• Question: How do you feel about animal testing?

    Asked by embolina to Alex, Amy, Andy, Georgia, Ollie on 16 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by ellennnnnnnnn, samsam.
    • Photo: Amy Reeve

      Amy Reeve answered on 15 Jun 2011:


      I don’t like animal testing for things like beauty products or soaps. I also don’t like experiments on monkey’s. I think sometimes though it is necessary to test out our ideas on mice and rats so that we can understand them better 🙂

    • Photo: Andy MacLeod

      Andy MacLeod answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      Hello again emolina!

      As I mentioned in the chat, I think animal testing is a neccesary evil. I’d prefer we didn’t have to do it, but there are some things we can’t test on humans, so we need to use animal. It does need to be strictly regulated and controlled before to avoid unneccesary causing the animals unncessary harm or suffering. A lot of my colleagues use mice in their experiments, but they need to go through a strict training course, and all of the experiments they do need to be ethically approved.

    • Photo: Ollie Russell

      Ollie Russell answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      Hi embolina,

      I think that like Andy says it is a neccessary evil. I think that one day we will be able to test new drugs using computer models, but until we know how everything works in the cell we will need to use animals.

      However when you use animals you have to follow the three prinicipals of Reduction, Replacement and Refinement. These ensure that you dont use too many animals, you dont use an animal when you could use cells or computers, and that you make sure the animal doesnt suffer. Following these rules is a legal requirement if you want to do animal research.

    • Photo: Georgia Campbell

      Georgia Campbell answered on 16 Jun 2011:

      I think medical testing on animals is something that we need to do – I don’t like it, but as has been said before, its a necessary evil. I don’t agree with testing cosmetics on animals though – companies like the body shop make great products without animal testing, so there’s clearly no need for companies to use animals for this at all.

      The thing to remember with medical testing on animals is how tightly regulated it is – there are a lot of laws about how you’re allowed to use animals, and they have to be really well looked after. Testing of medicines on animals can only be done when we’re really sure that the medicine works anyway – it will have been tested on cells for a long time first – and its only to make sure that there aren’t any unexpected side effects. It’s sort of ‘the lesser of two evils’, rather than giving it to people and finding out about any nasty side-effects then. Other experiments using animals are to find out how illnesses happen – it’s not very nice, but its important that we find these things out from a few animals tohelp a lot of people. I can see why some people are against it though, and I’m glad I don’t have to do any animal testing for my research.