Talk:Animal testing/Archive 4

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Read through

I have just finished a complete read through and the following are what jumped out at me (It is quite a long list):


  • The following is repeated later in the "Number of Animals Used" section and, IMO, should be removed (as the article is far too long already): 'mostly inside universities, medical schools, pharamceutical companies, and commercial facilities that provide animal-testing services to industry"
  • The sentence after that "Testing is also carried out..." should be moved to join the section regarding the institutions in the "Number of Animals Used" section.
  • After the list of research types, the paragraph contains "Examples of developments that used animal research..." There should be a counter agrument at least referenced for the penicillin one - as this, according to various places was held back by animal tests. eg [1]
Our debate appears to have disappeared, however i generally agree the counter argument is needed. My only concern is that predictive revisionism on either side is invalid. So just as pros often claim that any breakthrough would not have been made without animals (we can never know, as animals were used), antis try to claim that the breakthroughs would have happened despite animal testing (again, we can never know as animals were used). Thats why i'd be happier saying that whether animals were essential or required in these studies are in question, rather than any breakthrough would have happened/ not happened with or without them. Anything else is simply speculation, as the source acknowledges with their caveat, ' was almost the case with penicillin." (my bold). Rockpocket 21:54, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
  • The "FBR States on their website..." paragraph needs re-writing to put it into context as it seems detatched at the moment.
  • The paragraph starting "The moral basis" should really be moved to the controversy section and the animal-rights opposition to this expanded. As it stands it makes the intro one sided and too long.


Seems fine


  • There is a sentence "Rats, mice, and birds are not protected under the Act." which seems to have been squashed in. It needs expanding/moving from its current position as it does not really fit in that paragraph.
  • "Inspections are carried out only where there is reason to suspect a violation". Similar to the sentence above - it seems out of place. It needs expanding/tying in with the rest of the paragraph
  • Suggest that the 'Europe' section be split into subsections for UK and France - with the general europe staying as it is (as an 'intro').
  • The final sentence of the paragraph regarding France needs a major re-word. It is quite confusing as it stands.

Number of animals used

  • The final sentence of paragraph 1 seems a bit 'tag on'. It should be moved to an earlier place in the paragraph and used after the overall figures are stated (eg. "Accurate global figures for animal testing are hard to obtain. The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) estimates that 100 million animals are experimented on around the world every year, 10–11 million of them in the European Union and 1,101,958 in the United States in 2004, whilst the Nuffield Council on Bioethics reports that "[e]stimates of the total number of animals used annually in research around the world are difficult to obtain and range from between 50 to 100 million animals", bearing in mind that their numbers do not include those animals bred for research and killed as surplus, or used for breeding purposes."
I agree that this section needs a rewrite. I have just updated the numbers section with UK 2004 figures taken directly from the Home Office publication, which is referenced. In doing so, I added two big categories - breeding and applied studies - which for some reason had been omitted from the previous set of figures. If anyone is doing deletions from this section: I would suggest deleting the figure for psychological stress, which is included for no apparent reason, and the phrase about the reason for use of beagles, which is not referenced and may not be true. I added that they are purpose-bred, which is more of a reason for their use than the fact that they are friendly and gentle. Ermintrude 21:03, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Slim asked why I changed "[e]stimate ..." to "estimate ..." in the paragraph preceding the numbers edits. Sorry, I spotted this, it looked very odd, and I naturally thought it was an error - I didn't realise the square brackets in [e]stimate had any significance. Perhaps someone can enlighten me. Ermintrude 21:24, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
It means the first word in the quote was the first word in the original sentence i.e. was originally capitalized. Anything in square brackets indicates an editorial addition. SlimVirgin (talk) 05:07, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I am aware of the normal convention to put editorial additions in square brackets. However, the letter e is not an addition. Why not just capitalise it here? Or is this a Wikipedia convention? Ermintrude 09:08, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
It is not a Wikipedia convention. It is how it is done. The upper-case E was changed to a local-case e, and this is noted by means of square brackets, to signify an editorial change: in this case that a clause that was the beginning of a sentence is being used as a clause within a sentence. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:40, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I've never seen brackets used thus to capitalise a word, and I really don't think it matters that much, except that because the line breaks after [e] it looks odd. BTW, did you really mean local-case? Ermintrude 19:56, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Species Used

  • Each of the first 4 sentences need references.
  • The Oxford uni stuff needs a check over - I am sure that they have stated that it will contain labs also.
  • The statements regarding new breeding colonies need references.
  • The final sentence needs a reason for the dogs being purpose bred (a starting point is contol).

Types of Experiments

Toxicology tests
  • The image seems very staged to me. But that might be just me being POV.
It is staged, as any technician would be asked permission before a picture was taken! Nevertheless, it is typical of a beagle pen in a UK facility and i have seen many technicians playing with the animals in this manner. Thus i thinks its fairly representative. Rockpocket 21:22, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
  • The first paragraph needs a reference.
  • The first part of the second paragraph needs a reference (starting "The most stringent tests" and ending "and reproductive problems".
I'd suggest removing this paragraph as its repeated, with references, under 'Drug testing'. Infact this whole section is a bit of a mishmash, it might be better to focus this part on safety testing of coumpounds only and leave the references to drugs for that section, as the legislation is different. Rockpocket 21:22, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
  • The final sentence of the second paragraph needs a reference.
I'd like to include the legislation here, it its important to make clear that these processes are obliged under law. Rockpocket 21:22, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Specific toxicology tests
  • "The oral LD50 is still widely used in the US" - needs a reference.
Drug Testing
  • The term "tragedy" should be removed as it is highly emotive language.
Fair point, i'll change it. I also intend to add short sections on types of tests used in basic and applied research. I feel there is a bias towards info on toxicology testing (perhaps because that is the most emotive use) which is not consistent with the number of animals used in practice. A rar greater number of animals are used for pure and applied research, for balance some example of these types of procedures should be illustrated. Rockpocket 21:31, 3 January 2006 (UTC)


