Introduction: Animal testing is one of the most important and hotly debated themes related to both medicine and ethics. As it is closely connected with two independent spheres of human life, there exist plenty of opinions either supporting or opposing animal testing. Some people support this measure from a medical point of view; others argue that animal testing is unacceptable from the ethical standpoint. For now, there is no clear and absolute answer regarding the necessity of animal testing in today’s medicinal practice. Yet, it is important to come to the final conclusion regarding this issue as with the development of the healthcare industry there might appear an alternative option to animal testing that will not raise any ethical questions. There are numerous studies that either support or oppose the animal testing practice and such an interest from the academic community proves the idea that animal testing issue is an acute and important theme for debates.
Part One: The supporters of the animal testing practice are numerous and they have strong arguments in favor of their position. Thus, those who support animal testing, claim that this option is often the only possible way to test a particular medicine under conditions close to reality in case it is impossible to conduct human testing. As animals have the most similar internal structure to humans, the results of animal tests can be considered to be the closest to hypothetic human tests. In this regard, animals serve as the significant driver of healthcare industry development. They encourage the appearance of innovative medicines and progressive approaches to the treatment of various diseases. The supporters of the animal testing practice claim that the contribution of animals to the well-being of people cannot be overestimated.
They argue that it is not wise to neglect such a useful option to develop human medicine as animal testing allows saving time and efforts due to its high efficiency. Another significant argument in favor of animal testing is the benefit of the animals themselves. The supporters of this idea claim that due to successful animal tests, people managed to overcome various diseases that animals can be subject to (e.g. anthrax or rabies). Thus, by searching for an effective medicine against human diseases, people often find a remedy for animals as well. Following this idea, by treating animals, people not only prevent further distribution of diseases but also save the population of animals (often including endangered species). In other words, animal testing can bring benefit not only to humans but to animals as well. Those who support this practice argue that by conducting animal tests scientists think not only about humans but also about animals. The supporters of animal testing often claim that this practice is not as unethical as it is presented in the society. In the modern healthcare industry, animal tests are strictly regulated; they require special permissions from the competent authorities.
Moreover, there exist numerous policies and rules aimed at the protection of animals during tests and infliction of minimum possible harm to their organisms during the procedures. Those supporting animal testing are sure that pharmaceutical companies are interested in the conduction of animal testing in compliance with all existing norms not only to achieve maximum effect but also to avoid any legal complications. In this respect, the legal aspect of health-related activities provides strong guarantees of proper treatment of animals during test procedures. The supporters of this practice claim that it is possible to continue animal testing taking into account strict compliance with the existing norms and rules of all stakeholders related to such activities. In other words, the proper treatment of animals and the minimization of harmful effects is secured by significant legal background and the necessity to comply with existing policies and norms.