Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

What is Animal Testing?


Do you know what animals testing is? Do you know how important animal testing is in medicine, biology, vet and science? Do you know how many countries have laws relating to animal testing? Do you know what kind of animals are most common in animals testing? And why?


Back to history, animal testing happened in 304-250 BC by Erasistratus. He established in pigs that the trachea was an air tube and the lungs were pneumatic organs. After his experiments some scientists used the same way to do more experiments, such as Galen (ad 130-200). He dissected the pigs, monkeys and other animals. But in Medieval times most of the people thought animal testing did not respect nature and was thought of as crazy. Also, the government did not support what he was doing and studying. Until 1500s, the animal testing was started again by Andreas Vesalius. In 1514-1564, he researched the anatomy of the dog and pig in public and this experiment was a big step of physiology as well. [1]


Scientists need to respect three R rules when they were doing animal testing. The three Rs are ‘replacement’, ‘reduction’ and ‘refinement’. These rules were published at ‘The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique’ in 1959 by William Russell and Rex Burch. They raised issues about animal testing and that we need to try our best to use non-sentient to replace animals, decrease the number of animals tested and the level of pain and distress to testing animals. 3Rs in United Kingdom is a law of Animal (Scientific) Procedures Act. [2]


Some countries have laws to protect animals and to control animal testing. There are some differences between each country, but they all aim to control the number of animals used in the test and how much pain the animals endure. Nowadays, there are nine countries who formally incorporated the laws, they are: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States. [3]


Mice, rats, rabbits, primates, cats and dogs are most common in animals testing. Mice and rats have the most similar nervous system to humans. They are able to feel pain, happiness and sadness just like us. Rabbits are mild-tempered, easy to handle and control. Primates animals are sensitive, intelligent and similar biologically and psychologically with humans. They usually have medicine and psychological tests. Cats have sensitive sense of hearing and sight. Dogs are devoted and easy to train and handle. [4]


I think animals testing is helpful to understand for biological knowledge. I have dissected rats, a bull’s eye and a pig’s heart when I was in high school. In those experiments it was very helpful to understand the structure of the animals and the functions of their organs. Why my teacher chose those animals and organs for students to study? Because the digestive system of a rat is similar with the human digestive system, the bull’s eye and pig’s heart are similar to our eye and heart structure. Those experiments were a good way to study biology, the process was better than a book or a video that we used in class.


Nowadays, there is still anti animal testing arguments. Some organizations and scientists try to stop this kind of testing on animals because animal testing sometimes has ethical and moral problems. On the other hand, some organizations and scientists are supporting animal testing to help in academic study and increase our quality of life.[5][6]

So, what do you think? Is animal testing good or bad?

In next the blog I am going to share the benefits of animal testing and some success examples.


Reference list

  1. Fox, JG 2002, Laboratory animal medicine, San Diego, Calif. : Academic Press, c2002.
  2. Flecknell, P 2002, ‘Replacement, reduction and refinement’, Altex, 19, no.2, pp. 73-78
  3. ‘Regulations’ 2016, Animal testing, 11 April, retrieved 14 April 2016, <;
  4. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Animals Used for Experimentation, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, retrieved 14 April 2106, <;
  5. Humane Society International, 2016, Biomedical Research, Humane Society International, retrieved 14 April 2106, <;.
  6. Animals Australia, 2016, Animal experimentation, Animals Australia, retrieved 14 April 2106, <;.



One comment on “What is Animal Testing?

  1. benlivingstone7
    May 2, 2016

    I find the subject itself to be fascinating in its ethical implications, but rather dry when it comes to the actual science. Your blog post introduces the reader to the topic really well and has a clear balance with a brief introduction to your own opinions on the subject. Your points would have been clearer, however, if you had placed the ‘I believe animal testing is…’ paragraph closer to the beginning and then used the evidence to justify your position.

    But let’s assess the actual content: personally, I’m not a big fan of PETA. While they claim to be all for animal rights, they actually euthanise most of the animals that their shelters take in, almost all of which are only mildly sick or completely healthy (

    Humans and chimpanzees share approximately 97-98% of our DNA, and renowned primatologists like Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey have both published numerous studies linking human and primate behaviour to one another. The Jane Goodall Institute provides a fairly extensive list of the similarities:

    Using sentient animals with emotions just like us (such as rabbits, mice, chimpanzees, pigs, etc) to test for cosmetics is not the same thing as manipulating bacteria to produce insulin for diabetics and other life-saving medications. In short, we’re torturing creatures that are extremely similar to us for luxuries, not necessities.

    In conclusion, if humanity wants to abuse (and in many cases torture) innocent creatures for the cosmetics industry, perhaps we should first evaluate what we mean when we lecture each other on morality and ethics.

    All in all though, your post was a pretty good read.


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This entry was posted on April 15, 2016 by in Geelong - Friday 3pm, Uncategorized.

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