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Is it counterproductive to advocate "Alternatives" to animal experiments?

Alternative Research by Dr Christopher Anderegg MD PhD
"Are there alternatives to vivisection?  Of course not.?...There are no alternatives to vivisection because  any method intended to replace it should have the same qualities, but it is hard to find anything in biomedical research that is, and always was, more deceptive and misleading than vivisection. So the methods we propose for medical research should be called "scientific methods" rather than "alternative methods." - Prof Pietro Croce MD
Anti-vivisectionists must, therefore, reject alternative methods... Most alternative methods are based not on truly scientific methods like human cell and tissue cultures and clinical investigations of human patients, but rather on animal cell and tissue cultures and computer models, which are of (more or less) equal value to the worthless and fraudulent animal experiments they are supposed to replace.
For the so-called validation of alternative methods - a process which takes years, if ever, to complete - the researchers compare not only the data from their alternative methods with the data from animal experiments, but they also repeat the very animal experiments their alternative methods are supposed to replace in order to obtain additional data for the purpose of further comparisons!
This endless and absolutely senseless repetition of animal experiments over a period of years - despite masses of data from decades of previous animal experimentation -  leads to neither the reduction nor the replacement  but rather the perpetuation of animal experiments.
The authorities responsible for the validation and assessment of alternative methods will acknowledge and officially accept an alternative method only if it produces the same results as the animal experiment it is supposed to replace! Although such methods are clearly detrimental both to the abolition of animal experiments on medical and scientific grounds  and to animal protection in general ,  it is astounding that an ever-increasing number of  animal rights, animal protection and even antivivisection organisations are not only endorsing the three 'Rs' but also promoting and financing the research and development of alternative methods.

See:

http://www.animalexperiments.ch/data/pdf/aavs.pdf

See also:

http://www.animalexperiments.ch/data/pdf/alternativ_e.pdf

 and:

http://www.safermedicines.org/faqs/faq16.shtml

 

A final consideration - I once read that a letter to the NAVSs Lord Dowding Trust soon after its foundation in 1979 from the (government) Department of Education and Science (which I read that the LDT kept quiet about but someone got a copy of it years later and leaked it out) stated " 'Alternatives' will have to be tested in animals to see if they are,indeed,'alternatives'"!
   
    

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Uptight Primate said:

There are several points to address in this post.

The first is this rejection of a word - 'alternatives', based on how someone, who's first language isn't English, decided to interpret it quite a few years ago. Everyone who is involved in the industry or working with it for change - including scientists involved in non-animal research - uses the word and no-one has any problem assessing that what is meant is a way to conduct research that doesn't use live animals.

You say that many activists support the 3R's - how do you think change might happen? The grass-roots movement loves the idea that all change comes about by drawing a line in the sand and then demanding that we jump over it - all or nothing - immediately and forever. Sadly the world doesn't work like this - and as a movement we have to get our heads around this - and around how change does happen. As individuals we might feel better about ourselves for taking the no-compromise stance - but how does that really help? It shouldn't be about us it is about the animals.

Yes the process of validation is long winded and far from ideal - so this is one area where we should be looking to make changes - of course most of us in the movement are not doctors or scientists, so we can't actually get involved in this really vital work. The movement desperately needs more experts.

Demanding an end to all animal experiments is, at the moment, getting us nowhere - indeed the numbers keep rising and the UK Home Office is predicting that the numbers will continue to rise (possibly sharply) into the future. We are nowhere near ending this particular animal abuse.

As for the comment about NAVS/LDT - although I'm no fan of these groups - I suggest it's not useful to spread gossip that you may have read/heard if you cannot show it to be true. Why this need to attack the groups who are working in this area? I wonder what your own campaign experience is?

Finally I'm curious as to how you think the use of animals research is best tackled? I'm assuming you have undertaken medical training and have an in-depth understanding of the scientific issues?

 

Writing a detailed reply to all your points would be a time consuming business but an intelligent reader who carefully reads both my original posting and your reply to it will see that there are several flaws in the arguments you presented. But there are a couple of things I would say - I am not proposing that we demand an end to vivisection just because we do not like it - and we will not get its abolition just because we do not like it - there would be a mass backlash against vivisection from the general public that would quickly abolish it if they knew how much their own health and life expectancy was being damaged by its practice. You don't need an "alternative" to something that it counterproductive and damaging - advocating alternatives reinforces the fallacy that it must be useful in some way and so delays the time when that true fact becomes widely known and thus delays abolition.
 Of course, there is a small minority who do benefit greatly from the continuation of vivisection - those who make big financial gains or make their livelihoods from it. These people would want to keep the fallacy of its usefulness widely believed and would encourage us to do things that maintain that belief amongst the wider public. When I read your words "Everyone who is involved in the industry or working with it for change - including scientists involved in non-animal research - uses the word and no-one has any problem assessing that what is meant is a way to conduct research that doesn't use live animals." I thought,and still think, "Well how can she know this - and in such detail - unless she is inside the industry herself?"

 

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