Issues Magazine

Articles about Animal Welfare

Should Animals Continue to Be Used in Research Experiments?

By Cynthia Burnett

Animal experimentation is an established yet controversial practice. Should it continue and what are the alternatives?

In the Western world, the use of animals as a tool to learn about the human body dates back to about 200 AD to the time of Galen, who was physician to Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ family and to the gladiators of ancient Rome. At a time when no anaesthetics were known, Galen cut open live goats, pigs and monkeys in the hope of learning about how the human body works. With few lapses, the animal experimental model has continued in use right up to the present day.