Encourage Testing Without Animal Torture for COVID-19
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Human diseases are usually a death sentence for hundreds of thousands of monkeys, mice, dogs, rats and other animals in laboratories. But in an unprecedented move, the National Institutes of Health is not waiting for the results of cruel and inaccurate animal tests and scientists are moving right ahead to human-relevant research! This could be the beginning of the end for an industry of cruelty that dooms millions of animals to short, brutal lives of suffering. This World Week for Animals in Laboratories beginning on April 20, please join with animal organizations around the world in our urgent call to support COVID-19 researchers who are breaking the mold by using modern, animal-free research!
As the current health crisis continues, there is an ever-greater need for fast-moving and effective research. The high-pressure public demands for COVID-19 treatments and a vaccine needs to propel the research community to urgently shift towards reliable, human-relevant medical studies. The new innovative research being used to study the virus is truly inspirational, from three-dimensional reconstructed human respiratory tissue models to biological sampling of infected patients, and provides a real hope of combatting COVID-19 and inspires better preparation to address future pandemics.
There are plenty of ethical and effective methods of research that do not require animals such as epidemiology studies, computer-based techniques, human cell and tissue cultures, tissue engineering, organ-on-a-chip microfluidics, and many more.
While many researchers are using non-animal methods, the COVID-19 outbreak has triggered others to start cruel and outdated animal experiments on animals including primates, ferrets, and mice.
Animal laboratories not working on tackling the disease are going into lock-down and carrying out a massacre which will see millions of animals killed before the completion of their torturous experiments. Animals trapped in laboratories are exposed to test substances to determine lethal doses and side effects. They may undergo agonizing, often life-threatening procedures without painkillers. They may be starved, drowned, intentionally addicted to drugs, burned, and infected with diseases. Some animals are bred with genetic modifications to express specific diseases or traits, which may result in tumors, psychological disorders, blindness, and more. When the agonizing torture is complete, the animals are often killed and discarded.
It’s not just cruel; it’s just not working. Animals who are not humans make very poor models of human disease and fail to predict how diseases and treatments will work in humans.
The National Institutes of Health indicates that approximately 95% of new drugs fail during research and development. According to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, only 12% of investigative medicines entering human clinical trials are ultimately approved, despite showing positive results in animal trials beforehand.
The inefficient, drawn-out process of torturing animals in laboratories wastes billions of dollars every year in the United States alone.
There are currently no vaccines for any strains of coronaviruses that have caused outbreaks in the past 20 years, despite extensive animal experiments. We do not have time to waste. We must use human-relevant models to develop safe and effective treatments and vaccines.