Animal Testing

Scientific Perspectives

  • Animal testing is used to measure how much of a drug is absorbed into the blood, how it is broken down chemically, the toxicity of the drug, and how quickly the drug is excreted
  • manufactureres test chemicals on lab animals
  • a statistical value called LD50 used for pesticides is found through the tests
  • the LD50 is the amount of pesticide it takes to kill 50% of test animals in the short term
  • the lower the LD50 is, the more toxic the pesticide is
  • animal testing also used for other chemicals in oral toxicity test and dermal toxicity tests
  • oral toxicity tests are usually done on rats and mice becuase they have similar digestive systems and similar metabolic responses compared to humans
  • dermal toxicity tests are done on rabbits by rubbing their skin with sand paper until just before it bleeds and then applying the chemical
  • the most commonly animal used for animal testing is mice
  • other common testing animals are rats, cold blooded animals, birds, rabbits, and guinea-pigs
  • chart:

The National Death Toll
Recent (fiscal 2005) United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics list a total of 1,177,566 (a one-year increase of 7%) primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and other species as being subjected to experimental procedures. The species by species listings include:
66,610 dogs
57,531 primates
58,598 pigs
245,786 rabbits
22,921 cats
176,988 hamsters
64,146 other farm animals
32,260 sheep
231,440 other animals
221,286 guinea pigs

Social Perspectives

  • Animal Testing is wrong and cruel.
    • countless activists
      • activist groups:
        • Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics
        • People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

  • Animal testing is necessary to create cosmetics and drugs.
    • some pharmaceutical companies, people interested in developing products, NASA (Enos the space chimp)

  • Products/Drugs need to be tested...are there alternative ways to doing this besides animal testing?
    • artificial skin/bone
    • computer programs

Legal Perspectives
Cosmetics and Drugs
  • The Food and Drug Administration are responsible for the safety of the cosmetics.
  • The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act states that animals may be used for testing the safety of cosmetics and the manufacturer is allowed to decide what kind of animal testing is needed.
  • Research and testing should be used to get the maximum amount of information with the minimum amount of animals being tested.
  • Animal Welfare Act- A poorly enforced law that allows many loop holes. Under this act, animal testers are allowed to be starved, electrically shocked, driven insane, or burned with a blowtorch-as long as it's done in a clean laboratory.
  • Students have a choice to participate in the dissection activities.
  • All of laws about animal dissection concern students from kindergarden to 12th grade.

Companies that Test on Animals

Arm & Hammer, BIC Corporation, Clorox, Clairol, Colgate-Palmolive Co., Covergirl, Dial Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, L'oreal USA, Olay, Oral-B, Pantene, Physique, Playtex, Procter & Gamble, Schering-Plough, S.C. Johnson, Soaftsoap Enterprises, Suave, Unilever........

Food for Thought

1. Is it right to use animals for medical research or to test cosmetics?
2. Are there any alternatives to animal testing? Discuss the pros and cons of these methods.
3. Are the benefits of killing animals to test human medicines greater than the costs?
4. Is dissection necessary to teach animal physiology?

Website URL:[[|<span]]
Name of Reviewer: Emily Apathy
Date of Review:5/20/08
Review of Site: The institution responsible for the webpage is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The date on the webpage is April 6th, 2006. This is a government webpage that accurately explains the laws on animal testing rights. It has no biases. The webpage is a brief overview on some of the laws pertaining to animal testing. This webpage is to inform the reader. I recommend this website because it gives accurate information without any biases, it has recent information, and its purpose is to inform its reader.

Website URL:
Name of Reviewer: Mike Hatfield
Date of Review: May 21 2008

Review of Site:

This website article was written by Dr. George Poste on September 3 2006. The website does have a bias. The writer is a veterinarian who used animal testing for many years. He sides with the idea that animal testing is necessary but he also acknowledges that there are alternatives to animal testing. The website also provides valuable information about animal testing. The purpose of the website is to persuade you to consider the whether or not animal testing is morale but it does still provide some information about animal testing. I would not recommend using this website because the purpose of it is not to inform but to pursuade you.

Website URL:**/**
Name of Reviewer Claire

Date of Review: 5/20/08
Review of Site:
This website is from the Humane Society of the United States. The website has a copyright from 2008, so the information is very recent. There is no mention of any political, cultural, or religious. However, the website does have a bias against animal testing. The information seems accurate, and the opinion of the institution is clearly stated. The website has different pages with in-depth analyses of information pertaining to animal testing. The purpose of this information is to inform the public of animal testing and support and advocate the cause of stopping it. I would recommend this website to others because it is from a reliable source- the Humane Society of the United States. The information is current and very informative.

Website URL:
Name of Reviewer: Tim Ferris
Date of Review: 5/21/08

Review of Site:

This website is from the organization People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). There is no date on the web page. There are no mentions of cultural or religious biases, but it does discuss the requirement of the FDA for drugs to be tested on animals. The website in general is very much against animal testing. The information included seems to be accurate, and while the main page is a quick overview, there are other articles and videos pertaining to animal testing. The purpose of this web page is to inform the reader about the cruelties to animals used in testing, to persuade them that animal testing is wrong, and to advocate their cause to stop animal testing. I would recommend this page to those who are interested because it is factual and provides information on a very controversial topic.