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Is It Ethically Acceptable for Companies to Kill and Injure Animals in the Process of Testing Products?

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Submitted By hezres
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Is it ethically acceptable for companies to kill and injure animals in the process of testing products?

There tends to be three sides taken amongst this argument. Side one involves people that believe that an animal life does not compare to that of a human life and therefore it causes no problem to test any product we may have on animals if it benefits the consumer, side two which consists of the opposing argument to this, consists of the people who are against animal testing and believe that it is cruel and unjust and no matter the situation cannot be justified. Finally the third argument is the middle ground which embodies both points from the for and against argument of animal testing, they say that animal testing is cruel however sometimes it can be justified if the pros out way the cons such as in medical product development.
Animal testing has and will always be a hotly debated topic one reason for this is because of the money it brings to the economy.
“Animal research is a multibillion-dollar industry. Much money can be made by researchers and their institutions, those that supply animals and equipment for experiments, and companies that sell products tested on animals.”( Yarri, Donna, 2005)
It is unlikely that the people involved in animal testing are going to want to use more costly methods of experimentation because of the “rights” of animals and therefore will argue the point that animal research is justified. Another point that may be argued by them is that if they have to find new means of testing this may reduce how quickly new products or medicines come to market as they will have to find another means of testing but also acquire additional funding due to these more expensive means of testing. As this could lead to medicines coming to market slower it potentially means that human lives are being lost In order to safeguard those of animals and can that ever truly be justified?
But it is not necessarily the testing that aggravates activists but the way in which the testing is carried out on innocent animals (mainly in cosmetics testing )in a way in which they have no defences to certain types of testing that may be considered as prolonged torture.
““Cosmetics testing is a large part of the animal experimentation marker. Since cosmetics are often applied to the human face, where the eyes and mouth give quick entry to the human body, the contents of each product are tested on many animals to see if they are toxic or cause discomfort” (Richard Sarjeant, 2000)
To conclude I think it is a hard judgement for anyone to fully make as to whether it is acceptable for companies to test products which may injure or kill animals, on animals. Both points have their merits. I don’t believe that there is necessary a wrong or right answer to this but I do believe that stricter regulations and regulatory bodies should be put in place to stop unnecessary cruelty, I also believe that this area can be improved by people being made aware of the goings on in the animal testing for products sector.
“The availability to the public of regularly updated, good quality information on what animal experiments are done and why, is vital to create an atmosphere in which the issue of animal experimentation can be discussed productively” (House of Lords, 2002).
References
House of lords. (2002). CHAPTER 9: PUBLIC INFORMATION. Available: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200102/ldselect/ldanimal/150/15012.htm. Last accessed 10th Aug 2013.
Yarri, Donna (Author). Ethics of Animal Experimentation : A Critical Analysis And Constructive Christian Proposal .Cary, NC, USA: Oxford University Press, 2005. p 14.
Richard Sarjeant, The Spectrum of Pain. (London: Hart Davis, 1969), p. 72.

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