"Alternatives To Animail Experiments Essay

2038 words - 8 pages

Alternatives to Animal Experimentation A few years ago I was taking a college Anatomy class at my high school. We learned many things about the human body and how each body system is joined together to make life possible. In that same class I had to make a decision that not only would influence my grade, but also influence the way I looked at science. The professor explained that we would be working with animals near the end of the term. I just thought, "hey, I really want to get a jump on my college career, so I will take this class and worry about that later." Later came more quickly than I anticipated. Before I knew it there was this 13 lb. cat lying on a dissection tray before me. It was easier for me to complete all my dissection projects than I thought it would be. I think that the main reason for that is because this creature, just like the 8 other creatures in the room that first day of dissection, did not look like the cute little kitten I remembered from my childhood. The concept of alternatives covers more than the replacement of animal use. In addition there are two other categories, reduction and refinement alternatives. . The Three Rs provide a strategy for a rational and stepwise approach to minimizing animal use and the suffering caused by this use, without compromising the quality of the scientific work being done, while having, as the ultimate aim, total replacement of animal models with non-animal alternatives (Monamy, 2000). The term refinement signifies the modification of any procedures that operate from the time a laboratory animal is born until its death, so as to minimize the pain and distress experienced by the animal and enhance its well-being. Giving due consideration to issues of animal welfare is not only important from the viewpoint of ethics, it is also a matter of good science. The experience of pain and other stress is likely to result in physiological changes which may increase the variability of experimental results. The concept of reduction alternatives covers any strategy that will result in fewer animals being used to obtain the same amount of information, or in maximizing the information obtained per animal and thus potentially limiting or avoiding the subsequent use of additional animals. There are several possible approaches that can serve to reduce the use of animals. Replacement alternatives can be divided into four categories: computer-based systems; the use of lower organisms and embryo stages; human studies; and cell, tissue and organ cultures. Some examples of each category are given below.Computer-based systems Computer simulations and multi-media presentations are often used to replace the use of animals in education. It is very much more difficult, and in many cases not yet possible, to simulate a truly experimental situation. In order to achieve this, a huge amount of data, usually from in vivo studies, has to be collected and integrated...

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