Advocates of animal testing
  • Points 4 and 5 need references
Opponents of animal testing
  • Points 1, 2, and 4 need references
  • In point 5,1 the 2 sentences each need references
  • The final point needs a reference - possibly [2]


Seems fine

ANIMAL TESTING IS WRONG AND IS ABUSE -The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

Cosmetic Testing on animals

  • The sentence "Some cosmetics companies claim that their products are not tested on animals, despite using one or more of the aformentioned practices" needs a reference.
  • The next 2 paragraphs need references.
  • Skipping the next paragraph, the next one needs a reference.
  • The final paragraph needs a reference

Alternatives to animal testing

  • The opening sentence is mis-representative - it states that all animal rights people believe that animal tests are ok where necessary. It is likely just a grammatical error.
  • The paragraph "In the United States....many research institutions comply voluntarily" needs a reference for the last sentence.
  • Skipping the next paragraph, each of the points in the next paragraph need a reference
  • The computer simulations mentioned also need to mention data from clinical trials/testing on humans.
Reading this again, the last few sentences are vague to the level of being incorrect. "[cultured] hepatocytes... can function almost 50% as well as in vivo hepatocytes" is meaningless, as unless they were transplanted into animals its impossible to compare. It the very least it should be reworded and the parameters for function should be included along with a reference, or else it should be removed.
Myocardial cells don't technically 'beat', the whole heart does with the 'beating' a result of the pumping of blood. Hearts that pump blood are yet to be cultured (Catherine Zandonella, Nature 421, 884 - 886 (2003)). Instead cardiac muscle cells in culture retain the ability to contract under induction (Tseng CE et al, Pediatr Res. 1999 Feb;45(2):260-9: "...cells were observed to beat at rates varying between 25-75 beats per minute (bpm) after the addition of 1.8 mM CaCl2", my bold). I assume thats what the contributor means. I'm not too bothered about using the word 'beat' instead of contract as its widely used, but it is important to state that they require chemical induction, unlike hearts in vivo, of course, which go all by themselves. I can also find no published account of human myocytes contracting in culture without the use of animal products in the media... hardly a good example of an animal free alternative.
The keratinocyte statement, like hepatocytes, is without basis. How does one determine if a cell is functioning at 80% capacity of another unless they measured in the same environment? What is the 'capacity' of a cell? I presume the contributor is referring to 80% of gene expression, respiration or energy production levels, but without a citation its impossible to know. I'm not adverse to having examples of how culture techniques can be used as an alternative to animals - there are plenty of good ones - but these are not them. Instead they appear to be unsubstantiated facts about certain cell types, talked up to make them sound as functionally equivilant to their organs of origin. If no-one can come up with justification for these statements i suggest we scratch them and i'll put together some examples with citations. Rockpocket 00:16, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

I am not saying that any one person should sort this lot out, more that it needs doing generally. -localzuk 13:32, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Those suggestions seem valid, localzuk, with the caveats i have mentioned in the text. I'll try and dig out some references that are missing. Rockpocket 21:33, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree. These suggestions are mostly excellent I think, as it had got into a bit of a mess. However, I hesitate to edit anything as my edits do not seem to be welcome. Ermintrude 21:41, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Ermintrude, i think your input would be welcomed, just be wary of removing anything major without explaining here first and allowing the community a comeback. I've found additions are most welcome, however, if explained and referenced. Rockpocket 22:07, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
It would help a lot if Ermintrude would refrain from deleting anything at all. SlimVirgin (talk) 05:09, 4 January 2006 (UTC)


