Animal Defenders International

 

Animal Defenders International

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Immediate action needed to end the use of animals in experiments!

6290 people have signed this petition so far

I believe that it is wrong to carry out experiments on animals when there are better, safer and humane alternatives available.

I urge the government to take action immediately to replace the use of animals in research. Animal experiments are unreliable, unethical and unnecessary.

It is sometimes claimed that animal experiments are essential to medical progress; however the fundamental problem of animal research is that each species responds differently to drugs and other substances - what might poison a human could be eaten by an animal without any ill effects. For example:

  • Macaque monkeys are frequently used in toxicology testing, but they have specific genes which are vital for drug metabolism (when a drug works through the body). These genes are not found in humans and this is “partly responsible for differences in drug metabolism between monkeys and humans”.
  • The breast cancer drug tamoxifen was designed as an oral contraceptive. It is in rats, but in women it has the opposite effect. It is now used in the treatment of breast cancer, despite causing cancer in rats in some studies.

Species differences make animal use unreliable, and so do the effects of being in a laboratory. Laboratory animals can experience fear and distress, causing changes in their biochemistry which can affect the outcome of experiments. As a result of these factors, drugs that have tested as safe in animals have gone on to injure people.

  • TGN1412, an experimental drug, caused volunteers to suffer serious, permanent and life-threatening damage. Prior to human trials, the drug was tested on monkeys at 500 times the human dose; the monkeys did not suffer the side effects experienced by the humans. Several studies regarding TGN1412 have highlighted the crucial differences between the human and monkey immune systems.
  • The anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx had unexpected effects on human patients, after laboratory animal tests. It was reported that between 88-140,000 extra heart attacks may have been caused by Vioxx in the five years since its introduction.

There are better ways to carry out research. Advanced technologies involving sophisticated analytical and statistical methods are available and are replacing animals. These methods are quicker, cheaper and more reliable.

Millions of animals needlessly die in the name of research every year. We want safe medicines and medical progress without animal suffering and an end to unreliable, unethical and unnecessary animal experiments.

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