The Ethics Surrounding The Use of Animals In Clinical Trials

The use of animals in the trials of medicines, cosmetics and other equipment for use by humans has always been a controversial topic. In recent years, activism from groups such as PETA has brought this problem to the forefront of the public eye.

The main arguments against the use of trials on animals stem from the idea that if we are testing goods for use on humans we should subject the trials to humans rather than animals. Many also disapprove of the conditions animals are kept in, which include small boxes. A variety of trials also involves inducing animals with a particular disease and/or inhibiting their food and water intake to observe a response to additional stimuli. After successful campaigning, there are now stricter regulations on the environment an animal is kept in, which animals can be used. Many companies have to get clearance from the home office to trial on animals and as part of this clearance have to disclose the nature of their trial, how many animals they will use and the basic procedure which is then reviewed by a panel. These laws and regulations have proven to be successful in a number of first world countries, however, they are difficult to enforce in third world countries

Those who are pro the use of animal testing often speak of the supplementary benefits of trials on animals before trials on humans. One argument is a reduction in human casualties. If we test on animals before going to human trials any adverse reactions to the medication/trial conditions can be noted and it can be modified for human use. This is another area of controversy and many argue that animals have equal rights to humans and as they are unable to choose to take part in these trials, they should not be subjected to them. At present, a large percentage of trials are first trialed on animals before moving to the next phase. Many people believe that trialing is a necessary evil and is needed for the greater good of humanity. Some pro trial advocates are against trials for cosmetics as they are not a necessity but are pro using trials to test medications.

References:

http://animal-testing.procon.org/

https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/animal-testing-101/

https://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/why-we-do-it/what-animal-testing