I added another example to the abuse section, a well-known one, that of Britches, the baby macaque whose eyes were sewn shut. I'm also considering adding one other well-known case called the "well of despair", but it's an older example, perhaps too old, so I want to read up about it first. SlimVirgin (talk) 05:05, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Thats an interesting example. I've two queries though. Firstly, is there a citation for the origin of the name 'Britches'? It is unusual, indeed considered bad practice, for researchers to name animals undergoing tests. I would be surprised if that was the case as claimed here, but stand corrected if you have an independent source. If not, i'd suggest its more likely the animal was named by its liberators and thus the origin of the name should be queried. Secondly, i wonder is this technically an example of abuse? It certainly seems unpleasant and unwarranted, but if the experiment was correctly licenced and carried out within the terms of that license, then it was lawful and therefore should not be termed 'abuse' (irrespective of the public distaste it provoked and the result of that). Is there any citations on the legality of the experiment? If not, it should at least be made clear that the abuse is alleged in this example. Rockpocket 06:51, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Good point about the name, though it's simply a question of confirming who gave the name, not that it would be legitimate in some way if named by researchers, but not legitimate if named by the activists. ;-) As for the abuse section, also a good point and I considered renaming it, because none of the examples given were considered abusive by the researchers or the companies involved, except the beating of the beagles which HLS distanced itself from publicly, though apparently not internally. Most people not involved in animal research would consider these examples of abuse, however, rather than simple use. So perhaps a change of header should be considered to reflect some middle position. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:19, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I think it will be hard to get any independant information regarding Britches simply due to the nature of its release. The only people who have information are the original researchers and the liberators. I doubt either are going to have provided a source. The media will be of no use as their information will match that of the liberators (as they are the reason that it was picked up by the media in the first place). As it is in another article as "named by researchers" and then referenced to a book, I think it is acceptable to leave it at that - unless someone can disprove it.
Thats one of my concerns about 'Britches', the only source of information was from the ALF which is only as reputable as the alternative view expressed by the University. Every bit of information i can find on the subject is expressed in the same phrases, which i assume are paraphrased from the book you mention.... which was written by the President of the ALF! It is interesting that in all my personal experience i have never once seen a research animal given a 'name' other than an identifier code, yet browsing the ALF website i find numerous animals with names supposedly given by researchers. Whats the chances of that? Its minor point when compared to the real issue of the alleged abuse i suppose, but is indicitive of how small inaccuracies can be picked up and propogated. Rockpocket 18:03, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Rockpocket, the ALF can't be considered as not a citable source regarding an ALF raid, because they are the only source, and in many cases, particularly those picked up by PETA, they film and document the raids extensively; and in the case of Britches, they also removed a lot of research papers, and had a vet onhand to examine the animal immediately and to write a report. We can't trust researchers as sources if we are not prepared to trust activist organizations. All we can do is say "this side says X; the other side says Y." SlimVirgin (talk) 18:19, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I completely agree, Slim. That was kind of my point, to paraphrase, "We can't trust activist organizations as sources if we are not prepared to trust researchers."! As the name does not appear to be publically contested by Riverside, we should take the word of the source that is available: the ALF. The point was more one that my experience would suggest to me that they are named post liberation, but i don't have a citation to back that up, so i'm not going to push it. Rockpocket 18:38, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I do agree about the definition of abuse though - legally, it was an acceptable experiment from what I've read.-localzuk 09:48, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I think by simply inserting "alleged" infront of the word 'abuse' on the first line covers that. A few of the examples are probably technically not abuse. I have no problems with the examples that have documented evidence of behaviour that breaches the law (HLS, Covance), but the Cambridge example clearly states that the Home Office granted a license for such experiments, thus that also cannot be termed abuse. I'm not sure of the legal status of the Columbia one. It might be better to lable the whole section 'alleged abuse' or 'Abuse and questionable experiments' or else break up into subsections, as i think most reasonable people would agree there were widespead questions over the validity of all those examples. Rockpocket 18:03, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Or "Controversial examples"? SlimVirgin (talk) 18:19, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I have no real preference on wording, i'd defer to your choice. Rockpocket 18:38, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree that this is interesting, but it needs a reliable source. I just had a quick skim through Deborah Blum's book The Monkey Wars and I can't find mention of it there. It appears that this was a case of abuse by the animal rights liberators: I wonder if there are other similar cases?
How can Britches be called a "case of abuse by the animal rights liberators"? SlimVirgin (talk) 18:19, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
The Well of Despair is one of Harry Harlow's shocking maternal deprivation experiments from around 1960, which are well-documented in a book called Love at Goon Park.
On a slightly different tack, I was concerned that the abuse section was already too long, and thus distorts the piece. In the UK, there are around 20-30 breaches of the animal research controls every year and most of these are minor, very few compromise animal welfare, see for instance [3]. Seven UK cases arising from infiltrations since 1975 are documented by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics report downloadable from [4] see pages 24/25, and up to four of these - I would say two - could be regarded by an independent person as involving 'abuse'. Sure, there are others in other countries, but given that 50-100 million experiments are conducted every year around the world, abuse is relatively rare. Ermintrude 10:12, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

I think you have missed a few points there Ermintrude. The point is that with Britches there will not likely be any sources other than the liberators themselves. Can I just query your statement t appears that this was a case of abuse by the animal rights liberators: I wonder if there are other similar cases? ? Do you mean to say that the liberators were abusive or that they are the ones saying that Britches was abused?

Regarding the number of breaches - this number is the number reported/discovered. There may well be more - but this statistic cannot be quoted because it would be just speculation. The numbers quoted should be stated as numbers reported as breaches rather than the number of breaches. -localzuk 10:18, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

It appears from reading Slim's addition that the damage may have been caused by the ALF veterinarian - that was what I meant. I agreee on the number of breaches - I referred to the reported numbers for the purposes of discussion about whether the abuse section was overlong and thus misrepresents the normal conduct of research. I wasn't suggesting that the numbers should be quoted in the article, although I would not object (except on length!) if someone wants to add them. Ermintrude 10:35, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
No, this was simply the claim made by the researchers. They argued that their thick stitches could not have caused the holes in the monkey's skin. What must have caused the holes was the ALF vet's examination. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:19, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
In Slim's defense, he does make clear the the allegations of abuse are disputed and counter claims were made. It could be used as an example of alleged abuse by liberators, but i'm not sure if that is appropriate for this article. I am drafting an article on "animal rights terrorism" or the like, which it may suit. You'd be very welcome to contribute to that. I'm going to insert "alleged" into this section (and risk the wrath of Slim!), as i think the consensus is that it is not proven to be a case of abuse. As for the numbers quoted, a brief insertion in the 'abuse' intro to put the examples in context might be a good idea. Rockpocket 18:15, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
FYI, I'm a she. ;-) SlimVirgin (talk) 18:22, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Ah! The perfect example of a white, male assumption bias! My apologies. ;-) Rockpocket 18:38, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
No worries. ;-) SlimVirgin (talk) 19:37, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Ermintrude, please don't change American to British spelling, or vice versa, unless it's part of a name. I haven't looked to see which is more common on the page, but whichever it is, the rest should be consistent with it, names apart (you were right about RDS). But please don't label these differences "errors." SlimVirgin (talk) 19:37, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

