What Scientists Say About Animal Experimentation

What Scientists Say About Animal Experimentation

There are scientists all around the world who also believe that animal-based research is a waste of time, resources and lives. Hear what they have to say!

“It has not worked, and it is time we stopped dancing around the problem,“ Dr Elias Zerhouni, former Director of the US National Institute of Health.


Animal studies have shown many drugs to be useful and safe – in the animals tested on – then they have gone on to have catastrophic effects in humans.

TGN 1412 is a prime example. It is a ‘humanised’ monoclonal antibody designed to help patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and lymphoid leukaemia. TGN 1412 was tested in mice, rabbits and monkeys. The monkeys were given doses 500 times that given to human trial volunteers and the monkeys showed no adverse effects. But as soon as it was given to the first six human volunteers it supercharged their immune response – the opposite of what was intended, it was meant to dampen immune response – and caused multiple organ failure.1 Then, after this disaster, it was found that a non-animal allergy test using human cells might have predicted this if it had been used.2

There are many examples like this that show the failures of using animal models to predict the human response, but cherry-picking single examples doesn’t necessarily prove the systematic flaws, though it does clearly show they can’t reliably predict human response.

So what are the researchers themselves saying when they look at years of results of animal experiments rather than single examples? Here you can see for yourself…


Ten years of research producing 150 drugs that all worked in mice yet not one of them proven to work in humans? A group of scientists finally asked why and realised no one had bothered to see if the mouse model being used worked. Turns out it didn’t.3

“Given the limitations of animal models, publishing animal studies would mislead the scientific community into futile research and give the public false hope,” Hakan Şentürk, Editor in Chief, The Turkish Journal of Gastroenterology, in 2015, on why they no longer publish any animal research.


For Sepsis:

“To date, there have been nearly 150 clinical trials testing candidate agents intended to block the inflammatory response in critically ill patients, and every one of these trials failed... Despite commentaries that question the merit of an overreliance of animal systems to model human immunology [...], in the absence of systematic evidence, investigators and public regulators assume that results from animal research reflect human disease. To date, there have been no studies to systematically evaluate, on a molecular basis, how well the murine clinical models mimic human inflammatory diseases in patients.”3


For Strokes:

“Animal models of stroke mimic at best less than 25% of all strokes… Nearly 200 neuroprotection clinical trials are ongoing or have been completed, with none achieving successful translation to clinical practice so far.”4


“…all of the 100 experimental neuroprotective drugs failed in clinical trials despite promising results in animal models.”5


For Tuberculosis:

“...but mice are mice, and people are people. If we look to the mouse to model every aspect of the disease for man, and to model cures, we’re just wasting our time… [Testing on mice] has cost us a new generation of medicines… The vast majority of the money that we spend in clinical trials based on mouse data is completely wasted… We keep getting led down the garden path... we’ve had thousands of mouse studies of tuberculosis, yet not one of them has ever been used to pick a new drug regimen that succeeded in clinical trials.”6



“To date, 85 candidate AIDS vaccines have been tested in 197 clinical trials [...] Just 12% of these trials have reached Phase II, only seven (3.5%) have reached Phase III, and altogether, 18 trials were prematurely terminated. None has been successful.”7


For Asthma:

“The limitations of animals as stand-ins for human patients are a major reason [for failure]. Animal disease doesn’t faithfully replicate asthma, for instance. The condition is uniquely human, and animal models can’t capture the constriction of airways and all of the other characteristics of the disease.”8

“We have found great mechanisms that can control asthma in an animal, and most of them have failed.”8


For Pharmaceutical development:

“An over-reliance on animal models at an early stage is now thought to be the biggest cause of failure at phases II and III [clinical trials]. Using animal models is not producing efficacious human medicines. Human tissue research presents the most exciting and advanced approaches that medical science currently has to offer. It is time for the use of human tissue to become the gold standard for the pharmaceutical industry.”9


For Cancer:

“The history of cancer research has been a history of curing cancer in the mouse. […] We have cured mice of cancer for decades — and it simply didn’t work in humans.”10


For Toxicity testing:

“...these differences [between animals and humans] often result in inefficient and costly experiments that do not provide accurate answers about the toxicity of a drug in humans […] Using a well-designed model of a human organ could significantly cut the cost and time of bringing a new drug to market.”11

“…the best guess for the correlation of adverse reactions in man and animal toxicity data is somewhere between 5% and 25%.”12

“...only 12 (46.2%) have been shown to cause cancer i n rats or mice after chronic exposure by feeding or inhalation. Thus the lifetime feeding study in mice and rats appears to have less than a 50% probability of finding known human carcinogens. On the basis of probability theory, we  would have been better off to toss a coin.”13


And from a textbook on using laboratory animals:

“...uncritical reliance on the results of animal tests can be dangerously misleading and has resulted in damages to human health in several cases.”14

That’s right, even the vivisectors own textbooks say vivisection has costs tens of thousands of human lives!


1. http://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa063842

2. https://doi.org/10.1038/441150c

3. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1222878110

4. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-4949.2012.00770.x

5. https://turkjgastroenterol.org/en/editorial-134704

6. https://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/the_mouse_trap/2011/11/lab_mice_are_they_limiting_our_understanding_of_human_disease_.html

7. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F026119290803600403

8. https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324049504578545154163286708

9. World Pharmaceutical Frontiers 2011, Vol 1, p132. http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/a9f9deaf#/a9f9deaf/1

10. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-may-06-mn-46795-story.html

11. https://news.berkeley.edu/2015/03/09/human-hearts-on-a-chip-to-aid-drug-screening/

12. Heywwod R. Clinical toxicity—Could it have been predicted? Post-marketing experience; Proceedings of the Animal Toxicity Studies: Their Relevance for Man; London, UK. 26 September 1989; pp. 57–67.

13. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0272-0590(83)80174-2

14. https://doi.org/10.1201/9781420040920