experiments
1. In favor of animal experiments:
Experimenting on animals is acceptable if (and only if):
suffering is minimized in all experiments
human benefits are gained which could not be obtained by using other methods
2. Against animal experiments:
Experimenting on animals is always unacceptable because:
it causes suffering to animals
the benefits to human beings are not proven
any benefits to human beings that animal testing does provide could be produced in other ways
There are three R’s that scientist are encouraged to follow so that impact and inclusion of animals will be reduced.
1. Reduction - Reducing the number of animals used in experiments by:
Improving experimental techniques
Improving techniques of data analysis
Sharing information with other...