I haven't. License is the US spelling for both verb and noun, British spelling is licence for noun, license for verb. So changing licencee to licensee is both correcting the British spelling error and conforming to US spelling (ie licensee is always spelt thus). I agree you should try to standardise on US or British spelling throughout - at present it is inconsistent. In future please check your facts before laying down the law. Ermintrude 19:52, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Spelling/grammar isn't my strong point so i'll abstain on this one! Is there a wiki convention on Rest of the world v US spelling or is consistency within an article the only direction? Rockpocket 20:12, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
The house style is to have spelling consistent with the topic if the topic itself suggests one e.g. George W. Bush in American English, Paul Martin in Canadian English, Tony Blair in British English etc. If the topic doesn't suggest a style, we rely on whatever the first major contributor used. Where that's unclear (e.g. where it's unclear who counts as the first major contributor), then it's whichever usage is most common on the page; and if that's also unclear, we can probably just agree amongst ourselves. However, I'd say editing to change spellings can probably be left until we get all the other issues sorted out. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:25, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
You continue to miss the point, Slim. The edit was a correction of a misspelling I happened to spot. Nothing to do with US or British spelling. You chose to criticise me and start this discussion. Why, if you are now saying it's unimportant? Ermintrude 21:42, 4 January 2006 (UTC)


Spiny, please stop "correcting" that quote. The intro is already too long and you're just introducing more words for no reason. Adding the relief of suffering "of humans and animals" (or whatever it says) is unnecessary, because it already talks about human and veterinary medicine. There is no need to reproduce a long quote word for word, and there is no reason to do so in this case. I inserted the quote to extract the moral point from it, and the words you keep adding make no difference to the moral point. In any event, the whole thing will have to be shortened further when the anti-testing paragraph is added. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:32, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

