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Using animals for medical experimentation, product testing, and education is a controversial subject that often leads to heated debate. While the issues are
complex, the suffering involved in animal experimentation is painfully obvious.

Today, tens of millions of animals are used each year in federally and privately funded experiments. An estimated 90 percent of all animals used in research are rats and mice, though many other species are also used, including guinea pigs, dogs, cats, rabbits, nonhuman primates, and farm animals.

The majority of state animal cruelty laws in the U.S. specifically exclude animals used in experiments. The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) is the only federal law to require basic standards of care, housing, and treatment of laboratory animals. However, the AWA excludes birds, mice, and rats bred for use in research, who represent approximately 95 percent of animals used in experiments. Like all animals, these mice and rats share the capacity to suffer fear and pain.

Many animal advocates oppose animal experimentation (vivisection) on ethical grounds, believing that it is morally wrong to harm one species in hopes of benefiting another. Beyond this ethical position, there are serious scientific and health issues involved as well. Animal experimentation has led us down countless scientific dead ends, while detracting attention and funds from more applicable scientific techniques. In reality, animal research never guarantees that medications and other products will be safe and effective for humans. All drugs that have been pulled off the market because they caused severe illness or death in human patients were previously tested on other animals.

The practice of animal experimentation and testing continues not because it is the most accurate or reliable means of research, but rather because of tradition, peer pressure, and enormous promotion from those with strong vested interests.

Check out these sites for more information…

  • The Scientific Argument Against Animal Experimentation
    Appalled by the cruelty of animal experimentation, many people object to the practice on ethical grounds. Yet there is another compelling reason to stop animal experimentation: the use of animals as models for humans in biomedical research is hopelessly flawed and has often worked to the detriment of human health.

  • Where Is the Evidence that Animal Research Benefits Humans?
    British Medical Journal, Volume 328, pp. 514–517, February 28, 2004
    Clinicians and the public often consider it axiomatic that animal research has contributed to the treatment of human disease, yet little evidence is available to support this view.

  • Why Scientists Defend Animal Research
    Why do researchers continue to conduct and defend animal experiments in light of insurmountable evidence, even from within the scientific community, that it provides meaningless results? The answers are many and varied, but they all lead down the same path: money.

  • Animals in Product Testing
    Every year, thousands of new cosmetic, personal care and household products are introduced into the marketplace. Virtually all of them have been animal-tested at various stages of their development... leaving millions of animals mutilated, burned, poisoned, and gassed in outmoded and unnecessary tests.

  • Animals in Education
    Millions of animals are dissected or killed each year in schools and universities. Cats, frogs, fetal pigs, grasshoppers, mink, earthworms, rats, mice, dogs, pigeons, and turtles are just some of the species used. Many animals are subjected to cruelty and suffering in the process of becoming "dissection specimens".


The development of non-animal alternatives in research and testing has grown dramatically in the past 20 years and is widely recognized as a legitimate and important area of basic and applied scientific investigation. The use of alternative techniques leads not only to more reliable scientific conclusions, but also to a more humane approach that, in many cases, can replace live animal use completely. The three categories of alternative techniques in research and testing are commonly known as the "Three R's" — reduction, refinement, and replacement.

  • Research Alternatives
    Every day, scientists in laboratories around the world conduct important scientific research utilizing methods that do not involve animal experiments in any way.

  • Testing Alternatives
    Before releasing a product on the market, manufacturers must establish the parameters of its safety to those who will come into contact with it. However, there are many ways to test a substance's potential harmful effects without exposing it to a living animal.

  • Animalearn
    Animalearn is dedicated to assisting educators and students find non-animal methods to teach and learn science-related subjects.

  • Johns Hopkins University — Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing
    Working with scientists to find new methods to replace the use of laboratory animals in experiments, reduce the number of animals tested, and refine necessary tests to eliminate pain and distress.

  • Altweb — Alternatives to Animal Testing
    An international clearinghouse of resources, information, & news on alternatives.


You can use your power as an informed consumer to help end the use of animals in product testing. By selecting only cruelty-free products, you'll be making a powerful statement about your beliefs to the animal experimentation industry.

Today hundreds of companies conduct no animal testing, and dozens more include no animal ingredients. Stores are putting more of these items on their shelves. Every time you purchase an animal friendly product, you support animal friendly companies.

Determining whether a product is tested on animals is easy! Look for the Leaping Bunny, an internationally recognized logo for products that have not been tested on animals at any stage of development. Buying products with the Leaping Bunny logo takes the guesswork out of shopping and guarantees cruelty-free products you can feel good
about using. Use your dollars to send a strong message that animal testing is outdated and unnecessary!


The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (creators of the Leaping Bunny standard) provide a handy online Shopping Guide to products not tested on animals, including cosmetics, personal care and household products.

Content and opinions expressed on this web page do not reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by the University of Georgia or the University System of Georgia


Answers to Typical Questions About Animal Experimentation


'I abhor vivisection.
It should at least be curbed. Better, it should be abolished.
I know of no achievement through vivisection, no scientific discovery, that could not have been obtained without such barbarism and cruelty.'
Dr. Charles Mayo, Mayo Clinic



'You do not settle whether an experiment is justified or not by merely showing that it is of some use. The distinction is not between useful and useless experiments, but between barbarous and civilized behavior. Vivisection is a social evil because if it advances human knowledge, it does so at the expense of human character.'
George Bernard Shaw


Unseen they suffer,
Unheard they cry.
In agony they linger,
In loneliness they die.


'There will come a time when the world will look back to modern vivisection in the name of science, as they do now to burning at the stake in the name of religion.'
Henry J. Bigelow, M.D.


Look for the Bunny for products that are proven cruelty-free!

Health Charities that do not fund experiments on animals
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