ENGL 0870 E02
December 2, 2013
Many products today require companies to test their products regularly and securely. They test their products in plenty of ways. The worst controversial way is animal testing. Animal testing has grown every year it has been in use. Activist groups are forming in an alliance to try and stop these companies from hurting innocent animals. Although some people think that animal testing and research is conducted for medical purposes and product evaluation, it still doesn't diminish the fact that animal testing and research is morally and ethically wrong.
Although the public may be behind anti-testing laws, the federal government has failed to support the public's opinion. The federal government has only has five main laws currently passed by Congress. These laws include the Animal Welfare Act, the Health Research Extension Act of 1985, the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, the Horse Protection Act, and the Twenty-Eight Hour Law. The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) was signed in 1966 by Lyndon B. Johnson. While its original intent was to regulate the care and use of animals in the laboratory, it has become the only Federal law in the United States that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers (Baier 138). The other three laws include different and more specific standard of animal treatment but they all refer back to the Animal Welfare Act as a "minimal standard of treatment" (Scilberman 163).The act does not cover facilities that use none of the regulated species. Facilities that use regulated species but that receive no Federal funds and maintain their own breeding colonies also fall outside the act’s coverage (Silberman 163). This means that private companies that don't use the regulated species (any live or dead dog, cat, monkey (nonhuman primate animal), guinea pig, hamster, rabbit, or such other warm-blooded animal) can use whatever treatment they wish to use.
Animals are being used left and right in research and the death toll keeps on climbing. The number of animals used is not really known, but estimates for the U.S. range from 60 to 100 million per year (Baier 138). The death toll has been climbing due to the fact that companies are putting out products daily. These companies are just trying to simply make a profit at the end of the day. "Twenty million rats, rabbits, cats, dogs, mice, and monkeys are killed each year in the name of science. And the number has quadrupled in recent years . . . 150 living creatures are sacrificed every minute"- Paul Harvey ("Speak Out for Species (S.O.S) - Animals Used in Experiments and Testing."). That number will keep on increasing unless we do something soon. The Department of Defense uses plenty of animals of their own. They are known to have used 200,000 animals every year (Coster 142). Considering these tests are for the national defense, their tests are especially cruel and typically result in death to the animal. Their tests include seeing the effects of radiation on an animal and chemicals were injected into the animal to see the effects on the test subject. The FDA estimates that 90 percent of animals used in animal research are rodents. ("Speak Out for Species (S.O.S) - Animals Used in Experiments and Testing"). It is a common belief that most of the animals used are cats and dogs. This is actually not true. Experts estimate that over two million rats and mice were used in animal research in 2000 in the UK alone compared to the estimated 115,000 of cats and dogs used. ("Speak Out for Species (S.O.S) - Animals Used in Experiments and Testing"). The main reason for using rats and mice, besides from being inexpensive, is because the USDA excludes them from being part of the Animal Welfare Act. Many people criticize them for not including rats and mice. There is an LD test with rats and mice. LD stands for Lethal Dose and they