A common misconception sadly believed by some is that by being anti-animal testing, we are anti-science or anti-human health. The truth is the complete opposite.
We love science and advocate for sophisticated 21st-century technologies to be utilised instead of unreliable and outdated animal experiments. We are also pro-human health — the improvement of human health and the development of human-relevant treatments and cures.
There are countless diseases and illnesses that people suffer from worldwide and we, like you, want this to change. We don’t just fight for animal rights – we work hard to end animal experimentation for humans, too!
The use of animals as models to try and predict how humans will respond needs to end because:
1. It is unreliable – mice, rats, rabbits and other animals simply do not react the same way to drugs and disease as humans.
There is no robust scientific proof that animal tests are reliably predictive of human safety and efficacy. In fact, there is good evidence that animal tests do not reliably predict the aforementioned.
According to the National Institute of Health, 95% of all new drugs that test safe and effective in animal tests fail or cause harm in human clinical trials.
2. It creates misleading results that not only waste time, money and other resources but can even harm humans.
Unfortunately, the unforeseen side effects not predicted in animal tests can be fatal to humans. Adverse drug reactions that weren't predicted in animal trials have been recorded as the 4th-6th leading cause of death in US hospitals.
3. It creates the risk of missing out on life-saving opportunities.
Therapies that were nearly abandoned due to misleading results from animal-based research include Tamoxifen (one of our most effective drugs against certain types of breast cancer), which caused liver tumours in rats.
The now-highly-regarded leukaemia drug Gleevec caused severe liver toxicity in dogs. Fortunately, the manufacturers persisted with the development of this drug because it seemed so promising in human cell culture tests.
How this relates to the use of animals in COVID-19 research
Non-animal based and human-relevant research methods are being used and embraced by some scientists. Ethical and effective research methods include epidemiology studies, computer-based techniques, human cell and tissue cultures, tissue engineering and organ-on-a-chip microfluidics.
It is vital that these superior research methods are utilised widely, especially when it comes to combating a global pandemic like COVID-19.
We strongly oppose the use of animal experiments for research into COVID-19. Instead, we believe that better, scientifically valid research methods should be used so that we can find a vaccination and cure as quickly as possible and save both human and animal lives!
Ethics and science can align and better yet, can enhance one another.
Our position is clear, we’re fiercely working to end animal experimentation for animals, humans and science.
NZAVS Joins Global Coalition to Encourage Effective COVID-19 Research
Experts Support COVID-19 Research Without the Use of Animals