Scientists use animals to test cosmetics, medicines, and lots of other products we use. This has been a controversial issue for a long time. Some argue testing on some animals now will prevent lots of human suffering and save lives in the future. Others say it’s unethical and cruel.
Still, everyone agrees that millions of animals are subjected to excruciating pain in labs. And that thousands of them die. Whatever your position, read on to get the facts:
- Estimates say that between 14 and 70 million animals are used in experiments each year. It’s impossible to know exactly how many animals are tested because US law does not require scientists to report how many birds, reptiles, or rodents they use.
- Over 1 million dogs, cats, primates, sheep, hamsters, and guinea pigs are used in labs each year. Of those, over 86,000 are dogs and cats.
- Thousands of shelter animals are tormented and euthanized in U.S. laboratories every year.
- 50% of animals used in cosmetic testing die within three weeks of the experiment.
- Botox is deemed safe for humans once it kills half of mice tested.
- Rodents, birds, and reptiles are not protected by the USDA’s Animal Welfare Act. Therefore, labs that only test on these animals are not required to provide pain relief.
- Many of these labs burn, shock, torture, shock, and starve animals without pain relief. For example, baby mice endured severed ligaments for 16 weeks without pain relief.
- Small animals like hamsters, mice, and rats are usually kept in plastic boxes about the size of a shoebox. Several animals leave in each box.
- Larger animals like dogs, cats, and primates usually live in wire cages. Most animals stay in their cages all the time except when they are being used in experiments.
- Animal testing is often ineffective in predicting how products will work on people. Some estimates say up to 92% of tests passed on animals failed when tried on humans.
- Animal testing that was outlawed in the UK was moved to the US.
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Sources: USDA, ASPCA , PETA , Humane Society of the United States