That's a fair point. However, you keep reverting back the appalling "mired in controversy" phrase that I will absolutely not accept. It is bad writing and it will not stand. You also keep removing the important qualification about the groups who question the value of animal experimentation being opposed to animal experimentation. Without the qualification it is simply POV and so I'll just remove it entirely until we get this sorted. --SpinyNorman 01:44, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
OK, if as suggested we want to have the discussion here to avoid a revert war, let me place on record that I agree with both these points, Spiny. And they don't lengthen the intro unduly. 10:19, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
It is a bit strange is it not that an anon ip with obvious pov bias (from user contributions) on this article should suddenly pop-up with the sole purpose of agreeing with the views of someone who will not compromise and discuss the issues (which are also being argued against as being POV)?-localzuk 10:31, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I have not suddenly 'popped up' and have contributed other comnments. As you will see, I have an extensive constructive critique on the new alternatives text (which I also think is an improvement), which I am about to post here. It is strange, and worrying for npov, that anyone with what you perceive as a pov bias (ie doesn't agree with the anti testing pov) is immmediately pounced on. 11:35, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I based my comment on your contributions Special:Contributions/ which all seem to be very similar to those made by Spiny - and a lot are POV. I did not pounce, instead I researched your behaviour and found it to be strikingly similar to Spiney's work.-localzuk 11:39, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Spiny, it isn't bad writing, and to be honest, you're not in a position to judge. But I wouldnt argue if that were the only point. Look at the mess you've made by moving the paragraph. You're just POV pushing and moving things around for no good reason. I keep telling you: the intro is about to be rewritten anyway to include an anti-testing paragraph.
So re-write it then and try to leave out the bad writing. And yes, I am in a position to judge. I have been writing professionally in one field or another for more than two decades. I know bad writing when I see it. An encyclopedia is no place for labored, juvenile metaphor. I've fired people for writing that wasn't as bad as that. --SpinyNorman 06:44, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Spiny, don't make me go look for the diffs. SlimVirgin (talk) 06:57, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I've been trying to improve this article for some time. This was the state of the page before I made an edit to it. My intention in October/November, as can be seen by my editing of the article and talk page, was finally to get it into good shape; then the anon IP POV pushers arrived, including I-forget-the-name who now has a user account and is pretending to be a different person, and I lost any desire to work on it, and this is what happens when there's POV pushing and revert wars: the consequence is usually deterioration, not improvement. Improvement requires intelligent cooperation, with the stress on intelligent: people willing to do research, who understand how to write, how to find sources, use them, how to cite them. You can't just turn up at a page on a topic you have no knowledge of and do some quick cutting and pasting, which is what you do on all the animal rights-related pages. Or as the anon IPs do, they know a little about it but have a very narrow point of view, so that whatever has been their personal experience is universalized and turned into a law of nature. It is very dispiriting.
Ah, so this is your idea of cooperation and improvement. POV pushing and insulting people who disagree with you? --SpinyNorman 06:44, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
This is an important subject, and there are lots of good sources out there, so this has the potential to be a very good article. I wish you would allow people who genuinely want to improve it to do so. Rockpocket, Localzuk, and I could work well together on this, and I was very pleased to see them arrive here, because I think we could cooperate well, and we have different POVs, so we could really get this page to the stage where Wikipedia could be proud of it, but that won't happen so long as all this nonsense continues. SlimVirgin (talk) 02:12, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
More insults and emotional posturing? If this is the best you can do, then perhaps you should stop to examine your irrational reaction to the changes I'm making. Generally when people react to someone else's view with hostility, it is because their prejudices are being challenged in a way they are unable to respond to rationally. --SpinyNorman 06:44, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Why don't you reproduce your proposed changes here, Spiny, then we can all attack them... joke;-)... we can all debate and come to a consensus which version is better on a point by point basis. Surely that has got to beat the edit/revert/edit/reverting over the last few hours? Rockpocket 08:48, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Rockpocket/Slim - please don't just alter things as they are likely to cause a negative response and be reverted. Please post what you want to do here before doing it so we can all have a look and try and come to some consensus. I do agree that the term 'mired in controversy' is a little on the, shall we say, emotion provoking side. Maybe something list emotive would be better suited?-localzuk 08:55, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I'll make good faith changes as I see fit, thank you very much. None of the changes I've made have been vandalistic in nature. If someone disagrees with them, they can edit them further and justify their edits as I justify mine. If I agree with the edits, they will stand, if not, I'll edit them further. That's how this process works. --SpinyNorman 09:02, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Spiny, your comment does not bode well with the ideals of Wikipedia - this page has shown that there is strong opposition to your posts and as such it is recommended through various policies on WP to discuss on the talk page before making the changes. Wikipedia works on Consensus and if you can't work this way then your posts will likely go on being reverted without comment - as this wouldn't be necessary. Please take others views into count and follow the guidelines else we will never have a good, balanced, npov article.-localzuk 09:11, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Then I suggest you need to reacquaint yourself with the "ideals of Wikipedia". Specifically, I direct you to the note at the bottom of every edit page: "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly or redistributed by others, do not submit it." As to your claim that I don't consider the views of others. I will simply say that you're wrong. I consider those with opposing views when I write. If someone has a better idea and can defend that idea on its merits, I will accept it. That is enough - and more than many people here can claim. Spare me this "consensus" rubbish though. It is a thinly-diguised emotional argument - an appeal to the mob mentality. It has no place in factual reporting. The mob can be wrong, while one person can be right. Remember, the consensus used to hold that the Earth was 6000 years old, flat and the centre of the universe. Let's have less consensus and more fact. You think I'm being unreasonable? I should remind you what George Bernard Shaw said about such folk... "A reasonable person adapts themselves to the world. The unreasonable person will persist in trying to adapt the world to themselves. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable people." - --SpinyNorman 09:30, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
p.s. you misused the word "bode". You should have used something like "fit". Bode is a synonym of words like "augur"; it describes a prediction based on intangibles like omens. If something "bodes well", it suggests that conditions are favorable for a positive outcome. My comment (from your point of view) doesn't "bode" anything. It either fits in with your preconceptions or it doesn't. There's no element of prediction or forecasting based on intangibles here. --SpinyNorman 09:38, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
First, thanks for correcting me on my use of words. Second, did you read the page that I linked to? It is an official policy of wp and must be followed. This is a controversial page and to reduce the amount of reverts - which are bad - it is official policy to have to discuss things on the talk page. I do think you are being unreasonable. I am not being 'emotional' - I am trying to reduce the amount of crap we have to go through on this article due to inconsiderate users not discussing things beforehand. As I stated before, if you do not discuss things on this page, they will likely be reverted and your info will never be presented as you aren't taking into account the community's views on the issue. -localzuk 09:46, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Spiny, please read our content policies. You're defending behavior that has no place here. You spent over a week reverting against four editors at Vivisection to prevent us from saying that the word is now used to refer generally to animal testing, deleting as sources the Encyclopaedia Britannica and a professor of pathology, [5] arguing against an editor with relevant academic and professional qualifications, and producing as your source, an online mini version of the OED, which you knew was contradicted by larger OED editions. Even when we compromised with you about the sentence, you still deleted the sources [6] for the simple reason that you did not like what they said. That's not how the policies tell us to edit. SlimVirgin (talk) 09:55, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I must admit, when i first got here i thought Slim (particularly) was being overly authoritarian, but i've rapidly come to realise why she asks that editors do not dive straight in this article and instead engage on this page first - and i now fully support this policy. Spiny, while your sentiments are admirable (in a romantic sort of way), the reality is that your attitude towards editing on this article is simply going to result in your input being comletely marginalised. I happen to think you have a point in some of your edits, but by refusing to acknowledge that 'consensus' (or at least majority consensus) is the only way improvement will happen in practise - you are wasting your time and everyone elses. We are simply asking that your edits be mentioned here with justification before editing the article itself - hardly an infringment of your Wikipedian liberties. If, after discussion, you cannot convince a majority of editors that you are correct and the mob is wrong - you can edit with impunity, but guess what will happen? Alternatively, if you can get support, your edits will most likely stand. So, it doesn't take a genius to work out which method is most lilkely to improve the article. It may not be a perfect system, but in the moral quagmire that is animal testing, its seems most prudent. Rockpocket 01:53, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Alternatives Section

