Much of the debate over the use of animal testing in drug development is a cocktail of facts, emotions and ethics. Regulators have tried to strike a balance between these factors in the forthcoming EU Directive 2010/63/EU, but there is still considerable pressure to stop animal testing altogether. What would happen to drug development, and where would it take place, if animal testing were banned? It’s difficult to find the ‘right’ answers, particularly when rare, or orphan, diseases are involved.
Orphan diseases, affect not more than 5 in 10000 people, With some 29 million sufferers in the EU;
Given my interest in issues around animal testing, these timely reminders of the burden of disease got me thinking about the contribution that research has made to human health.
For our debut video interview, Animal Testing Perspectives (ATP) was very lucky to talk to Neil Parish MP and former rapporteur of the legislation protecting animals used for research in Europe.
It was clear when talking with Neil about his experience during the first reading that it was a challenging time for him. Each person faces their own personal dilemma about animal research and for Neil it was between his natural love of animals, as a farmer and dog owner, with the desire for legislation that allows medical advancement for humans.
57,000 people across The Netherlands have signed a partition to ban research and testing on cats and dogs. It would be interesting to know how many of these citizens were also loving pet owners? It’s an important question because over the past decade, the market for medical healthcare for pets has grown dramatically in comparison to healthcare for humans.
What’s in a name? Well quite a lot it seems. Whether you came to this site looking for information about animal testing, animal research, vivisection or experimentation, the language you use defines your political and emotional views, your level of knowledge on the subject and potentially reveals your nationality.
Animal testing and research dates back to the writings of the Greeks in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC, with Aristotle and Erasistratus among the first to perform experiments on living animals. Avenzoar, an Arabic physician in 12th-century Moorish Spain who practiced dissection, introduced animal testing as an experimental method of testing surgical procedures before applying them to human patients.