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The Importance of Animals in Biomedical Research

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  • How exactly has animal research helped you and your family? Vaccinations for polio, diphtheria, mumps, measles, rubella, pertussis, and hepatitis. Treatments for asthma, severe burns, juvenile diabetes, leukemia, newborn sickness and premature births. Prevention and treatment of birth defects. Antibiotics for a variety of bacterial infections. Microsurgery to reattach severed limbs. Remedies for childhood poisonings. Management of epilepsy, cystic fibrosis. Organ transplants. Correction of congenital heart defects. Without animal research: Polio would kill or cripple thousands of unvaccinated adults and children each year. Most of the nation’s one million insulin-dependent diabetics would be dead. More than 60 million Americans would risk death from heart attacks, strokes or kidney failure – because there would be no medicine to combat high blood pressure. Chemotherapy wouldn’t exist – and couldn’t save 70 percent of children who now survive acute lymphocytic leukemia. People disabled by strokes or spinal cord injuries could not benefit from rehabilitation techniques. More than 1 million Americans would be blind in at least one eye – there would be no surgery to correct cataracts. Newborns who develop jaundice each year would contract cerebral palsy, now preventable through phototherapy. There would be no kidney dialysis. Surgery of any type would be rare – and extremely painful – because there would be no anesthesia. Smallpox, which has been eradicated, would continue unchecked. Millions of dogs, cats, other pets and farm animals would have died from anthrax, distemper, canine parvovirus, feline leukemia, rabies and more than 200 other diseases now preventable.
  • Example: Poliomyelitis (Polio) Since the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was launched in 1988 by the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of cases has fallen by 99.8%, from an estimated 350 000 cases in 1988 to 483 in 2001. In the same time period, the number of polio-infected countries was reduced from 125 to 10. In 1994, the World Health Organization (WHO) Region of the Americas (36 countries) was certified polio-free, followed by the WHO Western Pacific Region (37 countries and areas including China) in 2000 and the WHO European Region (51 countries) in June 2002. Widely endemic on five continents in 1988, polio is now found only in parts of Africa and south Asia. Source: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs114/en/ Example: Leprosy According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over the past fifteen years, around 11 million leprosy patients have been cured. The prevalence rate of the disease has dropped by 85% and leprosy has been eliminated from 98 countries. Elimination of leprosy as a public health problem is defined as a prevalence rate on the global level of less than one case per 10 000 persons. Once this is achieved, transmission will dwindle and eventually stop. Future generations will not contract the disease. Source: http://www.who.int/inf-fs/en/fact101.html Example: Smallpox On May 8 1980 delegates to the Thirty-third World Health Assembly, representing all 155 Member States of the World Health Organization, unanimously accepted the conclusions of the Global Commission for the Certification of Smallpox Eradication (World Health Organization, 1980), namely that: Smallpox eradication had been achieved throughout the world. There was no evidence that smallpox would return as an endemic disease. Source: Smallpox and its eradication, WHO,1988 (http://www.who.int/emc/diseases/smallpox/Smallpoxeradication.html)
  • Daily, from vaccinations to prevent measles to product safety testing, the knowledge gained from animals used in research helps every single one of us, our pets, and the wildlife around us. Thousands of our pet cats and dogs are vaccinated each year and are thus spared from diseases such as feline leukemia, distemper, parvo, and rabies. Every time we take an aspirin or other pain reliever, apply sunscreen, or even brush our teeth, we are reaping the benefits of biomedical research. Reproductive techniques discovered through animal research can potentially save many endangered wildlife species from extinction.