I've spent (far too long) tonight reworking this section due to my concerns posted under Localzuks point by point analysis. Its not perfect by any means, but i hope its more balanced, its certainly sourced better, and i've tried to cover the different takes on the 3Rs and the genuine examples of good alternatives. Please feel free to change it if you can improve or if any POV has sneaked in, but i'd appreciate a chance to respond here before largescale deletions. Its probably too long, but i'm open to pruning at a later date. Slim, i'm not expert on the infighting between the antis with regards to the 3Rs (which seems to be remarkably bitter from my brief research), do you think one sentence covers their range of views sufficiently? Rockpocket 08:48, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Thank you, Rockpocket, it's excellent, and yes, I think you've summed up the antis' position just fine. The only thing I'll point out is that the house style when using embedded links is not to add a description but to use a numbered link only, so diabetes [7] instead of diabetes. The reason is twofold: first to retain the numbers to the reader can remember the reference she needs was link #4, and secondly, to signal so the reader that they're being taken offsite and not being referred to a WP page like diabetes. But that's a small point; it's otherwise very good. SlimVirgin (talk) 09:28, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Thank you Rock, I think this is a great improvement. I would however like to suggest some tweaks, which I think will improve the balance further. Here is my constructive criticism, with some sources. I have used bold to indicate where existing text should be changed, imv.
Current text:
Most scientists and governments say they agree that animal testing should cause as little suffering to animals as possible, and that animal tests should only be performed where necessary.
Suggested addition:
They also say that alternatives are the norm, animals being used in an estimated 10% of all biomedical studies [8].
Current text:
Reduce: The minimum number of animals to complete the study effectively must be used.
Replace: The alternatives to animal testing that have been proposed so far must be explored and developed.
Refine: The procedures performed on animals should cause the least amount of harm possible while still maximizing their efficacy so that they will not need to be repeated.
I don’t think these definitions are quite right or widely accepted.
Suggest replace with: see [9]
Reduction refers to methods which enable researchers to obtain comparable levels of information from fewer animals, or to obtain more information from the same number of animals.
Replacement refers to the use of non-animal methods (such as computer modelling, in vitro cell cultures, and human volunteers) instead of animals to achieve a scientific aim.
Refinement refers to methods which alleviate or minimise potential pain, suffering or distress, and which enhance animal welfare, for those animals which still have to be used.
It is further claimed these studies are funded with trivial amounts of money …
We should not use "claimed", and there is another view which needs to be stated. However, others will do a better job of Wikifying than me.
It is further stated these studies are funded with trivial amounts of money, but this view is contested by the pharmaceutical industry, which says that it spends millions each year on 3Rs development [10] (pdf - Alternatives to the use of animals in medicines research).
The two major, widely accepted alternatives to animal testing under development are computer simulations and in vitro cell culture techniques. However, some claim they are not true alternatives since computer simulations use data from prior animal experiments and cultured cells often require animal derived products, such as serum. Examples of computer simulations available include models of diabetes, asthma, and drug absorption, though pharmaceutical advances made using these programs are currently still required to be verified in animal tests before licensing.
This overplays the role of these ‘alternatives’ and suggests that with a little development they could be wholesale replacements. Not sure what the last sentence means, so have tried to rewrite so that it says what I think it means.
The two major, widely accepted replacement or reduction alternatives to animal testing under development are computer simulations and in vitro cell culture techniques. However, some say they are not true alternatives since computer simulations use data from prior animal experiments and cultured cells often require animal derived products, such as serum. Others say that they cannot replace animals completely as they are unlikely to ever provide enough information about the complex interactions of living systems. Examples of computer simulations available include models of diabetes, asthma, and drug absorption, though potential new medicines identified using these techniques are currently still required to be verified in animal tests before licensing.
According to the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, advances in in vitro toxicology research has "reduced in vivo (whole animal) testing by as much as 90% for certain endpoints" [87]. Cultured cells have also been developed to create monoclonal antibodies, prior to this production required amimals to undergo a procedure likely to cause pain and distress [88]. Scientists generally support the use of in vitro techniques, though often not exclusively as many claim cultured cells lack the complexity of a living multicellular system. [89]. Critics, in contrast, note "in vitro" is not synonymous with either "nonanimal" or "vegan" [90].
Suggest leave in the monoclonal antibody example but delete the rest as I think these points are now covered in current or suggested text above.
List of institutes:
Suggest deleting FBR, which I don’t believe plays this role, and adding FRAME ( and NC3Rs ( There are others in Europe that could be added.
Am willing to make these changes if they are acceptable. What do you think? 11:49, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the editorial consideration, anon. I have no major problems with any of those suggestions. Most, the reworking of the 3Rs definition especially, i think are very good. One i'm less sure about ("They also say that alternatives are the norm, animals being used in an estimated 10% of all biomedical studies"). I think that might be slightly misleading, as i think the point of 'alternatives' in this section is the use of a technique that doesn't use animals used to replace/refine/reduce the number of animals used. All of the other 90% of studies, from your quote, would not use alternatives by this definition as many biomedical techniqes are inherently animal free by their nature (eg, PCR, epidemiology, bioinformatics). So some these are strictly additional techniques as opposed to alternatives. Nevertheless, i see what point you are trying to make and perhaps that stat should be used elsewhere to establish the reality of animal use in biomedical research overall. Infact, i may incorporate it into the section i am planning to write on types of animal experiments used in pure and applied research (as oppose to toxicology, which is already well covered). Other than that though, i say go for it, though perhaps you should wait for other comments before going ahead. Thanks, Slim, for the heads up on house style, if no one else has, i'll change those links. Rockpocket 18:14, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I object to someone from the Research Defence Society, a lobby group, editing this page to make it sound like one of their promotional pamphlets in support of biomedical research, particularly as he has already used some sentences from RDS on another page, word for word, without putting them in quotation marks. For example, why would it be relevant to say (even if true) that only ten per cent of biomedical studies involve animals? This page is about animal testing, not about biomedical research per se i.e. this page is about that ten per cent. And anyway, how would such a percentage be measured, and which countries is it meant to apply to? I would prefer to see non-RDS, non-lobby group sources for every edit he makes, and please bear in mind that we are supposed to be here as Wikipedians, so if you're pro-testing, that involves also writing some anti-testing material. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:27, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
