Why are animal experiments performed? All important information

In Germany, millions of animals are abused in animal testing every year. This raises the following question: Why are animal experiments still actually performed, even though there are more reliable animal-free methods today?

Is animal testing legal?

According to the Animal Welfare Act, experiments on animals can be performed if they are considered “essential” and “the expected pain, suffering, or harm to the animals is morally justified in relation to the purpose of the experiment.” [1] In effect, this means: agreeing to electric shocks, brain implants, injections of cancer cells, and other forms of torture, on the condition that the experimenters justify this harsh measure with “expanding medical knowledge.” What you mean by “ethical” is ultimately a matter of interpretation and decided by people who understandably would never want to trade with animals.

This life awaits sensitive primates – regardless of attempts at torture. This macaque will never see the light of day again.

With every animal experiment, the ethical aspect is rigorously ignored and the fact that Animals simply aren’t there for us to experiment with. Simply put, it is not our place to weigh life against the afterlife and justify painful animal testing with a supposed benefit. It is wrong to confine animals in small cages, to force them to live without adequate social contacts, to torture them in experiments, and eventually kill them. Whether it’s a monkey, dog or mouse, no animal deserves to be confined in a lab and subjected to cruel abuse that would be illegal outside the lab.

Why are there still animal experiments?

Animals are tested out of habit

Animal testing is often part of a routine procedure – a classic case of ‘always done this way’. For this reason, animal experiments often remain the preferred method, even if there are more and more alternative methods to choose from, the results of which can also be better transmitted to humans.

Many animal testing is required by law

Animal testing is unfortunately required by law in some areas, among others

Animal experiments on drawing rabbits

However, the results of experiments on animals can hardly be transmitted to humans, which is why they are not very meaningful and sometimes even dangerous.

There are now alternative methods for many of these experiments. However, the problem is that the approval process is long and expensive – and the necessary funds are often lacking because most of the financial support goes to animal testing.

Animal testing as a step up the career ladder

There is another common factor in scientific research, because success in science generally depends on one factor Misleading functional system on: If you want to make a name for yourself in research, you have to post, and lots of it. The more papers published in popular journals, the better.

Animal experiments are a fairly easy way to generate study results and thus drive publications. They receive financial support and hardly have to overcome any hurdles to get approved. Whether the research results can be transmitted to humans at all is of secondary importance.

So animal experiments are part of a vicious cycle of climbing the career ladder in an ancient research system.

Students in courses such as biology, veterinary medicine, and human medicine grow in this ancient discipline right from the start. Departments and animal experiments are already defined by the university during the course and are part of everyday life. It completely ignores the fact that animal testing is morally unjustified. Animals are abused as “measurement tools” while often subjected to great suffering and forced to find miserable lives in the laboratory.

A multi-million dollar industry

What many people don’t know is that there is a huge industry behind animal testing. Mauritius alone, the world’s second largest exporter of monkeys for experimental purposes after China, earns €17 million annually from the rough trade. Up to 10,000 macaques are shipped from Mauritius to Europe and the United States each year, where they are used in animal experiments. [2]

Behind the breeding of mice, rats, and other animals being tortured in research, there is a greedy industry — and, of course, an interest in more animal testing. It benefits millions of times from the exploitation and suffering of living beings – as do manufacturers of cages, special sterile feeds and laboratory equipment.

Is animal testing cruel to animals?

In the most gruesome experiments, a variety of animal species Abuse, torture and murder Absurdity knows no bounds.

  • In one experiment, experimenters sucked part of the brains of mice and implanted an electrode into the animals’ heads to measure nerve impulses when cut filaments were touched — only to see which nerves were activated when the bristles were pressed. [3]
  • For the stress research, the mice were kept in constant fear and exposed to pain for several months. They were deprived of food and water, placed in airtight plastic tubes, unable to move, or trapped with aggressive creatures that repeatedly attacked them. [4] Pain was deliberately inflicted on rats using hot dishes and other utensils simply to monitor their behaviour. [4, 5]
animal test mice

Animal legal protection failed

The so-called researchers who conduct animal experiments point to Germany’s supposedly strict regulations: everything takes place within the legal framework and is officially approved, as is often said.

