Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine

About DLRM

News & Campaigns


- Books
- Newsletter
- Speeches
- Soundbites
- Leaflets/Papers
- Contributions
- Links
- Miscellaneous

Contact Us

Join us


The Human Victims:
Animal-based Medical Research


Every year over three million animals are used in British medical research. This is claimed to be necessary for the benefit of medical science and human health. However, a growing number of doctors and scientists worldwide are pointing out the fact that animal research is totally useless and that its misleading results frequently prove counter-productive and damaging to human health.

Drug manufacturers claim that new drugs must be tested on animals to ensure human safety before they are given to patients; but the evidence shows that animal tests are not only worthless, they are dangerously unpredictable.

Testing a drug or chemical on an animal provides no evidence that it is safe for humans. This is because of species differences: 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. Here are just a few of the drugs which have caused horrific damage to people, even though they had all been 'safety tested' on animals:

OPREN: Anti-arthritic drug. Withdrawn in 1982 after more than 70 deaths in Britain and 3,500 other serious side effects, including damage to skin, eyes, circulation, liver, kidneys.

CLIOQUINOL: Anti-diarrhoeal drug. Caused 30,000 cases of blindness and/or paralysis in Japan alone and thousands of deaths worldwide. The drug caused a new disease called SMON.

OSMOSIN: Anti-inflammatory drug. Withdrawn in 1983 after 650 reported serious side effects and 20 deaths.

ERALDIN: Heart drug, given to patients for four years before horrific side effects were identified, including blindness, stomach problems, pains in joints and growths.

THALIDOMIDE: A sedative given to pregnant women, caused approx 10,000 birth defects worldwide.

FLOSINT: Anti-inflammatory drug. Use resulted in reports of 217 adverse effects including 7 deaths.


Drugs prescribed in Britain are suspected of causing over 19,000 adverse effects annually - probably only one tenth of the true figure (BMJ, 1988, 296: 761-764) - all of which are 'tested' on animals. There could not be a more unscientific method. A frightening 8% of children born in America now have some form of birth defect. Most of these can be traced back to the use of medical drugs, food additives, cosmetics and other chemicals in the environment - all 'safety-tested' on animals. Clearly, as animal 'tests' provide no protection for us, it is we who are the real guinea pigs when we are prescribed a new drug.

"Dangerous substances would not be marketed if the smokescreen of animal research data were ruled unacceptable as evidence."
Dr Peter Mansfield. Founder-President. Doctors in Britain against Animal Experiments.


  • Vested interests: the animal breeders, the manufacturers of cages, restraining devices, animal feed and surgical instruments
  • Animal 'testing' provides legal defence for drug manufacturers in court when suits for damages are instituted after adverse effects can no longer be ignored. The company can always claim in its defence that "all the required tests had been done", leaving the victims without adequate compensation.
  • Researchers receive funding by way of grants, running into billions of pounds, obtained from taxpayers and fundraising campaigns.
  • Many scientists base their entire careers on animal experiments.
  • Animal research is convenient and flexible it can be used to 'prove' almost anything. All you have to do is select the appropriate species. For example, depending on who funds the research, it can be 'proved' that cigarettes cause cancer, or do not cause cancer:

    "...there are endless possibilities for producing irrefutable evidence in support of any theory through the use of various animal species."
    Prof Pietro Croce, MD, Hon President DLRM, Author of Vivisection or Science

Animal-based research delays and hampers advances in medicine. Real advances have come from clinical, epidemiological (population) and post mortem studies. For instance, corneal transplants were delayed for nearly 90 years because of the results of animal studies, the breakthrough coming from clinical work. Where animal-based medicine has been helpful, this is despite animal experiments and not because of them, their safety only having been 'proved' through use in humans.


Truly scientific methods of biological and medical research already exist: epidemiology, computers for the construction of mathematical models, cell and tissue cultures in vitro and many others "which awaken a new hope: the hope that biomedical research may a/ready be on the way to a radical renewal." (Prof Pietro Croce, MD)

We need to pay more attention to: social conditions, malnutrition, unemployment, poverty, pollution, diet, health education, complementary medicine - Homoeopathy, acupuncture and other forms of healing.

There is a growing movement, worldwide, of thousands of doctors, scientists, nurses, disabled and millions of other people working to end this unscientific method of medical research.

"Freed from the error of vivisection, future researchers will be able to base medical research on a genuinely scientific foundation ... gradually restoring to medicine that scientific quality that is today usurped by vivisectionist error."
Prof Pietro Croce, MD, 'Vivisection or Science?'


Be informed, discuss, inform others, send us a donation. Join DLRM and support its work, for total abolition of animal experiments.

Click for the top of the page


| About Us | News & Campaigns | Resources | Contact Us | Join Us |