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Argument: There are adequate alternatives to animal experimentation

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Dr. Hadwen Trust - "9. What are the alternatives to animal experiments? There is a range of different methods that can be used to replace animal experiments. These include cell and tissue cultures, analytical technology, molecular research, post mortem studies, computer modelling, epidemiology (population studies), ethical clinical research with volunteer patients and healthy subjects, and the use of microbes such as bacteria. Please see what-are-non-animal-alternatives where there is more information.

10. How can you replace the reactions of a whole animal in a test tube or a cell culture? Non-animal research rarely simply replaces like for like. Instead we use a different approach in order to replicate the whole body scenario, replacing each type of animal experiment with a whole range of non-animal techniques that are used in combination. When it comes to studying the “whole animal” it is wrong to assume that animals are the best choice, or that they are necessary to solve every medical problem. The ethical clinical study of the whole relevant organism — that is humans — is much more useful and relevant than an animal model.

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11. Can alternatives actually replace animal experiments or are they used alongside? Alternative methods are regularly replacing animal experiments and have already saved the lives of millions of animals worldwide. For example, cell cultures have replaced the use of monkeys in polio vaccine production; pregnancy tests are now conducted in test-tubes instead of in rabbits; batches of insulin are analysed chemically and not by tests in mice; and cell culture methods have replaced the use of thousands of live mice in the production of monoclonal antibodies. Alternative techniques have the potential to replace more animal experiments and offer more humane and better quality research, but sufficient political and scientific will is required to un-tap that potential quickly for the benefit of everyone.

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