Millions of animals are subjected to horrific experiments across Australia every year, including cats, dogs, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, ferrets, birds, fish, reptiles and native animals.
These animals are bred specifically for research, and most will die having never left the research facility, enduring a life of often painful and pointless procedures forced them against their will.
Read on to learn more about animal testing here in NSW
How many animals are affected and what kinds of experiments do they endure?
Across Australia, millions of animals including primates, cats and dogs are being bred specifically for research. Most will die having never left the research facility, enduring a life of often painful and pointless procedures forced them against their will.
It is known that across Australia cats are currently being subjected to experiments including:
- Central nervous system testing
- Infection inducing
- Product testing
- Toxicity testing
Across Australia, dogs suffer similar experimentation including:
- Pharmaceutical drug testing
- Heart surgery experiments
- Terminal blood donation
- Dental implant testing
- Deep brain stimulation testing
If they survive testing these animals are often euthanised - even if they remain healthy - despite mechanisms being in place to rehome survivors after their ordeal.
Why is animal testing so secretive?
Medical experimentation is the most hidden of all animal-use industries, so many people remain unaware that cruel animal experimentation continues to occur here in Australia.
Australians hate animal cruelty, so our government has allowed the industry to operate with a total lack of transparency in an effort to avoid public scrutiny and criticism of the cruel experiments these animals are forced to endure.
Unlike many other countries, Australia maintains no national data on the use of animals in medical experiments. Even at state and territory level reporting on animal experimentation is extremely inconsistent, with some states and territories not collecting data at all.
Yet despite the secretive nature of animal experimentation, much of this research is funded by taxpayers through the National Health and Medical Research Council. Many consider this to be a huge waste of public resources and recognise that the funding and time spent on cruel animal experiments that would be better spent on humane research methods with a much better success rate.
How successful is animal testing and what are the alternatives?
Animal experimentation is not only cruel, but unnecessary. It has been seen to have up to a 94% failure rate compared to other scientific methods including:
- Stem cell research
- In Vitro testing
- Human cadaver research
- Computer modelling
- Clinical trials
The majority of drugs tested ‘successfully’ on animals fail when they are tested on humans. This is because testing on species who differ from humans in their metabolism of toxins, absorption of chemicals, mechanisms of DNA repair and lifespan has a profound effect on the efficacy of drugs.
As technology progresses, the range of humane methods of medical research continues to grow. Shown to not only be more humane but have a higher success rate than animal testing, these are the methods our money and resources should be invested in.
What is the government’s role in animal testing?
Animal research is condoned by the NSW Government, who have legislated to ensure this cruel practice is allowed to go ahead here in our state.
Animal research is jointly overseen by both the Minister for Health and the Minister for Agriculture here in NSW, and under the Animal Research Act 1985 allows for:
- experimental research
- surgical, medical, psychological, biological, chemical or physical treatment
- abnormal husbandry or dietary conditions
- collection of blood, tissue or other body samples
- product testing
- production of biological products
- feeding trials
- field surveys
While the NSW Government states that the Act incorporates a system of “enforced self-regulation, with community participation at the institutional and regulatory levels”, the lack of transparency within the industry suggests that there is little community awareness or engagement with this inhumane practice.