Are animal experiments conducted for the sole purpose of exploring diseases and treatments of humans?

Souris de laboratoire
Immagine: Institut für Labortierkunde

No; animals also benefit from animal testing. As in human medicine, drugs and treatments used in veterinary medicine must also be tested for their efficacy and their risk before they are approved. Among other things, this is done in studies involving the animal species in which a drug will later be used.

Moreover, there are a range of studies on the keeping, behaviour and well-being of animals, which can be used for example to improve their living conditions in agricultural settings. For instance, researchers observe a group of hens and document the terrain and areas of the enclosure where the animals prefer to spend time. This data supplies insights into species-appropriate husbandry for chickens. Even though scientists are merely observing the animals in these kinds of studies, they are still classified as animal experiments. This applies equally to the attachment of transmitters to wild animals for the conduct of ecological research as it does to live animals used for training veterinarians, agronomists or members of rescue organisations (police, ambulance drivers, etc.).

Moreover, some basic research projects are not aimed directly at research into,or treatment of a disease, but at increasing knowledge of basic processes. Research projects aimed at the protection of the environment may likewise involve animal experiments, although they too are not aimed directly at treating human diseases.