Replacing Primates –

Replacing Primates

Perhaps as we look to replace animal experimentation the obvious step would be to start at the higher species and work our way down – so perhaps replacing all primate experiments would be the obvious initial stage? or perhaps to be more specific replacing non-human primates the need for human testing by consenting subjects is the one aspect of primate testing that will always be required.

As we progress through the twenty first century it is amazing the progress that has been made in the treatment and cure of many illnesses that have, over the years, blighted the lives of many families. We now hear of more people being cured of cancer than ever before and astonishing progress is being made into the causes and cures of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and the many forms of medical conditions of the heart.

At the end of the last century, theUKwas known as the heart disease capital of the world until extensive research was able to remove this embarrassing statistic. Without the dedication of the scientists and their staff who are making great headway in the prevention and cure of many illnesses, this would not have been possible. However, for many years research has involved experimentation on animals and whereas great strides have been made in many areas, this inhumane type of practice must cease.

A very high percentage of homes in the worlds developed countries have a pet as part of the family unit and many of these homes have digressed from the traditional cat or dog to reptiles and rodents. If the average pet owner was aware of the agony and anguish that animals have inflicted on them, on a regular basis, they would be horrified.

There are a great number of alternatives but they are not used to their full extent. Using animals in this manner seems to be the easy option. The environment that these poor creatures are kept in is often as secure as modern day prisons but the difference is that the animals have not committed any wrong doing. Because they are kept so secure, the outside world remains unaware of how they are really treated.

Extensive research has revealed that two of the major causes of premature death being cancer and heart disease has not benefited from the use of animals in research as much as was originally anticipated. Testing was proven to be inconsistent and, therefore, unreliable and, for this reason, alternatives had to be found. This being the case alternatives in other areas of research must be available or are animals just the easier option? But as well as being the easier option, are animals the cheaper option too? We are always hearing about budgets being cut and funding withdrawn. Animals are readily available but it is a fine line between research and abuse. If an average person inflicted on an animal the kind of treatment that an animal can expect in a laboratory, a criminal charge would be expected. Why is science any different?

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