Are there 'alternatives' to animal experiments?
Of course not: There are no 'alternatives' to vivisection,
because any method intended to replace it should have the
same qualities. It is hard to find anything in biomedical
research that is, and always has been, more misleading and
deceptive to human medicine than vivisection. So the methods
we propose for medical research should be 'scientific' rather
than 'alternative' methods.
Animal-based research cannot be extrapolated to humans because
of species differences and is therefore misleading and counterproductive.
Testing a drug or chemical on an animal provides no evidence
that it is safe for humans: animals do not react in the same
way to drugs and other substances as we do, due to differences
in their absorption, distribution, metabolism, response to
and elimination of drugs. Diseases which are induced artificially
in the laboratory in order to evaluate drugs can never be
compared to those arising spontaneously in humans. Following
are just a few examples of drugs which have caused horrific
harm to people, even though they had all been 'safety tested'
Hailed as a 'wonder-drug' for arthritis. Withdrawn in 1982
after 62 deaths and 3,500 serious side effects, in the UK
alone, including damage to skin, eyes, circulation, liver,
CLIOQUINOL (also known as Entero-Vioform)
Given as an anti-diarrhoeal drug. Widely known to have caused
30,000 cases of blindness and/or paralysis in Japan alone
and thousands of deaths worldwide. It caused a new serious
disease called SMON.
Given as a sedative to pregnant women and marketed by Chemie-Gruenenthal
as a "harmless tranquilizer for the pregnant woman and
absolutely safe for the unborn child", it caused tens
of thousands of birth defects worldwide. In adults, thalidomide
also produced peripheral neuropathy (permanent nerve damage),
not detected in animal tests.
A heart drug given to patients for four years before side
effects were identified, including blindness, stomach problems,
pains in joints and growths.
Moneim A Fadali, MD FACS, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon,
USA. Patron, DLRM, states:
"Animal models differ from their human counterparts.
Conclusions drawn from animal research, are likely to delay
progress, mislead and do harm to the patient "
It is imperative and urgent to end all animal experiments
without delay, opening the way to a change in direction towards
meaningful research, healing and protection, and thus restoring
faith and respect in the medical profession.
Pharmaceutical companies claim that new drugs must be tested
on animals to ensure safety before they are given to patients;
but the evidence shows that animal tests are not only worthless,
they are also dangerously unpredictable. We use a method -
vivisection - which continues to lead to terrible mistakes,
which kills and maims millions of people and which continues
to contribute to our environmental disasters, none of which
can be predicted under animal-laboratory conditions.
'Alternative' techniques of research only succeed in reducing
the numbers of animals in certain procedures
and even the researchers themselves often state that they
must continue to use animals at present until techniques are
perfected. Furthermore, new diseases and new treatments may
require development of revised methods of 'alternative' research,
and so the method of animal research goes on and on, with
all its inherent dangers.
SCIENTIFIC METHODS OF BIOLOGICAL AND MEDICAL RESEARCH
"Epidemiology, computers for the construction
of mathematical models, and cell and tissue cultures in
vitro, are three fundamental methods in modern biomedical
research. But running parallel with them (and partly derived
from them) are many others which awaken a new hope: the
hope that biomedical research may already be on the way
to a radical renewal."
- Prof. Pietro Croce, MD, Pathologist, Italy. Member, College
of American Pathologists.
Most 'alternative' methods are based not on truly scientific
methods such as human cell and tissue cultures and
clinical investigations of human patients, but rather on animal
cell and tissue cultures. Thus, for the so-called validation
of 'alternative' methods - a process which takes years, if
ever, to complete - the researchers not only compare the data
for their "alternative" methods with the data from
animal experiments, but they also repeat the very animal
experiments their 'alternative' methods are supposed to replace,
in order to obtain additional data for the purpose of further
This endless and absolutely senseless repetition of animal
experiments over a period of years (despite the masses
of data from decades of previous animal experiments) leads
neither to the reduction, nor the replacement, but rather
to the perpetuation of animal experiments, causing further
harm to medicine and consequently the patient; as well
as immense and needless suffering to the unfortunate animals
in these worthless and wasteful experiments.
THE '3Rs' OF ALTERNATIVE METHODS
The first R: Reduce the number of animals used in
experiments. Vivisectors are frequently heard to say; 'We
are working for the welfare of humans for the welfare of us
all. And for this noble purpose we need to experiment on animals.
