The Billion-Dollar Market for Animal-Free Testing – and Why It Makes Sense
It has long been recognised that the ability of tests on animals to predict health effects in humans accurately is limited at best. Yet, when new chemicals, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and other substances are evaluated for regulatory purposes, they’re still routinely tested on animals.
In Europe alone, approximately 11.5 million animals continue to be used in experiments each year, and these tests can be responsible for cruel and prolonged suffering.
Not only are non-animal methods much kinder than experiments on animals, they are also more human-relevant and have the potential to be cheaper. In a new paper, “The Dollars and Sense of Animal-Free Testing“, published in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Economics and Business Law (IJEBL, Volume 6, Issue 4, 2017; PDF of article available) scientists from PETA US, PETA Germany, and PETA UK illustrate the significant ethical, scientific, and financial benefits of ending animal use for drug and chemical testing.
In the article, our scientists demonstrate that tests on animals are expensive with regard to both animal lives consumed and money spent – some tests cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Furthermore, as experiments on animals have failed time and time again to predict what will happen in humans, using non-animal methods should help avoid disastrous and life-threatening side effects and the associated costs.
There’s now a billion-dollar market for innovative, human-relevant methods that don’t use animals, and one of the paper’s major recommendations is that businesses invest in this area. The authors also encourage government and industry leaders to champion more efficient and relevant animal-free approaches, for the good of humans and animals alike.
There is no doubt that the best test species for man is man. This is based on the fact that it is not possible to extrapolate animal data directly to man, due to interspecies variation in anatomy, physiology and biochemistry.
– Dr MacLennan and Dr Amos, Clinical Sciences Research Ltd, UK, 1990
You Can Help
European legislators have long said that the ultimate goal is to end all experiments on animals. And leading experts from around the world are increasingly challenging the scientific community to carry out a systematic review of the true impact of animal experiments. As legislators examine the law designed to protect animals used in experiments, we must call for a moratorium on all experiments on animals. Please sign PETA’s urgent letter calling on the European Commission and the European Parliament to observe a moratorium on all animal experiments and review them systematically to reassess their value.
We must reconsider our reliance on these archaic procedures and champion the funding and development of humane and human-relevant technology. This is where the future of science and human health clearly lies.