Every day we hear voices from around the world protesting the abuse and/or death of innocent dogs and cats.
But when it comes to dogs and cats being used in laboratory experiments around the world, those voices are eerily silent.
Why is that?
Some studies indicate we tolerate the cruelty of animal testing because we think it keeps us safe from harmful products and improves our life span through medical testing.
So each year in the US over 72,000 dogs, mostly beagles, and 24,000 cats live their lives in sterile laboratories. Those animals used to come from shelters and Class B dealers who got them who knows where? Now the animals are usually bred by Class A dealers to be sold to the labs. The dealers offer “devocalization services,” meaning they surgically alter the dog so it can no longer bark.
And what are these animals used for?
According to the National Anti-Vivisection Society, up to 75% of dogs used in research are used in pharmaceutical testing. Yes, the effects of a drug on a dog doesn’t mean it’s going to have the same effect on a human, but drugs are required to be tested in both a rodent and non-rodent species, and well, dogs are so darned compliant! Other areas where dogs are used in research are physiology, surgery, dental health, to study hereditary diseases in humans, and to study dog nutrition, dog health, and dog behavior.
Cats are used to study spinal cord injuries, hearing and vision disorders, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hematological disorders, immunological studies, HIV and human leukemia.
Before you non-Americans get all holier-than-though, here are some sobering statistics for the rest of you:
In Australia in 2013, over 1500 cats and nearly 6,000 dogs were used in experiments.
Canada in 2013 used nearly 7,000 cats and nearly 15,000 dogs in research experiments.
Nearly 18,000 dogs and nearly 4,000 cats were used for experimentation in the European Union in 2011.
(links to stats found at HSI.org)
What about the rest of you? Oh, there’s almost certainly animal experimentation going on where you live as well, but your country either doesn’t keep statistics or refuses to share them.
The worst part is you could reduce the number of animals used by buying products identified as cruelty-free. Simply look for the Leaping Bunny icon on the package.to
be clear, if people in China kill dogs to eat them, that’s cruelty. If animal control humanely euthanizes a homeless animal, that’s cruelty,
But if a dog or cat lives a short life of misery so you can take yet another medication or use a different kind of shampoo, that’s OK.