PROBLEMS WITH ANIMAL EXPERIMENTATION
Using animals for medical experimentation, product testing, and education is a controversial subject that often leads to heated debate. While the issues are
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.
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ALTERNATIVES TO ANIMAL EXPERIMENTATION
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.
SHOP WITH COMPASSION
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
WHO IS AND WHO ISN'T TESTING ON ANIMALS
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.