  • The Surgeon General of the United States is the nation’s leading spokesperson on matters of public health. Dr. C. Everett Koop was the Surgeon General for two terms from 1981-1989. Other Surgeon Generals include: 1990-1993: Antonia C. Novello 1993-1994: M Jocelyn Elders 1998 – 2002: David Satcher 2002-present: Richard Caromona Here are 2 of the major responsibilities of the Surgeon General: To protect and advance the health of the Nation through educating the public; advocating for effective disease prevention and health promotion programs and activities; and, provide a highly recognized symbol of national commitment to protecting and improving the public's health; To articulate scientifically based health policy analysis and advice to the President and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the full range of critical public health, medical, and health system issues facing the Nation; To learn more about the Surgeon General visit: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/sgoffice.htm
  • Organs and body systems similar to humans and other animals – Animals are similar to humans in many ways. Not only do they have similar anatomies, but their physiologies are comparable as well. For instance, even though they may be different sizes and shapes, humans and animals both have bones that contain marrow and produce blood cells. Both have the same hormones that aid digestion and regulate the reproductive cycle. Susceptible to the same diseases that affect humans – Both humans and animals share some of the same diseases including many cancers, diabetes, and heart diseases. One example of this similarity is the dog whose cardiovascular system closely resembles that of the human. Because of this, the dog has been critical to understanding diseases that affect the heart and circulatory system. A few of the many successful medical breakthroughs in this one body system that can be attributed to the dog and that are now commonly applied to humans includes: Heart transplantation Development of the heart-lung machine which allows surgeons to keep the patient alive while performing heart surgery Coronary bypass surgery Artificial heart valves used to replace damaged or defective valves Pacemaker implantation needed to regulate an abnormal heartbeat Angioplasty used to unblock clogged coronary arteries Short life span allows animals to be studied throughout their entire life – Most research animals, especially rodents such as rats and mice, have short life spans so they can be studied throughout their entire life and even through several generations within a short period of time. Environment easily controllable to keep experimental variables to a minimum – Researchers are looking to see if their drug, surgery, or technique is effective. To allow for the most accurate and reliable data, they must keep experimental variables to a minimum. When animals are stressed, the research is not reliable. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the research being conducted for researcher to see that animals are maintained with regulated environments such as light, humidity, temperature, and sound.
  • Laboratory mice are used in research more often than any other animal species; It is estimated that nearly 20 million rodents are bred for research annually. Mice are used for studies of cancer, aging, AIDS, immunology, and genetics. They are also used to learn and perfect embryo transfer techniques in humans and domestic and endangered animal species. These mice, plus other rodents such as rats and hamsters, make up more than 90% of the total number of animals used; and Their small size and low cost makes them ideal for laboratory experiments. In addition, scientists can breed different strains of mice with natural genetic deficiencies to achieve specific models of human diseases. Other animal species, including dogs, cats, rabbits, farm animals, fish, frogs, birds, nonhuman primates, and many others, make up the remaining 10% of animals used in research. According to the USDA, about 70,000 dogs, 23,000 cats, and 49,000 primates were used for research between 10/1/2000 and 9/30/2001. In most cases, these animals are specifically bred for research purposes and are purchased from animal breeders.
  • Following literature searches and comparison of data to previous research ; Researchers are required to conduct extensive literature searches before having their animal protocols approved by an IACUC. This literature search must assure that their research plans do not unnecessarily duplicate previous research or that there are not other alternatives available that will meet their needs. Following computer model simulations and cell and/or tissue culture research; Computer models are often used instead of animal testing, or in conjunction with animal testing. However, a computer simply can’t mimic the complexities of an entire biological system. That’s why animals are used. Following an IACUC-approved animal use protocol; The Animal Welfare Act requires that each institution establish an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), which is responsible for evaluating the total animal care program, as well as for scrutinizing all proposed animal experiments. The committee must include at least one person who is unaffiliated with the institution and one veterinarian. Researchers proposing a procedure must explain to the committee in writing the number of animals they plan to use, why a certain species is necessary, and what steps will be taken to prevent unnecessary suffering. The committee has the power to reject any research proposal and stop ongoing projects if it believes USDA standards are not being met. Following extensive training and education on the handling, care, and use of animals; Every facility must provide training on proper handling and techniques for anyone handling a research animal. but, before HUMAN clinical testing. Clinical trials on humans are conducted ONLY after the product or technique is proved to be safe and efficient in animals. Human subjects volunteer to go into these trials fully informed of any possible side effects or risks. Resources : www. iacuc.org; ALAT Training Manual, page 10; www.fbresearch.org/education/laws.htm
  • The well-being of animals used in biomedical research is of utmost importance to all involved in research. Research institutions, scientists, animal care personnel, government agencies, scientific organizations, and even medical patients all recognize that animals are essential to our continuing search for medical breakthroughs and feel these animals should receive the utmost care and respect. All of these people know that the quality of the research received is commensurate with the quality of the care the research animals receive; thus excellent animal care equals excellent research results. Lab animal and research professionals believe the use of animals is a privilege; therefore, the animals must be treated respectfully, carefully, and responsibly.