This completely ignores the fact that the federal government has not even implemented the already inappropriate EU requirements for years. The Animal Welfare Act states that “No one […] Cause pain, suffering, or harm to an animal without a valid reason [darf]” [6] – However, experiments on animals are excluded from this, even if they serve only to satisfy scientific curiosity.

In addition, animal welfare representatives are in the minority on so-called animal experimentation committees, which are often incorrectly referred to as ethics committees – the largest proportion are made up of scientists representing their own interests. The committees can only submit a vote to the authorities who decide on requests to conduct animal experiments and have no power whatsoever to decide whether to approve or reject an animal experiment project. Even the approving authority does only a “reasonableness check” of the request – that is, it only checks whether the request is formally valid. In Germany, less than 1% of applications are rejected. [7]

Why is animal testing not banned?

Animal testing has not yet been banned because large parts of the political spectrum classify it as “essential” and thus its purported necessity is enshrined in law in some areas. dem a lie outdated thinking patterns core, through which political and economic decision-makers uphold this prior science, rather than dealing with the promotion and development of animal-free research methods. PETA is committed to ending all animal testing and has therefore developed a “Research Update Deal”. The 70-page document collects hundreds of scientific evidence to provide evidence to update the research that could serve as the basis for a mandatory plan to phase out animal testing. After all, the current federal government has stipulated in its coalition agreement that it will develop a strategy to limit animal testing.

When will animal testing be banned?

Animal testing of cosmetics has been officially banned at least in the European Union since 2013 – but other regulations invalidate this ban, so animal testing is still performed even on cosmetics. We urgently need an exit plan that outlines concrete steps so that there is a file The future without animal testing can give. In order to achieve this goal, we at PETA Germany, together with our international partner organizations, have launched the European Citizens Initiative for a Animal Free European Union. With the necessary signatures, we would like to persuade politicians to update the research by increasing the promotion of animal-free methods and finally banning animal testing.

Help make the EU cruelty-free

In Germany and other European Union countries, millions of animals are held in experimental laboratories and abused in experiments. Please inform acquaintances and relatives about the suffering caused by animal testing and explain to them how each of us can combat this cruelty to animals and promote modern research without animal testing.

Signboard.  Citizens' Initiative Against Animal Testing

Sign the EU Citizens Initiative so that European politicians are forced to deal with this issue and that the suffering of animals abused in animal testing ends permanently.

  • Sources

    [1] Federal Office of Justice: Animal Welfare Act, Section 7a, https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/tierschg/BJNR012770972.html (Accessed 20 June 2022)

    [2] Florence, Vincent (2022): The macaques of Mauritius: an invasive alien species, and a major export for research, https://theconversation.com/the-macaque-monkeys-of-mauritius-an-invasive-alien-species-and-export- For Research-176569 (Accessed 06/03/2022)

    [3] Stüttgen, M. C. et al. 2008: Responses of trigeminal ganglia neurons in mice to longitudinal nodal stimulation. Journal of Neurophysiology, Vol. 100, pp. 1879–1884.

    [4] Lomazzo E et al 2017 Chronic stress induces a genetic defect in the neuropeptide Y and cannabinoid CB1 receptor genes in the mouse cingulate cortex. Neuropharmacology, Vol. 113, pp. 301 – 313

    [5] Lomazzo E et al 2015: Therapeutic potential of inhibitors of endocannabinoid degradation for the treatment of stress-related hyperalgesia in an animal model of chronic pain. Psychopharmacology and Neuropsychology, Vol. 40, pp. 488-501

    [6] Federal Office of Justice: Animal Welfare Act, § 1, https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/tierschg/BJNR012770972.html (accessed June 3, 2022)

    [7] S. Strittmatter, S. (2019) “Requests for animal testing in Germany are rarely denied”, ALTEX – Alternatives to Animal Experimentation, 36(3), pp. 470–471. doi: 10.14573/altex.1906111.

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