I’m waiting around for a meeting (about animal testing!) and thought I’d share a few things that I’ve been thinking about.
1) While we’re not going to stop using animals for testing in a long time it is a good idea to reduce them where we can and where industry and the public (at-large; I know industry is the public, too) can agree one should strike when the iron is hot – even when the reasons are really different.
2) Will the use of this alternative method increase the number of animals later? If refined models don’t provide adequate information or aren’t accurate enough, you’ll end up using more animals in the long run for re-tests when the deficiencies are brought up.
3) Want to know the best way to reduce animal use? Do the friggin tests right, with appropriate animal numbers the first time! Those who aren’t toxicologists would be astonished how often this happens, especially on the environmental side. Some half-assed study shows equivical findings and everybody fights about it so more and more studies are done (most not fully complete either). At the end of 5-10 years of fighting, you’ve used way more animals than you would have if you conducted a bullet-proof study to begin with. So, animal rights people, if you really want to do the most good, work for stricter manditory standards for tox studies, especially on the environmental side of things.
Since it’s Friday and I haven’t posted anything in a while, here’s your Friday aural pleasure: