Animal research - between necessity and abuse

Anca Alexandra Capitanescu, Georgios Kyritsis


During the twentieth century the use of animals in research spread beyond the boundaries of physiology and pharmacology into areas such as psychology, standardization of drug products and toxicity testing of cosmetics and other consumer products. The laboratory animal has become a universal tool and symbol of medical progress and modern civilization. Research of pain in animals is essential for understanding its mecanism and animal experimentation is one of the best ways to advance basic knowledge of human anatomy and physiology and it offers the best hope of finding cures for acute and chronic pain. The laboratory animal became in the later years of the twentieth century the chief object of attention of an aggressive animal rights movement. The recent attacks on animal experimentation as being unethical provoked responses from the medical research community. A great deal of consideration has been given to the "three Rs": reducing the numbers of animal used in experiments; refining procedures so as to diminish the animal?s discomfort and replacing animals when possible with alternatives such as tissue cultures and mathematical models.

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