An overview of the benefits of animal medical research

Animals used in research Benefits of animal research Research provides opportunities for scientists to improve the lives of both humans and animals. Many different animals are used for scientific studies, such as cows, dogs, cats, pigs, mice, rabbits and primates. Animals are used in scientific experiments because by using real-life models, scientists are able to gain more knowledge about the animal. The results of animal research can relate to other species of animals including humans.

An overview of the benefits of animal medical research

Figures up to and including were recorded when procedures began. Figures from are recorded when procedures end. Primates macaques at Oxford would typically spend a couple of hours a day doing behavioural work, sitting in front of a computer screen doing learning and memory games for food rewards.

This is non-invasive and done voluntarily for food rewards and does not count as a procedure. After some time a period of months demonstrating normal learning and memory through the games, a primate would have surgery under anaesthetic to remove a very small amount of brain tissue.

The primate quickly returns to behavioural testing with the computers, and differences in performance, which become apparent through these carefully designed puzzles, are monitored.

Why has the overall number held gone down? Numbers vary year on year depending on the research that is currently undertaken.

In general, the University is committed to reducing, replacing and refining animal research. You say primates account for under 0. Numbers change daily so we cannot give a fixed figure, but it is in that order. There are very many non-animal research methods, all of which are used at the University of Oxford and many of which were pioneered here.

These include research using humans; computer models and simulations; cell cultures and other in vitro work; statistical modelling; and large-scale epidemiology. Every research project which uses animals will also use other research methods in addition.

Wherever possible non-animal research methods are used.

Animals used in research

For many projects, of course, this will mean no animals are needed at all. For others, there will be an element of the research which is essential for medical progress and for which there is no alternative means of getting the relevant information.

How have humans benefited from research using animals? As the Department of Health states, research on animals has contributed to almost every medical advance of the last century.

It has enabled us to find treatments for cancer, antibiotics for infections which were developed in Oxford laboratoriesvaccines to prevent some of the most deadly and debilitating viruses, and surgery for injuries, illnesses and deformities.

Life expectancy in this country has increased, on average, by almost three months for every year of the past century. Within the living memory of many people diseases such as polio, turberculosis, leukaemia and diphtheria killed or crippled thousands every year.

But now, doctors are able to prevent or treat many more diseases or carry out life-saving operations - all thanks to research which at some stage involved animals. Each year, millions of people in the UK benefit from treatments that have been developed and tested on animals.

We may have used animals in the past to develop medical treatments, but are they really needed in the 21st century? New techniques have dramatically reduced the number of animals needed - the number has almost halved over the last 30 years - but there is overwhelming scientific consensus worldwide that some research using animals is still essential for medical progress.

It only forms one element of a whole research programme which will use a range of other techniques to find out whatever possible without animals. Animals would be used for a specific element of the research that cannot be conducted in any alternative way.

How will humans benefit in future? The development of drugs and medical technologies that help to reduce suffering among humans and animals depends on the carefully regulated use of animals for research. Genetically modified mice play a crucial role in future medical progress as understanding of how genes are involved in illness is constantly increasing.Benefits of animal research.

Research provides opportunities for scientists to improve the lives of both humans and animals. Many different animals are used for scientific studies, such as cows, dogs, cats, pigs, mice, rabbits and primates.

Mainstream medical and scientific organisations and leading scientists all agree that animal research is essential for medical progress.

Professor Robert Winston said recently "Scientific and medical research is a drawn-out process and the contribution of animal research is frequently overlooked by the time successful therapy reaches patients.

An overview of the benefits of animal medical research

Dec 08,  · any benefits to human beings that animal testing does provide could be produced in other ways; Harm versus benefit. The . Sometimes research can have unexpected benefits.

In , there was a sudden, worldwide outbreak of a virus among dogs which caused vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and, frequently, death. Researchers soon discovered that this disease, called canine parvovirus, was similar to the feline panleukopenia virus. Why is animal research necessary?

There is overwhelming scientific consensus worldwide that some animals are still needed in order to make medical progress. Nearly every medical breakthrough involves animal testing and research. If you’ve ever taken antibiotics, had a vaccine, a blood transfusion, dialysis, an organ transplant, chemotherapy, bypass surgery or joint replacement, you have benefitted from animal testing and research.

Research using animals: an overview | University of Oxford