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mapa strony piszą o nas... pomoc sąsiedzka - 19-17 kwietnia 2003 - Światowy Tydzień Zwierząt Laboratoryjnych.


Vivisekcja. Co to jest?

Ze strony The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV):


Vivisection literally means the 'cutting up' of living animals, but has now become more generally used as the term for all experiments on living animals (in vivo) as many animal experiments, such as toxicity tests, will not involve surgical procedures. Non-animal research techniques (in vitro) include such things as cell cultures, computer modelling or artificial systems. Animal experiments cause immense pain and suffering, with over 60% of all procedures in the UK performed without any anaesthetic whatsoever. The animals involved will either die as a result of the experiment or be deliberately killed afterwards, often for post mortem examination. In the laboratory an animal may be poisoned; deprived of food, water or sleep; applied with skin and eye irritants; subjected to psychological stress; deliberately infected with disease; brain damaged; paralysed; surgically mutilated; irradiated; burned; gassed; force fed and electrocuted. The list reads like a catalogue of torture methods.

How many animals are used?
In 2000 in the UK a staggering 2,714,726 experiments were conducted on 2,642,993 animals. Since 1990 the number of experiments on genetically manipulated animals in Britain has risen by 1106%, making this the most rapidly expanding area of animal experimentation in the UK.
It is estimated that over 100 million animals suffer every year in laboratory experiments world-wide. However, as most countries provide only incomplete statistics it is impossible to know the exact number. Even in the UK, where annual figures are published by the Home Office, the statistics on the total number of animals used is misleading. Animals killed purely for their blood, tissue and organs; those bred for research but subsequently killed as 'surplus' and even military experiments performed by the Ministry of Defence are currently excluded from the statistics. Questions raised in the British Houses of Parliament have revealed that as many as 80% of mice and 85% of rats bred for vivisection may be killed without being used, and the BUAV's investigation at breeders Harlan UK revealed that healthy dogs were regularly killed to provide blood products or as 'surplus stock'. The BUAV believes that if these animals were added to the annual statistics, the real figure for the total number of animals involved in research in the UK would increase by many millions.


Beagle behind bars

What species are used for experiments?
A wide variety of animal species are used for vivisection around the world. Rats and mice are used in 80% of laboratory experiments in the UK, mainly because they are small and cheap. They occupy less space in a laboratory than larger animals and can produce 50 - 100 babies a year. These rodents are so cheap and readily available that they are virtually viewed as disposable research 'tools' by scientists. In fact, researchers in the United States do not even bother to record how many rats, mice and birds they kill each year; these creatures make up to 80% of all animals used and yet they are considered so insignificant, their use does not even appear in official statistics. Albino rabbits are commonly used for eye and skin tests because they are easy to handle and they have a very limited ability to "cry away" substances from their eyes during experiments.
To our shame the UK is Europe's largest user of dogs and primates for experimentation. The most common breed of laboratory dog is the beagle, chosen primarily because they are good-natured and a manageable size for testing procedures. The use of Great Apes (gorilla, chimpanzee and orang-utan) has been banned in the UK, but primates such as baboons and macaques continue to be used in their thousands. Other animals commonly used for research include guinea pigs, dogs, cats, birds, fish, pigs, horses, sheep, hamsters and primates, but many other species are used as well.



Although some research establishments have their own breeding facilities, the majority of all research animals in the UK are 'purpose bred' by commercial companies that specialise in supplying animals for vivisection. The research industry often tries to defend its treatment of animals by emphasising that they are 'purpose bred' as if this means they are somehow different from other animals. The breeders' catalogues talk about the animals they sell as 'products', boasting fast delivery and easy dispatch of orders, as though these living, breathing animals are no more than laboratory equipment. The truth of course is that a laboratory animal has exactly the same capacity to suffer physically and psychologically as a pet animal.

