ABOUT ANIMAL RESEARCH
Animal research is the foundation for virtually every medical breakthrough over the past century. Every day, dedicated scientists are using animal models to find cures for the diseases and conditions that affect both people and animals.
From antibiotics to blood transfusions, from dialysis to organ transplantation, from vaccinations to chemotherapy, bypass surgery and joint replacement, practically every present-day practice for the prevention, treatment, cure and control of disease, pain and suffering is based on knowledge attained through research using laboratory animals. Most recently, scientists discovered spinal cord regeneration techniques because of rodent models. That means some day in the foreseeable future, people will be able to get out of their wheelchairs. The HPV vaccine was developed with rabbits. People with Parkinson’s are benefiting from deep brain stimulation that was perfected on monkeys. Ferrets have been crucial in the development of the bird flu vaccine. Animal research is saving both human and animal lives every .
Approximately 95 percent of all lab animals are rodents – bred specifically for research. The physiology of rodents closely resembles that of people. For instance, the mouse genome contains essentially the same complement of genes found in the human genome, so studying how the genes work in mice is enables scientists to understand how the gene works in people.
What About Alternatives?
To date, there is no comprehensive substitute for animal models in research.
Certainly, computer models and cell cultures, as well as other adjunct research methods, are routinely used to reduce the number of animals that must be used. But the pathway to fully replacing a whole, living system does not yet exist. Therefore, it is still necessary to conduct ethical and essential animal research in order for the research community to discover and implement new cures for diseases.
Animal research is necessary to save both human and animal lives.