  • Since animals and humans share many of the same health conditions, both can benefit from medical advances made through research using animals. Most of today’s medications, treatments, medical procedures, and surgical techniques used in veterinary clinics were derived directly from animal research originally conducted to help humans.
  • How can we learn from medical research using animals and help humans? There are many similarities between humans and various species of animals. For example, much of what we know about the immune system has come from studies with mice, and much of what we know about the heart and lungs of humans has come from studies with dogs. New drugs, devices, and procedures must receive legal approval before being given to humans. Research on animals provides much information necessary to predict how a new drug or procedure will affect a human. It is important to be able to gauge how a new drug or procedure will affect a whole biological system before using it on humans. This is critical for scientific as well as ethical reasons. Laboratory animals are an important part of the research process. In fact, virtually every major medical advance of the last century is due, in part, to research with animals. How can we be sure that lost or stolen pets are not used in research? While some research requires that dogs and cats are used, the vast majority of laboratory animals are rodents, specifically bred for research. Most of the dogs and cats needed for research are also bred for that purpose. Since state laws and local policies prevent many animal pounds and shelters from providing dogs and cats to research facilities, animal dealers are the primary source for the other half of the animals scientists require. These dealers must be licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and must adhere to Animal Welfare Act standards of care. Both dealers and research facilities can obtain dogs and cats only from specified sources and must comply with detailed record-keeping and waiting-period requirements. In addition, USDA conducts unannounced inspections of dealers and research facilities for compliance to help ensure research animals are not missing pets.
  • Why do veterinarians, who are supposed to take care of sick animals, work with researchers who do experiments on them? Veterinarians, who have chosen their profession because of their concern for animals, are intimately involved in the care and treatment of laboratory animals. They realize that results of animal research improve the health of animals as well as humans. In fact, many of the advances in veterinary medicine are the direct result of research with animals and some research has even helped save certain species from extinction. In addition, because of veterinarians, the laboratory animals are healthier and more comfortable. The scientific community realizes that quality laboratory animal care ensures more reliable scientific results, and therefore, it is in its best interest to treat laboratory animals with respect. Aren’t the animals in laboratories suffering and in pain? The use of animals in research and testing is strictly controlled, particularly regarding potential pain. Federal laws, the Animal Welfare Act and the Public Health Service Act, regulate the alleviation and elimination of pain, as well as such aspects of animal care as caging, feeding, exercise of dogs and the psychological well-being of primates. Further, each institution must establish an animal care and use committee that includes an outside member of the public as well as a veterinarian. This committee oversees, inspects and monitors every potential experiment to help ensure optimal animal care. The scientific community advocates the highest quality of animal care and treatment for two key reasons. First, the use of animals in research is a privilege, and those animals that are helping us unlock the mysteries of disease deserve our respect and the best possible care. Second, a well-treated animal will provide more reliable scientific results, which is the goal of all researchers.
  • Why is it important to conduct product safety tests on animals when “cruelty-free” products are available? It is important to remember the circumstances that led to safety testing of all new consumer ingredients and products, particularly cosmetics. As recently as several decades ago, consumers were subjected to products that were not adequately tested prior to use, resulting in reports of permanent harm, including blindness. Product safety testing ensures that products are safe when used as directed and provides scientific data for poison control centers and emergency room physicians in the event a product is misused. Adequate testing of products is both a moral and legal obligation to the public. The use of animals in product safety testing provides a whole, living system that can reflect how certain substances will react in or on the body. The term "cruelty-free" is often misused and misunderstood. Companies that claim they conduct no animal testing either contract testing to an outside laboratory or use compounds known to be safe through previous animal testing. What happens to animals once an experiment is completed? The majority of animals in studies must be euthanized (inducing a humane death) in order to study their tissues. Researchers must study the animal’s tissues to answer most of the important questions about disease. The American Veterinary Medical Association publishes euthanasia methods considered acceptable. Those animals involved in experiments that do not require tissue for pathological evaluation may take part in additional experiments. However, except in rare circumstances, federal regulations do not allow an animal to be used in more than one major surgical procedure.