Many primates used in vivisection around the world, such as macaques and baboons, are trapped in the wild or captive bred in terrible conditions in countries such as Mauritius, Barbados, Indonesia, the Philippines and China. They are then transported thousands of miles to be sold to laboratories in Europe, the United States and the rest of the world. These primates can endure such terrible conditions and stress on their long journeys that many do not reach their destination alive. A BUAV investigation in 1992 revealed that as many as 80% of wild-caught monkeys never reached the laboratory, whether being killed as 'unsuitable' or dying from disease, infection and stress as a result of capture and transportation. The international trade in primates for research only serves to exacerbate the already huge threat to these often increasingly rare species from habitat destruction and the bushmeat trade.


Thousands of animals die annually in UK military experiments


Animals are used in many different types of experiments to test a wide variety of products. Researchers around the world use animals during the development and manufacture of almost anything from household products, cosmetics and toiletries and food additives to pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, agrochemicals, pet foods, medical devices and tobacco and alcohol products. Military experiments subject animals to the effects of poisonous gas, decompression sickness, blast wounds, burns and radiation as they assess new and existing weapons and surgical techniques 'in the field'.

In fact, almost all of the products used and consumed by humans every day around the world, even water, will have been tested on animals at some point in time. Take a look around your home - the cosmetics and toiletries you apply to your body; the household cleaning products in your kitchen; the toothpaste in your bathroom; the colourings and additives in the food in your fridge; the tablets in your medicine cabinet; the paint on your walls; the varnish on your furniture; the petrol in your car; the weed killer in your garden shed; even the dyes in the clothes you are wearing - all of these and more will have been tested on animals.

Animal experiments fall under 4 main categories
1. Product development
Animals are used in the development of new products and ingredients such as drugs, pesticides, household cleaners and paint.
2. Safety testing
Animals are widely used in toxicity studies where they are effectively poisoned to test the 'safety' of new products and ingredients such as shampoos, washing powders, medicines, food additives and industrial chemicals.
3. Medical research
Scientists use animals as 'models' for human diseases by artificially inducing the symptoms of human illnesses such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Animals are also used to test new medical devices and surgical techniques. More recently, genetically engineered animals are being bred and used as potential organ donors for humans, a process known as xenotransplantation.
4. Basic research
Scientists carry out experiments on animals in an attempt to find out new facts and learn more about how the body works. Such research is largely curiosity driven, since its results have no direct use or application.


Naturally inquisitive animals, these rats are kept in sterile, barren laboratory conditions


The BUAV opposes all animal experiments on ethical and scientific grounds.

Vivisection is unethical
"The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?"
Jeremy Bentham

The BUAV believes that all animals have the right to a life free from deliberate harm, pain, suffering and torment. Like humans, all animals are capable of feeling physical pain, and to varying degrees they too can experience fear, boredom, depression and psychological distress. Exposing animals to deliberate and systematic physical and emotional harm in a laboratory, for whatever reason, is morally unjustifiable. The Protection of Animals Act (1911) protects domestic animals in the UK from abuse and cruel treatment. Under the 1911 Act it is an offence to "ill-treat, torture, terrify any animal ... or, by wantonly or unreasonably doing or omitting to do an act, cause any unnecessary suffering to an animal..."; to "wilfully, without any reasonable cause or excuse, administer ... any poisonous or injurious drug or substance to any animal..."; or to subject "any animal to any operation which is performed without due care and humanity." Experiments performed on living animals however, are specifically excluded from the provisions of the 1911 Act, and are instead licensed under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 as likely to cause animals "pain, suffering or lasting harm." So whilst you or I would, quite rightly, be punished for deliberately poisoning, burning, blinding or electrocuting our family pet, researchers can simply apply for a Home Office license to do any of these things perfectly legally. This presents a completely indefensible legal anomaly. A dog, rabbit or hamster in the laboratory is exactly the same as the dog, rabbit or hamster that you love as your family pet. They have the same capacity to suffer. So if deliberately harming them in the home is a punishable offence, how can deliberately harming them in the laboratory be justifiable?