Nevertheless, in our enormous love for nature and animals,
we have devised optimal methods for the practice of our unwilling
cruelty on a reduced number of animals.' (Scientific anti-vivisectionists
refute this by their proof of the unscientific nature of all
The second R: Refine the methodology. We know only
too well that vivisectionist methods are very 'refined'. But
however refined, animal research remains scientifically invalid.
The third R: Replace animal experimentation with other
methods. Of the three Rs, this is perhaps the smartest. The
reasoning runs thus: 'We can no longer confront the increasing
public opposition to vivisection. Nor can we face up to the
scientific arguments proving that vivisection is even more
of a crime against humanity than against animals. So, let
us play for time. The safest way to do this is to show that
we are studying methods to replace animal experimentation.
People know that this will take time. (One is, of course,
supposed to assume that their 'valid' animal experiments can
be replaced by other equally (sic) valid experiments, thus
vindicating the present system, scientifically at least -
which is the very point that anti-vivisectionists are contesting.)
There are those who support 'Reduction', 'Refinement' and
'Replacement' (known as the 3R's) who argue that complete
abolition of all animal experiments could endanger today's
animal tested medical research, which they say is necessary
for the conquest of diseases and that products must be sufficiently
tested on animals to ensure a proper estimation of the risks
they may pose to humans and animals.
But as animal-based research clearly cannot be extrapolated
to humans, the only safeguard is total abolition of all animal
experiments, on medical and scientific grounds.
Those who endorse the 3R's and support the research and development
of 'alternative' methods, do so on the assumption that animal
experiments are a useful and necessary method which cannot
be abolished, but can only gradually and partially be refined,
reduced and replaced with 'alternative' methods.
When it concerns health especially, the public has the right
to information; and it is our duty to make people aware of
the dangers and unreliability of animal-based research and
medicine. Despite the power and sway over governments by pharmaceutical
companies, we should never be afraid to stand up for the truth.
Of course, without animal experimentation the vivisectors
would lose the opportunity of reaping, with no talent and
little effort, academic titles and honours and of publishing
papers, making money and pursuing a glittering career. They
would also have to waive the chance of currying favour with
the same persuasiveness - all this on the strength of allegedly
'irrefutable' results of animal experiments and according
to whatever result has been requested by whoever foots the
There are endless possibilities for producing 'irrefutable'
evidence in support of any theory, through the use of various
animal species - all one has to do is select the appropriate
- There are 11,600 chemicals which have anti-cancer
properties in mice, yet not one of these chemicals has been
shown to have any anti-cancer properties in humans.
- Conversely, of the 32 drugs used to treat cancer
in humans, not one of them has anti-cancer effects in mice.+
- To convince consumers that botulinum is harmless,
just add a bit of this poison to some cat food; the cat
will happily lick its lips. But the cat's traditional prey,
the mouse, will die from it as if struck by lightning.*
- One hundred milligrams of scopolamine leave dogs
and cats unaffected, but five milligrams are sufficient
to kill a human being.*
- Amylnitrate dangerously raises the internal pressure
of the eyes of dogs, but it lowers the pressure within the
- The foxglove (digitalis) was formerly considered
to be dangerous for the heart because, when tested on dogs,
It raised their blood pressure. For this reason the use
of the medicament, which is of undisputed value for the
human heart, was delayed for many years.
- Novalgin is an anaesthetic for humans, but in cats
it causes excitement and salivation, symptoms similar to
those occurring in animals suffering from rabies.*
+Source: 'Science' 1997 No 278 p.1041
*Source: 'Vivisection or Science?' by Prof. Pietro Croce
IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT WE ABOLISH VIVISECTION WITHOUT
For the sake of the health of the nation and, indeed, of
the world, we urgently need to reject the false science of
Millions are suffering adverse drug reactions and toxicity
because of animal research and testing, which have proved
to be unscientific, unreliable and harmful to the patient.
The results of animal research cannot be extrapolated from
animals to man, because of species differences, thus exposing
the sick to enormous risks.
Animal experimentation for human medicine is dangerous and
only with the total abolition of this fallacious method of
research, can valid research replace it with truly scientific
treatments, thus saving lives and protecting health.
Many sound scientific methods and therapies already exist:
Epidemiology, computer imaging, mathematical models, cell
and tissue cultures in vitro and many others.
It is totally irresponsible not to safeguard populations,
all over the world, with true science.
Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine, December