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Essay/Term paper: Animal testing

Essay, term paper, research paper:  College Papers

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Using animals for testing is wrong and should be banned. They
have rights just as we do. Twenty-four hours a day humans are using
defenseless animals for cruel and most often useless tests. The
animals have no way of fighting back. This is why there should be new
laws to protect them. These legislations also need to be enforced more
regularly. Too many criminals get away with murder.
Although most labs are run by private companies, often
experiments are conducted by public organizations. The US government,
Army and Air force in particular, has designed and carried out many
animal experiments. The purposed experiments were engineered so that
many animals would suffer and die without any certainty that this
suffering and death would save a single life, or benefit humans in
anyway at all; but the same can be said for tens of thousands of other
experiments performed in the US each year. Limiting it to just
experiments done on beagles, the following might sock most people: For
instance, at the Lovelace Foundation, Albuquerque, New Mexico,
experimenters forced sixty-four beagles to inhale radioactive Strontium
90 as part of a larger ^Fission Product Inhalation Program^ which began
in 1961 and has been paid for by the US Atomic Energy Commission. In
this experiment Twenty-five of the dogs eventually died. One of the
deaths occurred during an epileptic seizure; another from a brain
hemorrhage. Other dogs, before death, became feverish and anemic, lost
their appetites, and had hemorrhages. The experimenters in their
published report, compared their results with that of other experiments
conducted at the University of Utah and the Argonne National Laboratory
in which beagles were injected with Strontium 90. They concluded that
the dose needed to produce ^early death^ in fifty percent of the sample
group differed from test to test because the dogs injected with
Strontium 90 retain more of the radioactive substance than dogs forced
to inhale it. Also, at the University of Rochester School Of Medicine
a group of experimenters put fifty beagles in wooden boxes and
irradiated them with different levels of radiation by x-rays.
Twenty-one of the dogs died within the first two weeks. The
experimenters determined the dose at which fifty percent of the animals
will die with ninety-five percent confidence. The irritated dogs
vomited, had diarrhea, and lost their appetites. Later, they
hemorrhaged from the mouth, nose, and eyes. In their report, the
experimenters compared their experiment to others of the same nature
that each used around seven hundred dogs. The experimenters said that
the injuries produced in their own experiment were ^Typical of those
described for the dog^ (Singer 30). Similarly, experimenters for the
US Food and Drug Administration gave thirty beagles and thirty pigs
large amounts of Methoxychlor (a pesticide) in their food, seven days a
week for six months, ^In order to insure tissue damage^ (30). Within
eight weeks, eleven dogs exhibited signs of ^abnormal behavior^
including nervousness, salivation, muscle spasms, and convolutions.
Dogs in convultions breathed as rapidly as two hundred times a minute
before they passed out from lack of oxygen. Upon recovery from an
episode of convulsions and collapse, the dogs were uncoordinated,
apparently blind, and any stimulus such as dropping a feeding pan,
squirting water, or touching the animals initiated another convulsion.
After further experimentation on an additional twenty beagles, the
experimenters concluded that massive daily doses of Methoxychlor
produce different effects in dogs from those produced in pigs. These
three examples should be enough to show that the Air force beagle
experiments were in no way exceptional. Note that all of these
experiments, according to the experimenters^ own reports, obviously
caused the animals to suffer considerably before dying. No steps were
taken to prevent this suffering, even when it was clear that the
radiation or poison had made the animals extremely sick. Also, these
experiments are parts of series of similar experiments, repeated with
only minor variations, that are being carried out all over the
country. These experiments Do Not save human lives or improve them in
any way. It was already known that Strontium 90 is unhealthy before