Simply because we have the ability to use and abuse animals, doesn't mean we have the right to do so. One argument often used by pro-vivisectionists to justify animal experiments is that humans are 'superior' to other animals. Just like other forms of prejudice such as racism, this speciesist argument implies that because we consider ourselves to be superior, the rights, suffering or death of those we consider to be inferior (in this case other sentient creatures) is somehow less significant or valid than our own. The BUAV believes that this is a very selfish approach to life. As human beings we have the unique ability to understand that other animals suffer unnecessarily as a result of our actions, and to change our behaviour accordingly so as to avoid the suffering of others. As an individual you have a choice to strive for the type of society you really want. Do you want a truly compassionate society that accepts its moral responsibility to look after other animals and avoid causing them deliberate suffering? Or do you want a selfish society where the oppression of those who cannot speak for themselves is deemed acceptable and where mankind's self-appointed superiority justifies animal cruelty? It's your choice. What type of society do you want to live in?

Vivisection is a flawed science
"All species, all varieties of animals and even individuals of the same species differ from one another. No experimentation carried out on one species can be extrapolated to any other. The belief that such extrapolation could be legitimate is the main reason for the failures, and sometimes for the catastrophes, that modern medicine inflicts on us, especially where drugs are concerned."
Professor Pietro Croce, Honorary President of Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine.

The fact is that animal experiments tell us about animals, not about people. The results of animal studies can never guarantee the safety or efficacy of human medicines or other products because of the fundamental differences between the species. Different species can have completely contradictory responses to a range of substances; on average there is only a 5-25% correlation between harmful drug effects in humans and the results of animal experiments. For example, Aspirin is used as a relatively safe and effective painkiller for humans but can be fatal to cats; Penicillin is a widely used antibiotic in humans and yet it can kill both cats and guinea pigs; Arsenic is very dangerous for humans but does not present the same level of threat to rats, mice or sheep; insulin, a drug used safely by people with diabetes, can produce terrible deformities in mice, rabbits and chickens. Even something as mundane as chocolate, which is consumed in large quantities by humans worldwide, can be extremely toxic in dogs. The danger of relying on animal studies is illustrated by the long list of animal tested drugs that are withdrawn from sale or restricted in their use as a result of unexpected side effects in human patients. In April 2000 a study published by US watchdog group Public Citizen reported that an estimated 100,000 Americans die every year from adverse drug reactions.

Case Study 1
In 1993, Boot's heart drug Manoplax was withdrawn less than a year after its launch following large scale human trials which suggested a link to increased rates of death and hospital admissions in patients. Manoplax had been extensively animal tested in studies using dogs, cats and other animals. Despite this however, it was only following clinical trials with human patients that the dangers of this drug became apparent.

Case Study 2
Opren was promoted as a new wonder drug with a unique potential to treat arthritis and prevent the condition deteriorating. Indeed it did, but only in laboratory rats. In 1982 Opren was withdrawn from sale in Britain after 3,500 reports of side effects, including 61 deaths. Long-term studies with rhesus monkeys had failed to provide any evidence that the drug might cause liver damage, the main cause of death in human patients. Other animal studies commissioned by the manufacturers had also failed to suggest that Opren might cause the photosensitive skin reactions suffered by many of the human victims of this drug.

Case Study 3
In the case of ICI's heart drug Eraldin, patients suffered serious side effects including damage to the eyes. Some went blind and at least 23 others died. Animal experiments provided no warning of this tragic disaster and even after human patients were blinded by Eraldin, these side effects could not be reproduced in laboratory animals.

Case Study 4
In June 1992, Teflox was withdrawn from sale in the UK after it had been given to 20,000 patients in only 8 months. The US manufacturer Abbott Laboratories withdrew the antibiotic after tests showed it could cause liver and kidney problems, and a life-threatening shock reaction.

