#Animal Rights
UK Government

Animal testing is a cruel and barbaric practice that should be banned. Animals do not want to be tortured, locked up, neglected and abused any more than we do, so why should we do it to them?

Myth 1# "Animal testing is vital to save lives".

Animal testing actually kills more people than it saves because of the fact that animals have different bodies and genetic systems from us. Even animals that are very similar to us in terms of DNA, such as pigs and monkeys, are still too different for every result from tests on them to be entirely accurate. For instance, chimpanzees are immune to HIV, Malaria and hepatitis. Aspirin causes birth defects in most lab animals, but it doesn't do this to people. Paracetamol is toxic to cats and grapes and raisins can cause kidney damage in dogs.

In fact, most so-called "medical" experiments that are done on animals are actually done with money in mind, not people. That is one of the main reasons why these misleading experiments are still performed. If a drug is passed as safe due to animal tests, it is then often given to people. If a drug passes as dangerous and unsafe due to animal tests, it is often given to people anyway because even the drug companies often know that animals have different bodies and genetic systems from us. If a person takes it and then gets any really bad side effects, the company cannot be sued because they did do the safety tests.

Myth 2# "Lab animals are always treated kindly and looked after properly".

Although some may well be treated with kindness and cared for properly, many of them are not. In fact, during investigations, animal defenders have filmed horrifying scenes that should disgust us all. Lab animals are often shot at, held against red hot metal plates, have boiling water poured over them, force-fed dangerous chemicals, cut open, gassed, have their brains damaged with severe blows to their heads, starved, locked up and have their skin irritated by various different substances. Lab animals are also sometimes abused outside of the experiments. Laboratory workers have been filmed punching, slapping and shaking animals before.

Myth 3# "Animals do not feel pain, have emotions or help others".

This is probably one of the biggest lies/misunderstandings of the century. Animals definitely DO feel pain, have emotions and help others. Anyone who believes that animals do not feel pain should go and kick a dog and then watch what happens. If animals could not feel pain or fear, how do you think they would survive out in the wild?

Animals definitely do have emotions. When you tell a dog off, they will often cower away because they know that you are angry with them. Anyone who has ever had or even stayed with a cat before will know that cats are definitely more likely to scratch and bite at certain points in time than others. How else can this be explained other than in the fact that they have moods like people do?

Also, time and time again have dogs been known to pine for their owners after they have died. Hachiko carried on going to wait at the train station for his master's return until about ten years after his master had died and Greyfriar's Bobby waited by his master's grave for at least ten years before he himself died, apparently of the same illness that had killed his master.

Dogs have even been known to pine for their people when they have only gone to work or gone out for a little while. Dog behaviourists and experts often call this, separation anxiety, but a lot of it is really just loneliness and boredom. How else do you explain the scenario of a person leaving for a while and returning to get complaints from his or her neighbours about his or her dog's barking and howling and then finding broken items and chewed up furniture all over their home?

Even wild animals have been known to help others of their own species, even if they are not directly related to them. Lionesses have been known to adopt baby antelopes, wild birds will often try to save their mates' lives and even vampire bats have been adopt other members of their own species. Chimpanzees have been known to save ducklings and at least one baby boy has been rescued by a gorilla before.

If these animals really did not care, why do you think they did these sorts of things? Why did they bother to help out here?

Myth 4# "There is no alternative to animal testing."

There are, nowadays, so many alternatives to animal testing that it need not be used any longer. Fake skin and organs, donated cells and body parts, studies of living people and computer models can all now be used, and these can produce results that are far more relevant and useful than those optioned through animal tests.

We, the undersigned, call for the UK government to ban all types of animal testing and insist that scientists use alternatives instead of animals.

Animal testing is, we feel, an inexcusable practice that should never be allowed in this day and age.

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The Down with Animal Testing petition to UK Government was written by Victoria Salter and is in the category Animal Rights at GoPetition.