The suggested edits are based on straightforward, neutral, factual information. No RDS material, quotes or sources have been used. Thank you Rockpocket for your constructive comments, which I accept. The 10% sentence that I proposed could have been worded better, but that would have entailed examining the different interpretations of the word 'alternative' by different people. There isn't enough room, and this probably isn't the right place to do it anyway. So as a compromise I suggest that this sentence is deleted (ie not added to the existing article text).
Any further concerns can be addressed here by suggesting edits for discussion. Similarly, if it is felt that more sources are needed, please say where and I can add them. 10:05, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
I'll change the 3Rs are per your suggestion sometime today. I'll also add FRAME etc. These, i'm assuming, are not in contention. I think it is fair enough to state the pharmacuetical industry's defense to the "trivial funding" criticism. In terms of your suggestion that: "This overplays the role of these ‘alternatives’ and suggests that with a little development they could be wholesale replacements". I'm not sure of that is a fair criticism. In some cases a development could (and have!) led to extensive replacement (the monoclonal antibody is a good example, as was the use of culture in cosmetic toxicology testing). Nevertheless, i see no reason that the widespead feeling of the science community (that, taken as a whole, these can complement and reduce, but never completely replace) should not be mentioned. As you are willing to withdraw the 10% comment, i think that pretty much covers it and, in your defense, those suggestions hardly sound like a promotional pamphlet to me. Slim, i can understand you being wary of potential lobbyists, but for all we know someone else here could work for BUAV, so its unfair to discriminate based on the source of someones's IP! I personally think having intelligent people from both camps here woulds be helpful for us to record an accurate line from both sides straight from the horse's mouth. If you - or anyone else - has specific concerns with any of anon's suggested three or four edits, then lets hear them and we can work them out, otherwise i'll re-edit soon and then move on to looking at another section. Rockpocket 18:25, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Rock, BUAV is one of the world's oldest and most respected protection agencies, one with no connection to direct action, and indeed they frequently condemn it. The animals they see themselves as defending are of no commercial value to them. The Research Defence Society, on the other hand, is a very new organization set up with the sole intention of defending organizations that make an enormous amount of money out of biomedical research. That's the source of my unease.
Regarding including the pharmaceutical industry's claim that they spend millions on researching alternatives, could we please have a reputable source for that, and mention some figures? The criticism is that they spend a tiny percentage compared to the profits they make, so it'd be good to make the criticism and response as precise as possible, rather than "they're criticized for not spending enough, but they say they spend millions," which doesn't really tell us anything. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:46, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
BUAV may be old, but respected? I don't think so. Your neutral mask is slipping again, Slim. I don't recognise your description of the Research Defence Society, which were set up around the same time as BUAV and I don't think they represent industry particularly. Surely it's easy enough to check out their website before slagging them off? [11] Anyway, I thought the edits were fairly standard NPOV stuff.
What is this if it's not a reputable source for the pharma industry statement .... (copied from above) [12] (pdf - Alternatives to the use of animals in medicines research). I found the pdf okay, just now, the 9th one down the page. Maybe Rock can make a direct link. I do agree that the statement could be more precise - maybe a quote directly from the pdf and an explanation of what ABPI is, although of course that adds to the length. Ermintrude 20:00, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
I have no idea of the history of the RDS or BUAV, but it was only an example. The principle is that we have no idea which unreputable organisations any of us may or may be associated with, and so to discriminate against one person on the basis of their IP is unfair. Personally i think trying to claim a lobby group on one side has more moral authority than one from the other like saying an apple is more of a vegetable than an orange. Irrespective of motivation, a campaigning group's entire purpose of existance is to further their cause. That agenda in itself is enough for a healthy does of distrust in my book. That said, I've had contact with both BUAV and RDS in my time and find both to be rather reasonable - compared to some of the more extreme groups.
I agree with Slim that the actual amount of money spent on alternatives would be better than "millions". So how about this from that pdf: "It is further stated these studies are funded with trivial amounts of money, but this view is contested by the UK pharmaceutical industry, which estimates more than 300 million pounds (out of a total UK R&D budget of 3285 million pounds) is spent on 3R development and implementation annually (ref)" Rockpocket 23:25, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
It's not only on the basis of the IP address, but that on another page s/he plagiarized a sentence word-for-word from RDS but didn't attribute it to them, and removed an image of a Draize test. Your sentence about 3R development is good, Rock. Thanks for finding it. SlimVirgin (talk) 23:34, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. Ok, so i've made those changes plus a few other minor textual ones. I think its more concise now, has less quotes for the sake of it and explains the 3Rs better. All in all, its coming along nicely, i'd say. Still, if anyone can think of improvements, just say so. Rockpocket 08:24, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
Good work everyone. I think this section is really good - it ought to be as this is one area of common ground (well, for most)! I corrected one sp and have two questions and a comment, all rather minor. First, does it comply with the source verification principles agreed last month, in talk above? Then "However, critics say these facilities perpetuate the myth that animal experiments are necessary for human health, and to reassure the public that steps are being taken to find alternatives" doesn't sound grammatical to me. Maybe the word "to" should be deleted, or the words "exist to" should be inserted before perpetuate? Finally, I think there is redundancy later, in "currently still" I suggest deleting "currently".Ermintrude 18:41, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
Good spots, Ermintrude. I don't really know what you mean about source verification - perhaps someone else can comment on that. I agree with your additions to the the 'myth' sentence though. I'd suggest going ahead and doing it, as it certainly clarifies that point. Rockpocket 02:05, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Re SlimVirgin's comment about RDS above. There was no plagiarisation or lack of attribution to RDS on that page. At the start of the sentence the attribution was made to RDS, from the outset. It now has two attributions in a single sentence, which is unnecessary. An explanation for the removal of the picture was given in the edit summary, but since this has now been reverted a fuller explanation is given on the talk page. I suggest that anyone who's interested takes a look at the page [13] and takes part in the discussion there, rather than here. 10:35, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
There's an extensive article in the current Scientific American on the three Rs [14] in case anyone here is interested. Also an editorial (SA Perspectives: Saving Animals & People) [15]. I particularly like the sentiments "Use of animals in testing and in biomedical research continues to be necessary in many instances and is ethically preferable to experimenting on humans or forgoing cures that could save human lives. But for the sake of people and animals alike, the development and acceptance of animal substitutes deserve enthusiastic support." 13:52, 10 January