Case Study 5
Produced by Swedish pharmaceutical company Astra, Zimeldine was withdrawn worldwide in 1983, one year after its launch. In the UK there were over 300 reports of side effects, many of them serious, and 7 deaths. This drug was tested on rats, mice and dogs - none of the tests predicted such serious side effects.

Case Study 6
In 1999 Trovan, a fluoroquinolene antibiotic made by Pfizer, was suspended in Europe and its use severely restricted in the US after its association with liver damage, resulting in 6 deaths.

Case Study 7
In 1999 the antibiotic Raxar made by Glaxo Wellcome was withdrawn world-wide because of adverse cardiovascular problems, including 7 deaths in which the product could not be excluded as a cause.

Case Study 8
In 1999 it was reported in The Lancet that Novartis's antipsychotic drug Clozapine may be associated with potentially fatal heart conditions in healthy young adults with schizophrenia. The drug has been widely available for over 10 years but the sudden death of 2 patients prompted a further study. Looking at previous records revealed a number of other deaths of patients shortly after starting the therapy.

Other high profile drug withdrawals include: Benoxaprofen in 1982; Domperidone in 1986; Nomifensine in 1986; Terodiline in 1991; Mumps Vaccine in 1992.

Increasingly people are coming to realise that animal based research is, at best, 'flip a coin' science that cannot accurately predict human responses and is failing to find cures for human diseases. Anti-vivisectionists are not anti-human in their defence of animals. Nor are they opposed to medical progress. The BUAV wants to see real advancement in the treatment of painful and debilitating human diseases, but we believe that the route to these advances depends on developing and using research techniques that do not involve animals. In fact, by relying on animal based data we are actually holding back the potential of medical science. Our experiments should be based on cutting-edge, biologically relevant non-animal techniques of the 21st Century, and not on the antiquated assumption that test results from one species can be safely applied to another.

Ending animal experiments would not harm human health, rather it would free up valuable resources that could be used to develop non-animal research techniques. Government, regulatory bodies and industry must work together to rethink our scientific endeavour, and to invest in retraining scientists and re-equipping laboratories to use the high-tech in vitro research techniques that will enable us to develop life-saving drugs and safe consumer products for thefuture - progress with compassion and health with humanity.

Linki do stron organizacji walczących z wiwisekcja:

  • - po polsku, artykuł o wiwisekcji.
  • - Front Wyzwolenia Zwierząt, po polsku.
  • - Viva! wstęp do ksiązki Dr Tony Page'a "HOLOKAUST - wiwisekcja dzisiaj" (wyd. "Viva!POL", 2001).
  • - tez po polsku, artykuł własny z ciekawym punktem widzenia.
  • - polska strona o Międzynarodowym Dniu Zwierząt Laboratoryjnych z... 1999 roku (ponoć obchodzony jest w Polsce od 1995)
  • - i jeszcze jedna strona po polsku
  • - Życie bez okrucieństwa!
  • - krótka strona Arki o wiwisekcji.
  • - The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), bardzo ważna organizacja, gdyż podejmuje konkretne, legislacyjne kroki w celu zakazu wiwisekcji.
  • - European Coalition to End Animal Experiments
  • - World Week for Animals in Laboratories (WWAIL)
  • (IDA)
  • (PETA) -
  • (PETA)
  • (American Anti-Vivisection Society)
  • - British Anti-Vivisection Associaton
  • (Americans for Medical Advancement)
  • (National Anti-Vivisection Society)
  • (New England Anti-Vivisection Society)
  • (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine)
  • (PETA)
  • - Animal Protection Institute
  • - Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare (nalezy szukać artykułów na ten temat w ARC, ale nie tylko tam), generalnie - katolicka akcja na rzecz polepszenia losu zwierząt.

Jak również książka Dr Tony Page'a "HOLOKAUST - wiwisekcja dzisiaj" (wyd. "Viva!POL", 2001).


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