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Thread: Animal Rights

  1. #1
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    Animal Rights

    Many people are against using rats for lab testing. If anyone on this forum is against this, please speak up.
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    Depends what you mean by being against it. I think it should be replaced by cultured tissue, computer models and other alternatives where possible, and should only be used for medical tests, not cosmetic. It's also worth remembering that trials in rodents have a track record of giving false positives with regard to safety and efficacy of treatment. For all we can tell they may sometimes give false negatives as well, and we may have missed out on effective treatments because of it. Part of the problem is the level of inbreeding in lab rats. I think animal testing should be strictly controlled and licenced, and its use should be minimised.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jo Bennett View Post
    Depends what you mean by being against it. I think it should be replaced by cultured tissue, computer models and other alternatives where possible, and should only be used for medical tests, not cosmetic. It's also worth remembering that trials in rodents have a track record of giving false positives with regard to safety and efficacy of treatment. For all we can tell they may sometimes give false negatives as well, and we may have missed out on effective treatments because of it. Part of the problem is the level of inbreeding in lab rats. I think animal testing should be strictly controlled and licenced, and its use should be minimised.
    I think it would be cheaper to use rats(how the hell would a computer model work?). Are we supposed to use people?
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    Ethmi, for the final stages of testing, we do use people.

    My view is pretty much identical to Jo's. Use alternatives wherever possible, do not test cosmetics, and bear in mind the possibility of false positives. That said, it's necessary, unavoidable, and (in most cases) ethical, under the heading 'the greater good'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iangb View Post
    Ethmi, for the final stages of testing, we do use people.
    I knew that. But we don't just throw together a fluid that could be toxic waste for all we know and inject it into a person to see if it cures cancer, do we?

    My view is pretty much identical to Jo's. Use alternatives wherever possible, do not test cosmetics, and bear in mind the possibility of false positives. That said, it's necessary, unavoidable, and (in most cases) ethical, under the heading 'the greater good'.
    And what alternatives are there?
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    You have a strange concept of drug development. Spindle poisons are toxic and used in cancer treatment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethmi View Post
    And what alternatives are there?
    Good question. Jo, you want to answer it? Again?
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    I knew that. But we don't just throw together a fluid that could be toxic waste for all we know and inject it into a person to see if it cures cancer, do we?
    We (largely, who knows what all people might try) don't do that to a rat, either... to quote Wikipedia:
    In the U.S., under the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act [which does not include rats]and the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (the Guide [which does]), any procedure can be performed on an animal if it can be successfully argued that it is scientifically justified. In general, researchers are required to consult with the institution's veterinarian and its Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), which every research facility is obliged to maintain.[36] The IACUC must ensure that alternatives, including non-animal alternatives, have been considered, that the experiments are not unnecessarily duplicative, and that pain relief is given unless it would interfere with the study.
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    As someone who studied biology at University there are a large number of uses of laboratory animals that simply aren't replacable. Computer models are used prior to animal testing of drugs, this also helps identify potential problems with various species with regards to the drug.
    The Body Shop certainly proved that non-animal tested cosmetics are a commercial viability.
    Anatomy is another matter, surgeons and other medical personel have to be able to identify organs and tissues in situ. There is no way you could identify the pancreas without carrying out a disection, what the text books show is misleading to say the least and there would be little way for doctors to know what is and is not normal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethmi View Post
    I knew that. But we don't just throw together a fluid that could be toxic waste for all we know and inject it into a person to see if it cures cancer, do we?
    I would hope that we would have some theory as to why it might work before injecting it into any animal, never mind humans.


    And what alternatives are there?
    As I mentioned before, computer models and tissue cultures. Using stem cells to grow human tissue of the type required. Our knowledge has progressed since Salvarsan 606 was discovered by killing the previous 605 batches of chickens while looking for a syphilis cure. No, we cannot yet replace every single use of animal testing, but we can reduce those uses considerably and continue to do so.
    “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist” - Helder Camara
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    "It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder" - Einstein
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