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RESPONSIBLE RESEARCH


Regardless of how one feels about the use of animals in experiments, there is widespread agreement that this area is fraught with concerns.

To begin with, there is the problem of applying results from animal experiments to human outcomes. No one denies that the track record here has been poor. Animals “models” fail consistently to provide meaningful progress for human diseases.

An astonishing 92% of drugs that enter clinical trials on the basis of animal tests fail to gain approval for marketing. Over 80 AIDS vaccines have failed in human trials, and out of thousands of studies claiming promise of drugs to treat stroke, not one has shown human benefit.
In addition to these momentous failings, many have argued compellingly that humans and animals share key qualities – such as the ability to form social bonds, to experience fear, pain, loneliness, boredom, depression, and frustration – which makes it morally indefensible to use animals in painful and/or lethal experiments.

Humane research?
Though the animal research establishment is quick to point to the regulatory and oversight process as assurance that animals do not suffer in laboratories, in actuality, the record reveals quite a different picture.

Frequent and continuous violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), coupled with copious testimony from whistleblowers and undercover investigators, document a system in which animals suffer while laboratories operate with little oversight and violators are regularly exonerated. Since 1992, the Office of U.S. Inspector General has conducted three separate audits of the oversight process that have been harshly critical of its shortcomings.

Humane Science for the 21st Century
It is possible, in the twenty-first century, to conduct a vast array of experiments without using animals and to derive better results more quickly and at less cost.

Cutting-edge technology has forged new frontiers with the use of lasers, fiber optics, microchips, genomics, computer-based drug design, and digital imaging, to name a few. [Link to Modern Research Methods page] These methods have contributed to a technological revolution in biomedical research and rendered the reliance on animals outdated.

Scientists have only just begun to tap the potential of these new technologies. Their full potential can never be realized while dependence on animal models persists. Reliance on animals continues, not because it is effective, but due to inertia, lack of training, vested financial interests and adherence to outdated traditions.

Responsible Research
We are not lacking the technology to replace animals. What is lacking is the conviction.

If we took a fraction of the resources currently devoted to animal experiments and put those towards developing and expanding non-animal methods, we could vastly reduce the use of animals immediately and pave way for the day that they are no longer used at all.

This is why we have developed our Responsible Research Campaign to advocate for humane, non-animal research methods.

Responsible Research means promoting a steady redirection of resources to new technologies that don’t use animals. The consistent application of resources to humane, non-animal methods offers a reasonable and prudent way to move away from over-reliance on animal experimentation, while paving the way for new technologies to replace them.

Doing so will impel science and medicine forward, for the sake of both human and animal life.