Ethical, Legal and Social Issues 

Using animals for testing and other ways that can be harmful to their health is a big issue worldwide. There is no doubt that animals have hugely affected the advancement of medicine as well as shown a big impact on people, both good and bad. Many animals' anatomies are very similar to ours so the thought of using animals to excel in our medical discoveries seemed ingenious. This thought was quickly met with negative views, people realized that putting animals through these experiments was cruel. Other people would rather it be the animals we test on than humans themselves. This is a conflict we still face today, it is difficult to see if it is right or wrong. At first thought you may be set on the fact that it is wrong, but then you think about it and have to wonder: if we did not use these animal models, would we have come this far? Would we know this much?

Animal models have taught us more than we think over the years. We have made so many vaccines and cures for different viruses and diseases. The major discoveries were vaccines for rabies and cholera, a way to isolate and make insulin for diabetics, and antibiotics such as penicillin and anesthetics were developed. They have also helped to perfect surgery such as Albert Starr's replacement of a heart valve surgery performed on a human after many trials on dogs(Adams). If it were not for the idea to use these animals we would have diseases threatening our lives and viruses we wouldn't even know existed.

The benefits of this biotechnology are health and protection from lethal diseases and viruses. We as humans have more knowledge of these killers and have found ways to prevent them. Many people believe in these benefits, and they also believe that it "benefits the animal as well because the diseases that animals can attract are also prevented" (

Corporations such as IBT BioServices and Imquest BioSciences produce and are linked to animal models used to research inheritable diseases found in humans. Some of these diseases are found in animals while others must be inserted into the animals' genomes in order for it to be passed on. These corporations face a lot of hate and protest for what they do. Using animals is a controversial topic all over the world, in Spain they have outlawed the use of apes in medical experiments and years before that Great Britain outlawed cruelty to farm animals(Ziegs). So is it right or wrong? That choice is up to you, think long and hard and don't be too quick to judge. You must take into account what your life would be like without these medical break throughs.

(Above) The two sides to animal models. 


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