Written by Frendy

Without using mice as experimental subjects, there would not be cures for malaria. Animals have been constantly utilized for various experiments, specifically medicinal researches, in which different types of animals are used as experimental subjects in accordance with the goal of the researches; all the contributions and innovations within the world of medicines were all due to the usages of animals in disease researches.  The utilization of dogs helped the finding of insulin to help treating diabetes as conducted by James Collip in 1922. Also, according to Understanding Animals Research (UAR) Team during 2013, approximately 57.5% of the total animals were utilized for developing medicines. The fact that animals have been one of the primary contributors towards the discovery of medicines and ways of treatments for various purposes, including humanity, means that animals should still be used in aiding the researches in the development of disease researches. The utilization of animals in disease researches is needed in order to maintain the effectiveness of developing cures for diseases without imposing excessive harms towards humans.

In order for a disease research to progress well, a wide variety of information is needed; the durability and immunity system of one’s body against the effects of the drug or the dosage, or how long will it take for the drug’s effects to wear off. Based on an article published by Max A. Nickerson, the professor in the University of Florida, reptiles, for example, react more sensitively to temperature changes than the other types of animals, making scientists able to modify their activities with temperatures, and to monitor their reactions, including their temperature sensitivity, after the medicinal testing; such information can provide insights to on whether there will be temperature changes as the side effect of the medicines. Meaning, those animals are able to determine on the kinds of side-effects of the experimental medicines, and ultimately, whether the diseases are cured or not. A number of animals carry the potential to be contracted the same type of disease as humans, such as influenza; in such cases, those animals can be utilized as the subjects for testing the experimental medicines’ effectiveness in curing the disease as they possess the same types of causes of the disease, such as the same viruses. If those animals are cured, it signifies the medicines’ success and the research will be able to proceed to further phases of development. Moreover, there are animals that provide the essential resources to cure diseases or to improve the medicinal developments; such as the venom of poisonous snakes.  The venom from the fangs of poisonous snakes can be developed into anti-venom that can be utilized as antidotes for venomous snake bites according to reptilepark.com.au, a park in Australia designated for reptile closures. Without using those animals in disease researches, the information concerning potential body durability, side-effects, success rate, and even the fundamental resources to cure certain diseases would not be present, and therefore, creating barriers that obstruct the researches themselves.

Animals are often used as experimental subjects in disease researches to minimize the harms towards humans. Animals can provide information regarding the side-effects, or even the success rate of the medicines that in certain cases, might lead to the loss of lives of the subjects. Those animals are the ones taking the risks of failure, the burden of the possible harms; this results in them being the one to shoulder the after-effects of the experimental medicines, not the humans, because researchers will develop the medicines until there are no significant side-effects that harm the human body before they decide to publish the result of their works. By not using these animals, researchers will either have to use human subjects or no subject at all. The implication of humans in consuming the experimental drugs with the possibility of failure is violating the rights for humans to live and be treated humanely. Human testing is objectifying the humans, and in some cases, those who are diagnosed with certain kinds of diseases are the ones utilized as experimental subjects. This should not happen as those sick ones should be treated, not being imposed with the risk of dying. The researchers develop the medicines for the sake of humans, and there is no reason to backlash their goal by sacrificing the party that they would like to protect when there are other alternative that can provide effectiveness and efficiency. If those researchers do not use any experimental subjects at all, any kind of crucial information would not be able to be obtained, making the progress of the research significantly slower, or even halted.

Certain animals are needed to determine the cause of a number of diseases as there are diseases with animals as their primary origin, such as Ebola and the Avian Influenza.  According to the data provided by World Health Organization (WHO) in April 2015, fruit bats are the natural Ebola hosts and ill or dead animals also carry the potential for spreading the disease; such information was able to be attained due to the usage of the respective animal during the Ebola disease research. With the information, people will be more wary towards fruit bats and have more interest in maintaining animal hygiene, leading to a better prevention of contracting the disease or even the positive progress in developing the medicines. Without utilizing animals during disease researchers, the origin or the primary cause for those diseases will not be able to be discovered, and therefore, limiting the progress of the research, especially for the ones in which the animals are the primary sources.

The opposition side might say that animals and humans possess different body autonomies, making animal testing ineffective and it also violates their rights to live. However, animals, although possess different body autonomies and structures, some of them actually have the same primary body autonomy, such as primates and rodents, which means the effectiveness of the medicines towards humans is still valid. Moreover, even if there are differences in bodily autonomy, some specific aspects of animals are still able to be used as valuable subjects in the medicine developments, such as snakes’ venoms to be used to build poison immunity vaccines. As for the rights to live, while animals do indeed possess the rights to live, we say risking in violating such rights of these animals is justifiable as it is for the sake of a greater good which is stepping forward in medicinal researches for humanity, and the rights for humans to live outweighs the animals’ rights due to the reason that it has been that way for centuries; humans consume meats from animals, humans restraint animals and treat them as pets; since the very beginning, the rights of humans in living have already been violating the rights of those animals, and between choosing the rights of human living and animal living, human lives are certainly more of a priority.

In conclusion, the utilization of animals in disease researchers are effective in not only providing the crucial information that may determine the future phases of the research, including its success, but also in reducing the harms imposed upon humans, determining several diseases’ cause which may lead to better prevention in eliminating the roots of the pandemic as well as granting a step forward in the research.