Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Acting like animals?

A post from Cough The Lot has made me want to put a quick plug in for something I believe in. I know this is opening me up for a possible flaming on the comments, but I believe in animal testing, and in the considerable advancements made to science by it.

I also think that Laurie Pycroft, who set up Pro Test is a very brave individual who earns my respect 100 times over. He doesn't deserve the death threats he inevitably got for puting across his point of view. Animal testing saves lives.

Please remember the usual blurb - these are my personal views and are not the views of the police as a whole.


At 9:34 am, Blogger Chairwoman of the bored said...

Until recently I was in complete agreement with you. Since the recent debacle at Northwick Park Hospital my opinion has changed. The drugs which had such devestating effects in the trial there had been fully tested on animals, yet the results of the human experiments were totally unexpected.

Formerly animal experiments were essential to producing new treatments and I am grateful for them, but with current technological advances, I wonder if they are actually necessary or effective.

I am sure we would all rather our drugs came without causing animals discomfort.

By the way, I also applaud his courage, and despise absolutely the 'activists' who consider violence and intimidation to be the right way to achieve their aims.

At 6:34 pm, Anonymous Greg said...

I am very much against animal testing, and would like to see it abolished. I believe the suffering caused is not worth the benefits at the end, especially when the testing does not even solve all problems.

That being said I also think that he was very brave in setting it up. People forget the saying "I disagree with what you say, but will fight to the death to defend your right to say it"

While I do not agree with him he has as much right as I do to let people know his views.

At 3:21 am, Blogger Merys said...

I blogged about this last week. I am pro-animal testing for medical uses, and strongly believe in it. (mainly because I've had to do it for my degree!)

At 11:10 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fully support animal testing, provided you can get informed consent from the animals. Currently that means you've got to test on people.

At 1:59 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't believe animals need to suffer when there are enough rapists and murderers in prison to take their place.

It's time to cut out the middle man (or beagle) and make room in the prisions.

And for all those Human Rights whingers out there - where were the rights for the victims of the said crimes?

Commit a crime should = no rights.

Oh, and the "but they may be innocent" gobs - casulties of war and for the majority springs to mind (as long as I'm not one of them).

At 1:02 am, Anonymous ltb said...

I fully support animal testing, provided you can get informed consent from the animals. Currently that means you've got to test on people.

Err - no. Not at all.
I just went out and told my dog that if he didnt speak up, he would be involved in an experiment.
He didnt, so I am sure he is perfectly happy.

At 5:13 pm, Anonymous Laurie Pycroft said...

Thanks for the support, it's always great to hear of it.

A few notes to other people who have responded:

1: There is no way of completely replacing animal testing with other methods. Anything else you hear is simply a lie. Computer programs can currently only model a few protein interactions- it'd take more processing power than exists in the entire world to accurately model even a whole mouse's physiology. It's great that cell cultures and so forth can replace parts of animal research, but there's no way that they can replace a living organism.

2: We already do test on people, and a lot more procedures are done on them. It's called doing clinical trials, and is required before a drug can be sold. Animal testing is there to prevent the people involved in the trials from dying as a result of potentially dangerous, untested drugs. If it weren't for animal research, TGN1412 style disasters would happen a few times a week. Over 20,000 clinical trials have been undertaken in the last two decades, and only one has seriously messed up.

3: Aside from the fact that I, personally, would have a massive moral objection with using prisoners in studies against their will, there simply aren't enough people in jail to engage in all the tests required, even if you used every single person who committed any crime.

At 4:30 am, Blogger scientist in cali said...

Hats off to you, I have personally approached anti-vivisectionists in the street and asked for their opinion and the "science" surrounding the alternatives to animal models in pre-clinical research.

After a few minutes, a couple of things become clear, firstly I am familiar with all alternative techniques and their limitations (having used them and co-pioneered some of them) and secondly, that I am in fact part of the pharma machine.

A key point I at least try to get across is the misdirection of the efforts of anti-vivisectionists. Namely, the agencies that oversee human clinical trials (FDA etc.) currently mandate that we MUST perform toxicology studies on at least 2 animal species before we ever dose to humans, not the drug companies themselves. In fact, the use of animals (3 R's) dates back to the 1950's as a model for advancement, not just the 1986 paper.

And as a human being I too believe that we should (and do) stringently work towards alternatives to animal models - check out the direction that accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) is taking the pharmaceutical industry and the incredible cost (50 million and counting for GSK in the UK alone, plus, it may not even be successful in the long run!).

A point that has been missed with the TGN1412 study is that the animal models would NEVER have suggested this kind of reaction in humans, the engineering of the antibody is specific for activity in humans and it is unlikely that engineered animals (such as humice) would have predicted this effect.

While a large body of scientists have added insight with the benefit of hindsight, I would concur with your views that the rare nature of this event signifies the robustness of the scientific methodologies employed to date and the rigour associated with scientific research.

At 3:57 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we should test drugs on rapists and murderers not the innocent animals, and it would be more accurate on human beings.
I am totally against cruelty to animals in any shape or form including hunting.

At 9:57 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes save the animals not the humans. an also,lets not eat animals.well not all parts of animals,perhaps we should develop an amputation policy to save animals having to die ,...
and also better treatment for ants. unspeakable murder of ants everyday. Careless cold blooded murder. And then no more cruelty. ever. Amen.

At 4:37 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never forget that rapists are people too. Next time you see one, remember that 'there but for the luck of a better upbringing stand I', and then see if you condone forced human testing (on untested drugs, I'm aware of clinical trials) as a viable tactic to alleviating the suffering of animals.


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