the beagles died; and the experimenters who poisoned dogs and pigs with
Methoxychlor knew beforehand that the large amounts they were feeding
the animals (amounts no human could ever consume) would cause damage.
In any case, as the differing results they obtained on pigs and dogs
make it clear, it is not possible to reach any firm conclusion about
the effects of a substance on humans from tests on other species. The
practice of experimenting on non-human animals as it exists today
throughout the world reveals the brutal consequences of speciesism
(Singer 29).
In this country everyone is supposed to be equal, but
apparently some people just don^t have to obey the law. That
is, in New York and some other states, licensed laboratories are immune
from ordinary anticruelty laws, and these places are often owned by
state universities, city hospitals, or even The United States Public
Health Service. It seems suspicious that some government run
facilities could be ^immune^ from their own laws (Morse 19). In
relation, ^No law requires that cosmetics or household products be
tested on animals. Nevertheless, by six^o clock this evening, hundreds
of animals will have their eyes, skin, or gastrointestinal systems
unnecessarily burned or destroyed. Many animals will suffer and die
this year to produce ^new^ versions of deodorant, hair spray, lipstick,
nail polish, and lots of other products^ (Sequoia 27). Some of the
largest cosmetics companies use animals to test their products. These
are just a couple of the horrifying tests they use, namely, the Drazie
Test. The Drazie test is performed almost exclusively on albino
rabbits. They are preferred because they are docile, cheap, and their
eyes do not shed tears (so chemicals placed in them do not wash out).
They are also the test subject of choice because their eyes are clear,
making it easier to observe destruction of eye tissue; their corneal
membranes are extremely susceptible to injury. During each test the
rabbits are immobilized (usually in a ^stock^, with only their heads
protruding) and a solid or liquid is placed in the lower lid of one eye
of each rabbit. These substances can range from mascara to aftershave
to oven cleaner. The rabbits^ eyes remain clipped open. Anesthesia is
almost never administered. After that, the rabbits are examined at
intervals of one, twenty-four, forty-eight, seventy-two, and one
hundred an sixty-eight hours. Reactions, which may range from severe
inflammation, to clouding of the cornea, to ulceration and rupture of
the eyeball, are recorded by technicians. Some studies continue for a
period of weeks. No other attempt is made to treat the rabbits or to
seek any antidotes. The rabbits who survive the Drazie test may then
be used as subjects for skin-inflammation tests (27). Another widely
used procedure is the LD-50. This is the abbreviation of the Lethal
Dose 50 test. LD-50 is the lethal dose of something that will kill
fifty percent of all animals in a group of forty to two hundred. Most
commonly, animals are force-feed substances (which may be toothpaste,
shaving cream, drain cleaner, pesticides, or anything else they want to
test) through a stomach tube and observed for two weeks or until
death. Non-oral methods of administering the test include injection,
forced inhalation, or application to animals skin. Symptoms routinely
include tremors, convultions, vomiting, diarrhea, paralysis, or
bleeding from the eyes, nose, mouth. Animals that survive are
destroyed (29). Additionally, when one laboratory^s research on
animals establishes something significant, scores of other labs repeat
the experiment, and more thousands of animals are needlessly tortured
and killed (Morse 8).
Few labs buy their animal test subjects from legitimate pet
stores and the majority use illegal pet dealers. There are many stolen
animal dealers that house the animals before, during , and after
testing. These ^farms^ most frequently hold animals between tests
while the animals recuperate, before facing another research ordeal.
These so called farms in question are mainly old barn-like buildings
used as hospitals and convalescent (recovery) wards are filthy,
overcrowded pens. At one farm in particular dogs with open chest
wounds and badly infected incisions, so weak that many could not stand,
were the order of the day. These dogs were ^recuperating^ from
open-heart and kidney surgery. Secondly, a litter of two-day-old pups
were found in a basket, with no food provisions in sight (Morse 19).
In every pen there were dogs suffering from highly contagious
diseases. An animal^s road to a lab is seldom a direct one. Whether
he^s stolen picked up as a stray, or purchased, there^s a de tour first
to the animal dealer^s farm; There he waits- never under satisfactory
conditions- until his ride, and often life, comes to an end at the
laboratory (23).
Every day of the year, hundreds of thousands of fully conscious
animals are scalded, or beaten, or crushed to death, and more are
subjected to exotic surgery and then allowed to die slowly and in
agony. There is no reason for this suffering to continue (Morse 8).
In conclusion, animal testing is inhumane and no animal should
be forced to endure such torture. Waste in government is one
thing; it seems to be an accepted liability of democracy. But the
wasting of lives is something else. How did it ever get this way?


Fox, Michael Allen. The Case For Animal Experimentation. Los
Angeles: University Of California Press, 1986.

Jasper, James M. and Dorothy Nelkin, eds. The Animal Rights
Crusade. New York: Macmillion Inc., 1992, 103-56.

Morse, Mel. Ordeal Of The Animals. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall
International, 1968.

Sequoia, Anna. 67 Ways To Save The Animals. New York: Harper
Collins, 1990.

Singer, Peter. Animal Liberation. New York: Random House, 1975.


I. Introduction
II. Supporting evidence on testing
A. Experiments funded by US government
1. Strontium 90
2. Irradiation by X-rays
3. Methoxychlor
B. Background on laws in US
C. Examples of tests
1. The Drazie Test
2. The LD-50 Test
D. What the animals go through
1. Trip to the laboratory
2. Their stay at the lab
3. After the tests are done
III. Conclusion


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