Caring v Curing

Vivisection (from the Latin ‘vivus’ and ‘sectio’ meaning ‘alive cutting’) is where animals are operated and tested on for medical science or product testing. There has been lots of controversy over the subject of animal testing. The use of animals in scientific experiments can lead to treatments and cures for serious and sometimes terminal illnesses but, as human biology is slightly different to that of the animals, there is no guarantee that something that doesn’t affect a lab animal won’t affect us.

Some animals are being left maimed, blinded and occasionally brain damaged, if they survive the procedures at all, in an attempt to test the safety and affectivity of drugs or to find preventions and treatments for disease. Groups such as the NAVS (National Anti-Vivisection Society) campaign and protest against animal testing. Several questions were asked to the NAVS to help get a better image of what vivisection is and why, in their eyes, it’s so wrong.

Q1. What is the NAVS?

The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) is the world’s premier anti-vivisection group, campaigning tirelessly since its inception to expose the cruelty and futility of animal experiments.

Q2. Why are you against vivisection and animal testing?

Because animal testing is unreliable, unethical and unnecessary. Hundreds of thousands of animals suffer in laboratories yet we know that the differences between species can produce misleading results.

Q3. Are there alternatives to vivisection and animal testing?

There is cell, tissue and organ culture as well as computers for making predictions about the likely effects of chemical substances.

Q4. Are animals necessary for medical research?

No. Each species responds differently to chemical substances making results misleading and dangerous when these results are used to predict effects in humans.

In my personal opinion, I am strongly against animals being harmed and killed for the sake of medical research yet it is hard to argue with the fact that, in some cases, this has and will help speed up cures and save lives of people that may not survive without it. Millions of animals suffer every year being operated on and injected with poisons to test the effects and are then caged and practically left for dead. But, in the end, it’s normally a case of a few animals’ lives against thousands of human lives.

I think that animal testing is overused and far too harsh, I don’t believe vivisection should be banned forever as it can benefit medical research dramatically but the number of animals being tested on is far too high and needs to be reduced! We need organisations like NAVS to help save and protect animals from vivisection and to give them a chance of a new home.

Siobhan