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Edwin J.

Alvarado-Rodriguez SYNTHESIS ESSAY


FIRST DRAFT 2017-10-19
Animal testing is the experimentation on animals to test the effects of products later to be

consumed by people. This practice has increasingly become shrouded in a tug of war, with the

public as proponents to its discontinuation, and research and government agencies as its supporters.

Cohn (2010) in Alternatives to Animal Testing Gaining Ground: Researchers, Regulators

Develop New Systems for Experiments, Ericson (2014) in The Price of Killing Off Animal

Testing, and Rowan (2011) in Avoiding Animal Testing discuss the animal testing issue. The

problem of animal testing is a multi-faceted one, with ethical, needful and functional, and political

aspects permeating it.

Animal testing is a heated issue due to the ethical implications tied to it. A key aspect of

the debate involves drawing the line between animals and people. Ericson (2014) touches on this

subject by stating that although people do not hesitate when eliminating pests and infections, the

public begins to grow wary as the organism starts to manifest human-like qualities. Another facet

to the ethical implications involves how animals experience trauma like humans. Cohn (2010)

mentions how studies performed on chimpanzees show that these animals experience pain and

discomfort, in addition to post traumatic disorder. Although animal experimentation has always

trodden in treacherous terrain due to its ethical woes, its usefulness and essentiality render it a

prevalent practice.

Researchers are starting to move away from animal testing due to concerns with

functionality, but they also remain steadfast on its necessity. Because of the aforementioned

functionality issue, the research community has been abandoning in vivo experimentation. Cohn

(2010) and Rowan (2011) discuss how mainstream researchers have begun to adhere to a strict

reduction, refinement, and elimination of animal use in science and how professional research

conglomerates envision an animal-free research environment. These same researchers, however,


Edwin J. Alvarado-Rodriguez SYNTHESIS ESSAY
FIRST DRAFT 2017-10-19
stipulate that animal testing is very necessary. Ericson (2014) cites several research conglomerates

proposing minimized animal use instead of completely forsaking it is a more sensible approach.

The author also cites how stopping animal experimentation would greatly hinder research on

diseases such as neurodegenerative ailments. In response to the research communitys gradual

abandoning of animal testing and the publics resounding unrest regarding the practice, the federal

government is starting to zero in on animal testing practices.

Animal testing has been procuring political attention in the form of policy making and

regulation. Policies to reduce the animal toll in research and product approval have begun to arise.

Cohn (2010) and Rowan (2011) touch on how government agencies have started to research non-

animal testing and have moved on to cooperate to develop new, modern practices to change

product testing. Although the public has been welcoming these policies, there has been some

opposition from the research community to some pro-animal regulations. Ericson (2014) cites how

a professional research society directly opposed the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, a

policy to eliminate invasive testing on primates.

In conclusion, animal testing is complex issue, with various facets regarding its ethics,

necessity, functionality, and politics. There has been a growing abandoning of animal testing in

recent years, with the public pushing for its complete elimination and research communities

proposing its minimized use. Government agencies have responded to this trend by proposing and

developing policies to regulate animal use in product testing. There appears to be a universal

understanding that animal use is an obsolete form of testing, with newer technologies offering

better alternatives.
Edwin J. Alvarado-Rodriguez SYNTHESIS ESSAY
FIRST DRAFT 2017-10-19
Edwin J. Alvarado-Rodriguez SYNTHESIS ESSAY
FIRST DRAFT 2017-10-19
References

Cohn, M. (2010, August 26). Alternatives to animal testing gaining ground. The Baltimore Sun.

Retrieved from: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2010-08-26/health/bs-hs-animal-testing-

20100826_1_animal-testing-animal-welfare-act-researchers

Ericson, J. (2014, February 20). The price of killing off animal testing. Newsweek. Retrieved from:

http://www.newsweek.com/2014/02/21/price-killing-animal-testing-245548.html

Rowan, A. (2011, December 1). Avoiding animal testing. Scientist. Retrieved from:

http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/31401/title/Avoiding-Animal-

Testing/