Animal testing is used for everything from drugs to cosmetics

Animal testing is used for everything from drugs to cosmetics. The debate on whether or not animal testing should be continued has been a hot topic of debate for decades. There has been a shift from the past view where animals had no moral rights and treating an animal was more about maintaining human standards of dignity than respecting any rights of the animal. Even though animals have been used for toxicity testing, the advancement of scientific technology demonstrates how non- animal alternatives should be the replacement.
Regarding the ethical standpoint of the testing, Hope R. Ferdowsian and Nancy Beck dive in to the changing cultural perspective about the place of animals in society. They wrote, “Ethical and Scientific Considerations Regarding Animal Testing and Research,” which appeared in PLoS ONE Collection, 2011, Volume 6 Issue 9, p. 1-4. Almost one year before this article was published, there was a conference held in Washington D.C. to address more details on the challenges and opportunities to implement non-animal alternatives. From this conference, they gather references to further their research on the subject at hand. The accompanying articles in the Collection only briefly skim on the many scientific and ethical issues surrounding the use of animals in testing and research. Ferdowsian worked with the Department of Medicine at the George Washington University, and they both have worked with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C.. Ferdowsian and Beck want people to be aware that three R’s are encouraging researchers to, “reduce the numbers of animals used in experiments to the minimum considered necessary, refine or limit the pain and distress to which animals are exposed, and replace the use of animals with non-animal alternatives when possible,” (1). Ferdowsian and Beck understand that the guidelines that have been implemented, perceived people to believe that animal testing should continue because of the perceived benefits to humans. Scientists have also acknowledged that animals feel pain and distress. Although there is a slow movement of progress because of less dialogue discussing the replacement of animals in research, it is still there nonetheless. To further scientific advancement through ethical standing, there needs to be an evidence- based approach which is ethically consistent.
Rob J. Vanderbriel and Henk van Loveren, acknowledge the scientific side and give further details on non-animal alternatives. They have business with the Laboratory for Health Protection Research. National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands, and Hen van Loveren extends through the Department of Health Risk Analysis and Toxicology, Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands. They also convey (like Ferdowsian and Beck) that as long as scientists follow reduction, refinement, replacement, there is a chance to move on to a non-animal alternatives. From the Critical Reviews in Toxicology, May 2010; Volume 40 Issue 5: 389-404, “Non-animal Sensitization Testing: State-of-the-art,” Vanderbriel and Loveren express in more detail of how certain tests for sensitization can be alternated or not. In silico approach is a computer simulation, which provides information from mechanistic knowledge. Through this, there can be a read-across approach, to have a scientific guess as a comparison to the real substance. In chemico approach uses an assay to measure the reactivity of substances before moving on to another test. It pays more attention to nucleophiles which involves a covalent bond formation. By testing the reactivities of different chemicals, it provides a greater picture of the information provided. In vitro approach is performed outside of the body. Despite it being a good fit for an alternative, it requires aspects such as blood, which any such replacement results in a poorer prediction. People need to address the existing information and tests already being used, and if those are insufficient then the alternatives should be executed. Although it may be a fast-moving field, there is still, “a need to better understand mechanisms of sensitizations,” which instills obstacles that are present before the non-animal alternatives can be put into action (400).
In the, “Ending the Use of Animals in Toxicity Testing and Risk Evaluation,” which was released in the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics (2015), 448-456 by Andrew Rowan, demonstrates alternatives and how close the field is to using the. He has been an advocate for non-animal alternatives in biomedical research and safety testing. Rowan outlines the policy initiatives and technical developments which support that the goal of alternatives is attainable, desirable, and ethically obligatory. Chemical testing would allow an increase to the pace and reduce the cost. With optimistic predictions, computing systems will employ a more accurate prediction for human safety. Researchers understand that animals used in toxicity testing cause harm and suffering. “There is now a developing consensus that animal tests are time consuming and not particularly effective in predicting harms to humans and the environments,” this is leading the way to quicker and cheaper alternatives (Rowan 455). Moving away from animal testing will take more time to perfect, but it will be worth it for better risk assessment.
All three of these sources touch base on non-animal alternatives for toxicity testing. Animals are not as effective in predicting results in humans, so alternatives should be worked on to allow better accuracy for testing. Ferdowsian, Beck, and Rowan show how alternatives need to go into play because of ethical reasoning (that animals experience pain and distress). Although people still have the viewpoint that animals are the closest and most accurate for toxicity testing, through the non-animal alternatives, it will prove that it is a more effective way of procedure once it is fully executed. The three sources predict that animal testing will end and the alternatives will be the future of advancement. There is human testing, which is an approach from the sources. This can work with people who are in prison with more severe penalties; they can be used as test subjects once the substance is safe in respects to chemical reactions (a volunteer base with benefits could set the operation up). This is another idea on how to move to more precise data required for human safety. Through more research, it will allow testing with the non-animal alternatives to take over. Overall, the idea of non-animal testing has been on a slow course to becoming reality. Animals are and have been an alternative close enough to humans, but to become more accurate, testing should improve through alternative testing.