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Thursday
Mar122015

In the name of Science

I have worked in cancer research for a long time, mostly with human cancer cells derived from real patients. But animal use is rampant in countless labs for research and development. 

I wonder if it is justifiable to use thousands of animals to find a cure!

I have seen scientists treat animals with empathy, and I have seen other scientists use them like they were objects, means to an end! Not caring about them at all. I wonder if these scientists got numb to emotion after years of working with animals ! 

Ofcourse there are rules for ethical treatment of animals, but are they always followed? Unfortunately the answer is a blaring NO. And even when they are followed most of the times, it is a RULE being followed. How is it that there has to be a rule to treat animals with humanity? Should it not just be a part of who a scientist is? This animal is spending it's entire life locked up in a cage, being subjected to various torturous experiments and in the end die! Would it be too much to respect the poor animal who is dying for a cause we have no idea if we will fulfill?

Worse is when there are 10 animals bred but only one can be used, and the rest are euthaized to save money. Would it be too much to collaborate with other groups who could perhaps use these animals that are a complete waste for one lab? And even worse is when one gets a request to use these animals as feed for their reptile pets. Yes that happened!

The best pointers to keep in mind when one has to use animals according to this article are,

1) Replace the use of animals with alternative techniques or avoid the use of animals altogether when possible

 2) Reduce the number of animals used to a minimum and

3) Refine the way experiments are carried out in order to minimise suffering 

After all one of the famous quotes from Gandhi is, “the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

What is your opinion about animal use in research? 

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