  • Why are increasing numbers of animals sacrificed for research, especially for repetitive experiments? Although the number of mice used in medical research has increased in recent years because of their use in genetic research for diseases, the number of most kinds of animals used in research has actually decreased in the past 20-25 years. Best estimates for the reduction in the overall use of animals in research range from 20% - 50%. This is due, in part, to the replacement of some animals with non-animal testing and the improvement of research techniques. Repetition of some experiments must occur for a variety of scientific reasons. The validation of data is critical to minimize or discover potential error. Experiments must be repeated to account for even the slightest change in variables such as dosage, temperature, and weight. Why can’t alternatives such as computer models and cell and tissue cultures replace animals in medical research? Computers only do what humans understand and do it faster than humans can do it. Researchers seek answers to problems and questions we do not understand. Computer models and cell cultures are excellent avenues for reducing the number of animals used and can be used to screen and determine a toxic (deadly) level of substances early in the experiment. Final tests, however, must be done on a living animal. Even the most sophisticated technology cannot mimic the complicated interactions among cells, tissues and organs that occur in humans and animals. Scientists must understand these interactions before introducing a new treatment or substance into humans.
  • Do we really have the right to experiment on animals? What about their rights? The use of animals in research is a privilege that must be carefully guarded to assure human and animal relief from the specter of disease and suffering. To ignore human and animal suffering is irresponsible and unethical. Nearly every major medical advancement of the 20th century has depended largely on research with animals. Our best hope for developing preventions, treatments and cures for diseases such as Alzheimer's, AIDS and cancer will also involve biomedical research using animals. In fact, research on animals is in many cases an obligation. According to the Nuremburg Code, drawn up after World War II as a result of Nazi atrocities, any experiments on humans "should be designed and based on the results of animal experimentation." The Nazis had outlawed animal experimentation but allowed experiments on Jews and "asocial persons." The Declaration of Helsinki, adopted in 1964 by the 18th World Medical Assembly and revised in 1975, also states that medical research on human subjects "should be based on adequately performed laboratory and animal experimentation." It is crucial to distinguish between animal rights and animal welfare. The scientific community supports animal welfare, which means guaranteeing the health and well-being of these animals. Don’t people choose careers in medical research using animals because it is an easy way to receive funding dollars and make high salaries? No. Most researchers could make more money in other careers. People choose to go into research because they want to find answers to complicated questions. Animal research is often a vital step in finding the answers. In reality, research dollars are scarce and are becoming more so, with approximately two-thirds of all worthy projects that seek grant money going unfunded. Animal research itself is and will continue to be very costly. Making sure animals are housed, fed, watered and appropriately cared for requires technical and veterinary staff dedicated to the science of laboratory animal medicine. Animal research is vital to continued progress in science and human and animal health. The payoff for animal researchers is not money but the treatments and cures that benefit both humans and animals.
  • For further information visit these AALAS websites: www.aalas.org www.kids4research.org www.iacuc.org http://foundation.aalas.org Additional resources: Americans for Medical Progress – www.amprogress.org Foundation for Biomedical Research – www.fbresearch.org incurably ill For Animal Research – www.iiFAR.org States United for Biomedical Research – www.statesforbiomed.org

The Importance of Animals in Biomedical Research Presentation Transcript

  • 1. The Importance of Animals in Biomedical Research American Association for Laboratory Animal Science 9190 Crestwyn Hills Drive, Memphis, TN 38125-8538 Phone: 901-754-8620 • Fax: 901-753-0046 WWW: http://www.aalas.org • Email: info@aalas.org
  • 2. The Importance of Animals in Biomedical Research T hroughout history, scientists have been solving medical problems, developing new techniques and treatments, and curing diseases – all by using animals in biomedical research.
