How Well is Animal Testing Regulated?

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By Payao L.

Since eighth grade, I was the girl to wake up early every morning to do my makeup, and straighten my hair like every other girl at the school. I did not own any makeup in middle school, so I used my mother’s makeup instead. Starting High School, I was involved in many activities such as choir, show choir, and theater. Us students were highly recommended to put on makeup and excessive hairspray. Wearing makeup almost every day was the norm for me and most girls. I wasn’t aware of the processes of making these products, nor did I have any interest of researching so. All I knew was that my Father would always tell me, “You are beautiful already, makeup will just ruin your beautiful face.”

One day in my high school biology class, I overheard a classmate talking about saving animals for cruel testing. I had no clue to what she was even talking about. All my life, I did not even know what animal testing was, or that it even exists. Coming to college and researching more, it devastates me to know that animals are truly experiencing pain for human needs. I come home after school to see my dog, and I think to myself, how do people have the heart to do so.

There are laboratories throughout the world including in the United States, creating new medicines, vaccines, and everyday products that we use. Such a prescription we get from our doctor, cosmetics, home, and cleaning products. To make sure everything we have is safe to use or eat, what do scientists experiment these products on? According to Humane Society International (HSI), “It is estimated that more than 100 million animals- including mice, rats, frogs, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, monkeys, fish and birds- are used and killed in laboratories for medical trainings, and experimentations” (“Animals Use Statistics”). In these trials, these animals experience immeasurable pain and discomfort. Animals that are chosen to be experimented on; these animals are forced to chemical exposure, injections, burns, surgical procedures, and blindness. They are also forced to intake and inhale chemicals and drugs that we humans use every day. Why would people commit this cruel act, or even continue it?

Animal testing have been practiced throughout the history of biomedical research. The start of animal testing first started with many Greek-scientists and physicians, such as Aristotle, Erasistratus, Galen, and an Arab physician. The practice of testing on animals was also brought into the U.S, including many countries such as Great Britain, China, India, Canada, Russia, Australia, etc. Animal experimentations and testing are the norm, but with technology advancing every day, as of 2013, Great Britain and many other countries have banned animal testing for experimentation, research, and the making of products. Great Britain

Many countries today are still practicing animal testing, and this includes the U.S. The government should regulate animal testing in the United States because even with the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), majority of the animals are still not protected, animal testing is costly, and there are alternative testing methods. We the people could stop the deaths and misery of these helpless and harmless living animals.

The Animal Welfare Act, also named as AWA, was signed into law on August 24 1966 in the United States of America. “The Animal Welfare Act is the only federal law in the U.S that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers, enforced by USDA, APHIS, and Animal Care (“Animal Welfare Act”). The Animal Welfare Act was passed thirty years ago, mainly to address the theft, abuse, and problems of animal testing and practices throughout the United States. As years went by, there have been more complaints from animal committees, campaigns, and the community that the government needs to regulate this law better.

First, although here in United States there is a law regulating animal testing, there are still cruel practices of animal testing. According to writer and attorney Piper Hoffman, “95% of lab animals have no legal protection from cruelty” (Hoffman). With that said, Animal Welfare Act only protects warm-blooded animals, and the law would only protect about 5% of the animals in the laboratories, leaving that with 95% cold-blooded animals unprotected. Also, the law does not say it’ll save animals from being tested, but it will test them with less pain.

Second, the supplies to provide shelter, food, the cost of chemical injections, drugs, and etc. are all costly. The cost to test animals in the United States costs us, taxpayers $16 billion dollars annually (Terrance). Our tax money are paying for these experiments and testing to happen annually. Though it’s not true that all the money comes from taxpayers, but money from big organizations and companies such as cosmetic brands are also supporting these testing to continue and not stop. This includes big brands such as Mac cosmetics, L’Oreal, Kleenex, Cover Girl, and etc. Aware of it or not, majority of the products we use daily are tested by animals. If we could regulate animal testing, the United States could start by banning animal tested products such as cosmetics.

Thirdly, there are other alternative methods to test and make sure the products we use, or prescriptions we take are safe. According to Humane Society International, (HSI) “computer modeling techniques are lightning-fast, and many cell-based in vitro methods are amenable to “high throughput” automation using robotics—all at a much lower cost than animal tests” (“Animals Use Statistics”) In vitro is a method to test human-like cells mimicking the structures and functions to test drugs, chemicals and toxicity testing, instead of testing on hundreds of animals each year. Harvard Wyss Institute has created this, called “organs-on-chips”. (“Alternatives to Human Testings”) It will still be costly, but not as costly as buying animals, and buying the supplies, shelter, and machines for the animal testing.

Animal testing and experimentations have been practiced for years, and years. Animal testing has not stopped in United States. The act of animal cruelty is still practiced, and animal tested products are still allowed in United States and many other countries. Although the U.S government is regulating these testing and experimentations for many purposes such as for health and medical research, the Animal Welfare Act will need more regulations on protecting all animals, and not just 5 percent. As it is still inhumane, as citizens of United States, we should all be aware that it is costly to have laboratories and facilities continuing animal testing and experimentations. Though we humans cannot fully replace animal testing, there are other alternative methods that we can use to test products we are using every day. If we can’t ban animal testing, we need to regulate the products and process of testing.

 

 

Works Cited

“Alternatives to Human Testing.” PETA. PETA Corporations, n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2017.

“Animal Use Statistics.” Humane Society International. Humane Society International, 21 Oct. 2012. Web. 1 Mar. 2017.

“Animal Welfare Act.” United States Department of Agriculture. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar. 2017.

Hoffman, Piper. “95% of Lab Animals Have No Legal Protection From Cruelty.” Care2. 2017

Terrance, Louis. “PETITION: Reduction of animal testing to reduce government waste at taxpayers’ expense.” Change.org. 2017, Change.org, Inc., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2017.

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6 thoughts on “How Well is Animal Testing Regulated?

  1. Payao, the personal element adds a really nice touch to this. I like how you mentioned coming home and considering your dog. Lots of strong pathos!
    -Melanie

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