Those who have supported animal testing in medical trials always argue that it is better that an animal should suffer rather than a human. 'Would you prefer it if it was your child?' is a typical reaction.
This emotional retort can be a conversation stopper - but it overlooks one vital fact. Animal tests tell us nothing, and are valueless. This has been confirmed in a new study by the Reviewing Animal Trials Systematically Group, which reduces to the appropriate acronym of RATS. They point out that animal testing receives far more funding than do clinical trials involving human because of the commonly agreed perception that thee tests benefit humans. But when they assessed various studies involving animals, they found that they were poorly constructed, or the analysis was faulty.
RATS concludes that animal tests need 'urgent formal evaluation'. Better yet, they should be stopped immediately.
(Source: British Medical Journal, 2004; 328: 514-7).