The moral status of animals is an issue of much debate in Science. According to The Royal Society, the oldest scientific academy nowadays, it would have been impossible for science and medicine to develop so without animal research (“The Use of Non-Human Animals in Research”, 2004). Nevertheless, do the human medical benefits really justify the animal suffering in animal research? If so, what should are the possible considerations and limitations related to the matter? It appears to be a challenge to find common ground concerning the above questions. This paper will first present the current guidelines of animal research, and what is being done to help preserve the suffering and health animals as much as possible. In order to have a full insight on the matter, it is also needed to present the main methods of animal research. Scientists have used animals in many research projects or operations. Not every animal experiment carries the risk of physical or mental stress to the animal. The purpose is to eventually build on the existing instruments, and identify the concern of the moral status of animals as and additional tool to evaluate the appropriate limitations of animal research.
Types of Animal Research
The range of applied animal research varies from simple observational studies, up to drug testing or dissections. Therefore, it is important to differentiate between the circumstantial procedures that are carried on animal research. Considering the above, it will be easier to understand the pivotal objections about animal experimentation and how they can vary from situation to situation. This differentiation will help to set the limitations of animal research and identify the most problematic issues. Saying that animal research is harmful for the animals is poor judgment.
Observational and behavioral studies involve minimal first hand interaction between the experimenter and the animal subject. In these cases the animals are situated in certain environmental conditions (i.e. maze) where the observers record the interaction of the animal with the environment. The purpose of this type of research is to understand the interaction and mutual effect between environment and biology. In general, observational studies tend to minimize the human-animal interaction. As a result, these studies are generally safe for the physical wellbeing of the animal. Nevertheless, if an animal is stationed in a maze or similar puzzle, this may lead to psychological pressure. Despite this, observational studies tend to be less risky for the animals while operating on the respective principles of conduct (Snowdon, n.d.).
On the other side, a series of animal experimentations put the subject in both mental and physical stress. These cases can range from dissections to in-vivo experimentation. Much of the controversy on animal research is coming from experimentation with alive animals, which is in-vitro. Claims follow that using an animal for experimentation is...