As part of our ‘Shall it stay or shall it go?’ campaign we’ve been asking you about the future of animal research in Europe.
Well it seems that some of the scientists who work in this area have given their verdict: they want it to stay and are more than a little worried about what they see as myths around animal studies.
Professor Claus-Michael Lehr, a drug development scientist at the Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), believes new methods using cell culture instead of rats and mice will help deliver medicines more efficiently.
Insisting that animals be used only when the results of experiments have guaranteed benefits for human health is to misunderstand science, even to undermine the drive for scientific knowledge.
Science is rarely as certain or a simple as some expect. It is never possible to know for sure how new knowledge will be used.
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.
For several years Simon Festing of Understanding Animal Research (UAR) has had the difficult job of talking about the benefits of using animals in research. During this time he has witnessed some of the most concentrated and violent animal rights protests towards individuals and research centres in the UK.
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.
There has been some buzz online recently at the new funding raising strategy of the British Heart Foundation. As it attempts to raise an ambitious 50m pounds to fund groundbreaking heart research, it is openly showing the need for animal research and testing in its promotional campaign.
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.