Alternatives to animal testing

Despite the claims of extremist animal protesters, scientists do not in fact relish the use of animals in tests of new pharmaceutical and other chemical products and are continually searching for valid alternatives that might reduce the numbers of small mammals, for instance used in pesticide safety tests.

According to Jennifer Rohn writing in this week’s issue of Chemistry & Industry magazine, the thousands of test animals currently need for pesticide evaluation might be replaced by tricking ticks into setting up home on a faux cowhide. The hide, developed by Swiss researchers consists of a skin-like silicone membrane, complete with hair that rests over a layer of cow’s blood. The insects are so comfortable with the faux-cow that they set up home, mate and lay eggs.

Currently, some 10,000 animals are used annually to test new tick-fighting chemicals because pesticides to kill Lyme-disease carrying ticks and other insects are constantly being updated.

Thomas Kröber and Patrick Guerin at the University of Neuchâtel confirmed the effectiveness of their test bed using a standard tick pesticide, firponil, and observing central nervous system damage revealed by leg trembling in the ticks. They report details in the journal Pest Management Science.

Vicky Robinson, chief executive of the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research, said: This research takes a simple idea and applies it to great effect, resulting in a potentially significant impact on animal use. Most importantly, it demonstrates that finding ways to reduce the use of animals in research and testing is as much about improving the science as it is about considering the welfare of animals.’

Obviously, the tick test avoids the need to test on rodents or other laboratory mammals, but it remains a devastating blow to tick lovers everywhere.


17 thoughts on “Alternatives to animal testing

  1. I cannot believe how you turned this around to claim I lack compassion. You didn’t even read the post till after you’d made your first comment. The post (which is three years old) was reporting on a test that avoids the need to test on animals, by posting it I was at the time show how work was progressing to that worthy end.

  2. David, the last I checked, we don’t have a cure for AIDS or for cancer.

    As far as malia, during1942-1945, malaria experiments were conducted at Dachau concentration camp on more than 1,200 prisoners.

    In order to quickly develop a cure for malaria, at the University of Chicago Medical School, professor Dr. Alf Alving infects psychotic patients at Illinois State Hospital with the disease through blood transfusions and then experiments malaria cures on them during 1944-1946.

    Is it okay for people to benefit from the suffering of others? Doesn’t that, in a way, defeat the purpose of saving lives-by taking lives?

    Animals are not the only ones to be tested on but humans as well.

    I am sure you are familiar with the study conducted in Alabama on 400 African-American men from 1932-1972, when they were infected with Syphillas to determine if the effects of the disease on blacks were the same or different as on whites. These men were told they had “bad blood” and since they were unaware of the cause or nature of their diagnoses, their wives and children also became infected and died.

    In each case, scientists chose those who are inferior and more vulnerable, just like animals. Laws were established to protect humans, but unethical research still continues. Children and the mentally ill have been no exception.

    As far as ADHD, parents place a lot of trust and faith into doctors and scientists telling them what is sufficient for the wellbeing of their child. Do they actually have a “cure” for ADHD or do the medications available help subdued the so-called illness? In most cases, there is no cure.

    Researchers are still figuring it out while distributing a fast fix for the symptoms-THAT is why ADRs occur. People are seeing more warnings about antidepressants causing violent behavior or suicidal thoughts, or the drugs are being pulled off shelves. That wouldn’t take place if ADRs had to do with illnesses already there.

    It happens because companies use animals to provide consumers with a false sense of security. Oh, we tested it on animals so let’s move onto the clinical trials. let’s get this product out there. The problem is that many results from animal data turn out differently for humans. Using animals actually hinders and prevents medical progress.

    Yes, I am sure you’re going to bring up the success stories of how animals have contributed to science. I think when scientists knew nothing about DNA or the genetic makeup of humans, animals were helpful to learn more about how the living system worked. But testing animals for the safety of products. How does one justify that?

    Researchers expose harmful chemicals into the eyes or on the skin of animals, particularly bunnies, to warn consumers, “Don’t put this sh*t in your eyes” ? Come on.

    The thing is that researchers are testing chemicals that provoke suffering and death on animals, such as Toxicity tests, and then, on a smaller scale, those chemicals are placed in commonly used products for consumers. That’s what the test is about overall. Who’s to say that these chemicals that we’re using a smaller doseages, every day (sometimes), isn’t causing serious illnesses for humans over time?

    I am in agreement that people contribute to the impact of the environment in huge amounts and various ways. I also believe we have a responsibility for other living things.

    Some scientists may BABBLE about human safety and how animal testing is no different than other pullutants people contribute to doing. So that justifies all of it? I mean, my kid can’t get away with saying, “I did it because they were doing it,” so either should anyone else.

    If you don’t want to get knocked on for showing little compassion, then what can I say-show some.

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