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Animal Testing (Essay Sample)

Write an essay on How ethical is animal testing? and answer the following questions. What are the moral opinions toward it? What are the legal issues for testing? source..

Animal Testing
Professor Name:
(May 11, 2012)

Animal Testing
Moral Issues
Animal testing is also referred to as animal experimentation, animal research. In vivo testing, ii is the use of non-human animals in experiments. Annually, the range between tens of thousands to 100 million of animals is used for animal research. These include vertebrate animals from zebra fish to non-human primates like apes etc. Also invertebrates including frogs, fish, birds, mice, rats etc. the estimated number of mice and rats used in the United States in two thousand and one were 80million. Euthanization is done after the animals have been used.
Animals to be used are either purpose-bred or are caught in the wild or supplied by dealers depending on the country and species. The research is conducted inside universities, medical schools, pharmaceutical companies, farms, defense establishments and commercial facilities that provide animal-testing services to industry (Baird and Rosenbaum, 1991).
It is argued that pain is an intrinsic evil and any action that causes pain on another creature is simply not morally permissible. Pointing towards the words of the nineteenth-century utilitarian, Jeremy Bentham, animal welfare advocates claim that the morally relevant question about animals is not can they reason? Nor can they talk? It should be can they suffer? Animals do in fact suffer and actually experience pain. a researcher forcing a rat to choose between electric shocks and starvation to see if they develop ulcers do so because he o she knows that rats have a nervous system like that of a human being and feel the pain and shock in a similar way. Pain is an intrinsic evil either experienced by a child, an adult or an animal. Therefore, if it is wrong to inflict pain in humans, it is equally wrong to inflict pain in animals.
In addition, it is argued that the lives of all creatures, great or small, human or not, have value and are worth respect. Just like an insane person who does not reason right, an animal has the right to be treated with respect. Restricting respect to a certain species is an injustice just like racism or sexism.
In conclusion, animal welfare activists defend their position by countering the claim that halting painful animal experiments would put an end to scientific progress, with harmful consequences to society. Most of the experimentation, they say, is performed out of mere curiosity and has little or no scientific merit. Also, they say that, any benefits that animal testing does provide to human beings could be produced in other ways.
Legal Issues
There are animal laws and regulations and these are guidelines that permit and control the use of non-human animals for scientific experimentation. There’s variation of these laws around the world, but most governments aim to control the number of times individual animals may be used, the overall number used and the degree of pain tha...
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