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Basic Statement

Why we are opposed to animal experiments

  • Animal experiments have to be rejected for ethical reasons. In research laboratories animals are downgraded to disposable tools and testing systems. But, animals, too, must be allowed the right to live according to the basic needs of their species. The torturing and painful killing of animals is immoral. Even if animal experiments had any benefit – which is not the case – they would still be ethically wrong. Rather than concentrating purely on what they can do, medical researchers should also take into account what it is ethical to do.
  • Animal experiments have to be rejected for medical reasons. are not a valid method of researching the different causes of human diseases nor of developing treatments for such diseases. Animals are artificially damaged to create so-called „models“ which are used to mimic human diseases. Apart from some symptoms these „models“ have hardly any similarities with the human diseases. In the animal experiment factors including environment, nutrition, use of tobacco, social and psychological causes – and especially their interactions – cannot be reproduced. Using animal testing, in spite of millions of animal victims and enormous economic investments the medical research system has failed to make real breakthroughs in the fight against the main diseases of today (e.g. cancer, heart and vascular diseases, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, AIDS, etc.), contrary to its countless promises.
  • Animal experiments have to be rejected for scientific reasons. The results of animal experiments cannot be reliably transferred to humans. Animal experiments cannot lead to a reliable conclusion about whether and to what extent the human and animal will react in the same way. In all cases the same test has to be repeated on humans, with unknown risks and unpredictable results. A consequence of this unscientific extrapolation from laboratory animals to humans is that drugs have had to be withdrawn from the market because of unforeseen hazards or even lethal side-effects in humans – effects which were not seen in animals.
  • Results from animal tests do not allow conclusions about effectiveness, tolerance nor safety for humans. The reason why many drugs and medical procedures are relatively safe cannot be put down to animal experiments, but to the fact that all drugs have to be tested on humans, in the so-called clinical trials required by law.
  • Animal based research leads to an overvaluing of the natural sciences in medicine. The human body is regarded as a sort of bio-machine and diseases as biochemical or physiological deviations which can be repaired using chemical, surgical or radiological means. The consequence is an unacceptable high-tech- , spare-part-, test tube-medicine, based on outdated mechanistical thinking. Instead human beings and their diseases should be considered holistically. Vital aspects of the processes of disease and healing, such as social and psychic aspects, are ignored. Traditional medical ideas about healing, the dignity of patients and even death are hardly ever considered.
  • Researching the real causes of our illnesses is much more useful and promising and is even cheaper than more and more experiments on innocent animals. Extensive studies with patients and healthy people have shown the impact of life-style on the cause and process of different diseases. It has clearly been shown that the diseases of our civilization are mainly caused by smoking, alcohol abuse, fatty and meat-rich nutrition, stress, lack of exercise and others. No animal has to suffer and die to investigate these important factors.
  • In many fields of medical research, using in vitro tests (including cell cultures, human tissue, microorganisms, and biochips) as well as epidemiological studies make a substantial contribution to understanding and curing human diseases. Also, combining such test systems allows the properties of substances to be studied in detail, for instance toxicity, or their potential to cause cancer, genetic disorders or congenital diseases. This modern approach to investigating and developing drugs and chemicals yields results that are truly relevant for humans. These new avenues of research by far ourstrip the limited possibilities of animal-based research.

Conclusion: Animal experiments are not only cruel and therefore unethical, they are also unscientific and unsafe and must be abolished immediately in the interest of man and animals and replaced by meaningful and humane procedures.

Reduction, Replacement or Abolition? - Position paper on 3R concept >>