  • 3. The Importance of Animals in Biomedical Research M ost of our children have not even heard of, much less know anything about, many of the diseases our ancestors experienced first-hand. Why? They have either been eradicated or can be controlled due to findings from research using animals.
  • 4. The Importance of Animals in Biomedical Research
    • Life-saving surgical procedures;
    • Cancer therapies;
    • Organ transplantation;
    • Vaccines;
    • Safe consumer products; and
    • Treatments and cures for countless other medical disorders and diseases.
  • 5. The Importance of Animals in Biomedical Research " V irtually every major medical advance for both humans and animals has been achieved through biomedical research using animal models to study and find a cure for a disease and through animal testing to prove the safety and efficacy of a new treatment.” C. Everett Koop, M.D Former U.S. Surgeon General
  • 6. The Importance of Animals in Biomedical Research
    • organs and body systems similar to humans and other animals;
    • susceptible to the same diseases that affect humans;
    • short life span allows animals to be studied throughout their entire life;
    • environment easily controllable to keep experimental variables to a minimum;
  • 7. The Importance of Animals in Biomedical Research
    • Laboratory mice are used in research more often than any other animal species;
    • These mice, plus other rodents such as rats and hamsters, make up more than 90% of the total number of animals used; and
    • Other animal species, including dogs, cats, rabbits, farm animals, fish, frogs, birds, nonhuman primates, and many others, make up the remaining 10% of animals used in research.
  • 8. The Importance of Animals in Biomedical Research
    • following literature searches and comparison of data to previous research ;
    • following computer model simulations and cell and/or tissue culture research;
    • following an IACUC-approved animal use protocol;
    • following extensive training and education on the handling, care, and use of animals;
    • but, before HUMAN clinical testing.
  • 9. The Importance of Animals in Biomedical Research
    • Research institutions;
    • Scientists and their research staff;
    • Veterinarians, laboratory animal technicians, cagewashers, and other animal care personnel;
    • Federal and local government agencies;
    • Scientific organizations; and most of all,
    • Patients
  • 10.
    • allergies
    • arthritis
    • birth defects
    • cancer
    • tuberculosis
    • asthma
    • epilepsy
    • heart disease
    • kidney disease
    • Lyme disease
    • ulcers
    • measles
    • influenza
    • hypertension
    The Importance of Animals in Biomedical Research
    • glaucoma
    • diabetes
    • bronchitis
    • leukemia
    • deafness
    • … just to mention a few
  • 11. The Importance of Animals in Biomedical Research
    • How can we learn from medical research using animals and help humans?
    • How can we be sure that lost or stolen pets are not used in research?
    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the use of animals in medical research:
  • 12. The Importance of Animals in Biomedical Research
    • Why do veterinarians, who are supposed to take care of sick animals, work with researchers who do experiments on them?
    • Aren’t the animals in laboratories suffering and in pain?
    More FAQs:
  • 13. The Importance of Animals in Biomedical Research
    • Why is it important to conduct product safety tests on animals when “cruelty-free” products are available?
    • What happens to animals once an experiment is completed?
    More FAQs:
  • 14. The Importance of Animals in Biomedical Research
    • Why are increasing numbers of animals sacrificed for research, especially for repetitive experiments?
    • Why can’t alternatives such as computer models and cell and tissue cultures replace animals in medical research?
    More FAQs:
  • 15. The Importance of Animals in Biomedical Research
    • Do we really have the right to experiment on animals? What about their rights?
    • Don’t people choose careers in medical research using animals because it is an easy way to receive funding dollars and make high salaries?
    More FAQs:
  • 16. The Importance of Animals in Biomedical Research W ith the knowledge gained through research on animals, we can continue improving the lives of not only humans, but our pets, wildlife, and other animals.
  • 17. The Importance of Animals in Biomedical Research AALAS Mission Statement AALAS advances responsible laboratory animal care and use to benefit people and animals. Phone: (901) 754-8620 • Email: info@aalas.org • Web: www.aalas.org