History of Animal Use in Research and Testing

2939 Words12 Pages
History of Animal Use in Research and Testing Animals have been used repeatedly throughout the history of biomedical research. Early Greek physician-scientists, such as Aristotle, and Erasistratus performed experiments on living animals. Likewise, Galen, a Greek physician who practiced in Rome and was a giant in the history of medicine, conducted animal experiments to advance the understanding of anatomy, physiology, pathology, and pharmacology. Ibn Zuhr an Arab physician in twelfth century Moorish Spain, introduced animal testing as an experimental method for testing surgical procedures before applying them to human patients (Abbott). In recent years, the practice of using animals for biomedical research has come under severe criticism by animal protection and animal rights groups. Laws have been passed in several countries to make the practice more ‘humane’. Debates on the ethics of animal testing have raged since the seventeenth century. Theodore Roosevelt in the nineteenth century stated, “Common sense without conscience may lead to crime, but conscience without common sense may lead to folly, which is the handmaiden of crime.” Those against, contend that the benefit to humans does not justify the harm to animals. Many people also believe that animals are inferior to humans and very different from them, hence results from animals cannot be applied to humans. Those in favor of animal testing argue that experiments on animals are necessary to advance medical and biological knowledge. Claude Bernard, known as the father of physiology, stated that “experiments on animals are entirely conclusive for the toxicology and hygiene of man. The effects of these substances are the same on man as on animals, save for differences in degree”. Bernard established animal experimentation as part of the standard scientific method. Drug testing using animals became important in

More about History of Animal Use in Research and Testing

Open Document