Use of Animals for Scientific Research

Animals testing is widely used on regular basis in industries, scientific research labs for testing of consumables, drugs etc. They are used under some regulations as per the local laws. There is high demand to stop use of animals for experimentation by those sympathetic to animals. The animals in many experiments experience  severe pain and suffering. They are  also grown up for the purpose of research experiments. Mostly wild animals or those available in nature can’t be used and hence animals grown in the labs are used.

Why are animals used for testing:

They are mostly used to safe guard humans from direct exposure of substances used by direct internal consumption or external applications on the skin. The use of animals in experimentation helps

Detect toxicity: Animals are used for testing the harmful or poisonous effects of  drugs, food supplements etc if any. If the substances fail to pass their test in animals due to severe adverse effects or toxicity then they are not tried for human use.

Fixing the dose or quantity: Every drug, food nutrient, vitamins, supplements we take are recommended at fixed quantities or doses. These doses are in the safe range for consumption and also produce the desired effect on the body.  Thus tests on animals helps in fixing the correct dose or quantity of drugs or supplements so as to be in safe and effective range.

 To study the mechanisms: Animals have body function and physiology similar to humans and hence, they act to mimic human response and behavior to substances. The mechanism of muscle contraction, heart beat, circulation is easily understood by study on animals. Further how a drug acts in the body like by either rise in heart beat, circulation or respiration rate can be understood by scientific testing on animals.

To know the time spent in the body: Animals  studies of any substance helps in understanding the time spent by the substance in the body before its elimination by excretion. The more the time spent, the more the chances of poisoning, accumulation, adverse effects and the duration of it’s effects on the body. By conducting blood and urine tests on animals after administration of test substance, it is possible to know the extent of time spent by the substance in the body.

In production of biochemical productsAnimals are also used to produce some substances which can be helpful to humans Ex. vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, antigens etc. They serve as the reservoirs to produce these substances in their body. Hence animal tests are done to see the suitability of an animal for production of any substance by modulation of its physiology or immunity etc. Ex: antibody production in rabbits
In drug research: In drug research animals are especially used to see how drugs produce their action in the body i.e by what mechanism. They also help in understanding how drug is absorbed, best route to administer the drug, how drugs are detoxified in the body and their main route of excretion..
  Further they are used to see the efficacy of drug in a disease. Animals are induced with disease similar to humans and then drug s are administered to see if they are effective in the disease treatment.
So animals are used in research mostly as pre-trial before trying on humans. Even a dog named laika was trained and sent to space trip to see if the animal could survive there. Once the impact of space on dog was studied, then humans went to space trips.

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