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Animal research

22 - 08 - 2018

Belgian researchers published a op-ed on animal experimentation

The newspaper La published yesterday an external contribution signed by more than forty researchers entitled "Animal experimentation: the recipe for a scientific controversy".



Belgian researchers respond in La to an article written by André Ménache against animal experimentation.


After recalling, with references to opinion polls, the public's support for animal research which, in the absence of alternative methods, contributes to the improvement of human health; the authors note that on the contrary, André Ménache stigmatizes the researchers and denounces a security plot.


The authors comment on the three arguments put forward:

               - stopping the use of chimpanzees by public research in the United States is not a reconsideration of animal research as stated by André Ménache, but derives from harassment campaigns by associations, regulatory constraints and at very high cost of study. For example, chimpanzees once used in research must be housed all their lives (30 to 40 years) by the federal state

               - The genetic difference between animal models and humans does not make animal research "less reliable than a coin-flipping game" even if there is no perfect model. The similarities between living beings are real: the first universal laws of genetics were discovered by Mendel in the pea. Animal models are chosen according to many criteria. The mouse, because of its size, generation time, relatively low cost, and the many genetically modified humanized lines is often the best compromise, making it the most widely used animal.

               - regulatory tests on animals are unpredictable according to André Ménache, and should be replaced by in vitro tests. In fact, in vitro tests are used before animal testing. The researchers' entire tool box may in fact be insufficient.


Then the researchers point out that animal research also cares for animals and that many more animals are vaccinated in the world than humans.


Finally, animal testing is the most regulated form of animal use, the only one requiring ethical review and approval on a case-by-case basis.


Links : 

Video: animal models

Article La