7 Real-Life Horrors for Animals in Laboratories
Animals used for cruel and unethical experiments face horrifying procedures that can leave them in severe pain and cause them psychological distress.
From using them in drug tests to collect data that can rarely be applied to humans to giving them debilitating diseases and implanting electrodes in their brains, experimenters are subjecting these animals to a living hell. When they are no longer needed for an experiment or are too weak to continue, they’re usually killed and disposed of.
All the experiments below were approved by the authorities that regulate experiments on animals, which is disturbing in itself.
In 2017, 96 guinea pigs were used in asthma experiments at a university in the UK. They were restrained by the neck in tiny, narrow tubes and forced to inhale a chemical that triggered an asthma attack, causing their windpipes to constrict and making the usually simple task of breathing difficult and stressful. There’s little doubt that they were terrified. After this horrific procedure, drugs that are already used in humans were tested on these animals before they were killed and dissected.
Experimenters in the UK who were attempting to study depression and anxiety isolated 13 marmoset monkeys in a dark, soundproof chamber every day for five days. They were subjected to loud noises and frightened with a plastic cobra, a pointless exercise in fear conditioning that clearly lacks relevance to complex human mental health disorders.
Experimenters in France purposely blocked rabbits’ arteries, which resulted in ulcers on their legs and feet, intentionally causing them continuous pain. Treated like disposable pieces of laboratory equipment, the rabbits who survived this procedure were killed two weeks later.
Animals, such as rabbits, rats, and mice, are still used for horrific LD50 toxicity tests. In an attempt to determine the dose of a chemical that will kill 50 per cent of the animals, experimenters may administer it to them via tubes that have been forced down their throats and into their stomachs, or the animals may be squeezed into a tube and made to inhale a substance for hours on end. Even though this test is very old and scientifically flawed, it’s still being required today under EU law.
In Italy, experimenters injected 154 male mice in the upper lip with a chemical known to cause them intense pain in order to investigate how morphine and ibuprofen would affect their pain response. The mice were confined to an observation box for 45 minutes to see whether they would groom the injection area, a sign that they’re experiencing pain. They were then administered different pain relievers to see whether they would stop grooming. To assess how pain affected their movement, the already distressed mice were placed on a suspended, rotating tube called a rotarod – forcing them to keep moving, clinging to the revolving rod, to avoid falling onto a hard platform. Finally, each mouse was gassed to death.
Out of public view at a veterinary school in France, dogs endure absolute misery. A 2017 paper reveals that Labradors were deliberately bred to suffer from a devastating muscle wastage disease. The condition progresses steadily from birth until the dogs are about 30 months old, at which point they can no longer walk or play properly, they tire easily, and they experience tremors. These naturally lively animals become too weak even to eat without help.
Another 2017 report shares details of a horrific study in which experimenters injected five young female macaque monkeys in the eyes with a chemical that caused their retinas to detach slowly. After 30 to 90 days of disorientating vision loss, the monkeys were killed and dissected.
What You Can Do
These atrocities will continue to occur if we don’t take a stand and say that enough is enough. This Halloween, please urge the government to put a stop to these real-life horrors.