To the Editor:
World Week for Animals in Laboratories – April 20 through 28 – spotlights the millions of animals who suffer and die each year in research and testing. This is an important time to address the myth that animal experiments are a “necessary evil,” essential for medical progress.
In February, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published an extensive study that revealed how decades of research and billions of dollars spent on mice experiments to study burns, trauma and sepsis were effectively useless and misdirected treatments in people because the mice responded in ways that are completely different from people.
This is not the first study to demonstrate that a significant area of animal research has been a costly waste, but if society is paying attention it should be the last. A new era in biomedical science has emerged without the use of animals, using human cell cultures, genomics and digital imaging, to name a few of the many available methods.
Increasingly, scientists are acknowledging that animal research is not producing the results attributed to it, or deserving of billions of taxpayer dollars. Nor does it justify the incredible suffering involved.