Argument: Animal experimentation inherently involves harming animals

Issue Report: Animal testing


Dr. Hadwen Trust – “1. What are animal experiments?
Animal experiments (also known as vivisection) are defined in the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 as any scientific procedures performed on a living animal likely to cause them “pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm.” At present, the Act defines an animal as any animal with a backbone; plus the octopus.

[…]4. What do the animal experiments involve?
The experiments animals are used in are wide-ranging but can involve poisoning; disease infection; wound infliction; application of skin/eye irritants; food/water/sleep deprivation; subjection to psychological stress; brain damage; paralysis; surgical mutilation; induced organ failure; genetic modification and associated physical deformity; burning; and electric shocks. Animals may die as part of the experiment or are killed afterwards for post mortem examination. The government say that most experiments are of mild to moderate severity, but we believe they underestimate suffering.

6. Do animals suffer in experiments?
Yes, an experiment on a living animal only needs to be licensed by the UK government if it has the potential to cause “pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm.” (see the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986).
Animals are capable of experiencing both physical pain and suffering as well as psychological harm like fear (including, for some species, anticipation of harm), boredom or depression. Suffering can be caused not only by the experimental procedure, but also due to the unnatural and often stark laboratory environment, handling or excessive noise or light.”