2006 (UTC)

Nobel prize winner Professor Sir Andrew Huxley has a letter in today's Nature [16] journal about toxicological testing and alternatives. I've already added a relevant quote from this into the entry on the Draize test. It would be good to quote the second part of his letter (or some of it) somewhere in the alternatives section or elsewhere in this article, viz "What are the alternatives? The possibilities are either to stop the development of new drugs for human and veterinary use, or to put new drugs on the market without testing them on living animals, or to test new drugs on humans without previous testing on other animals. Few people would be prepared to accept any of these. [paragraph break] To speak of in vitro tests as 'alternatives' to testing on living animals is misleading: both are necessary. It is impossible to imitate in vitro the unimaginable complexity of a human being or indeed of any mammal. In vitro tests on bacterial cultures and tissue cultures are necessary in the early stages of testing the very large numbers of substances that are synthesized in order to produce a single drug for use on humans. These tests eliminate all but a very few of those substances, and only those few are candidates for testing on living animals." I think he puts this view, which reflects that of most of the scientific and medical community, very well. 15:40, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

POV warning

Someone (Jbamb) removed the neutrality warning { {npov} } yesterday. Can we have it back please? This editor obviously thinks that because some discussion has been archived and some of the non-archived discussion seems more reasonable, that there is no dispute. The entry has improved a lot, but at least half of it is still unbalanced. The second half concentrates on those aspects (which in numerical terms are minor) that the anti-testing lobby use to push their pov - eg primates (0.1%), toxicology testing (15%), cosmetics testing (a tiny part of testing) and abuse (minuscule). Until there is more balance - and I appreciate this is work-in-progress - the warning is needed. 12:02, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Done that. Although it isn't really that much in dispute - just a few sections really. As I mentioned earlier thinking the article is unbalanced does not mean it is POV.-localzuk 12:16, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks Localzuk. Can you explain again the difference between unbalanced and POV? I'm afraid I don't understand. 12:44, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
POV is comments such as 'Animal testing is wrong' (which is opinion and unreferenced) whereas unbalanced is just having more info on one side of a topic than the other.-localzuk 12:50, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, still not sure there is much difference, only in degree. If the article states 'antivivisection and animal rights groups say animal testing is bad science', with a reference to those groups but without saying what the opposing pov is, is that unbalanced or pov? Both terms indicate lack of neutrality, imv, and the warning says "the neutrality of this article is disputed". 13:06, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Balance is not always possible and is often undesirable. We don't say "On the one hand, Hitler is said to have ordered the deaths of six million Jews, but on the other hand, the Nazis said they weren't fully human anyway." I've used an extreme example to illustrate the point, but the same principle crops up everywhere in more subtle forms. An unbalanced article is not necessarily POV. SlimVirgin (talk) 13:13, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
The example you have given anon, would be unbalanced - not POV as it is not someone's POV. This article is never going to be neutral as the 2 sides are so opposed to each other it will not be able to provide a completely balanced article. We can strive to provide an equal amount of information about both sides but this might not cover each sides points. -localzuk 13:35, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Rock, just to go back to a point you mentioned earlier about animals' names, I've taken a look through some books this morning, and quite a few mention names given to animals by researchers, alongside those named by activists. The stories sound quite genuine. The woman ALF activist who rescued Britches was first told the name well before the raid by the person who outlined the plan to her, according to Ingrid Newkirk who has published the story. Bear in mind that many of these raids have inside help, so at least some of the people working with the animals do feel affection for them. And some of the names are not so affectionate. One monkey was famously named "Crap" and had the word tattooed on his forehead. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:44, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

I was discussing this issue with a few people yesterday, including vets who spend more time in vivaria than me, and they inform me that infact its not unusual for larger animals to be given unnofficial names by the animal technicians that tend to the animals. These are, of course different from the scientists that actually use the animals for experiments, who will use numbers and/or strain code for official identification and reporting as per the law. Some transgenic animals have strain codes that sound like given names (eg. Goth, Chocolate or Whirler). I have seen some technicians keep certain rats and mice as pets (something they are not supposed to, but do anyway), and i suppose these have names. In this case i'd imagine Britches was the name used by the inside source who, by his/her actions, one would infer felt affection for the animal. Thus prior to the raid, the ALF were referring to it by its name. I'd be very surprised if there was any official documentation from Riverrside with that name on it, though. As you said, since its not contested by anyone but me (!) who gave the name doesn't really matter for our purposes, but interesting as a very effective humanising 'tactic' through the media - Joe Public can empathise with Britches the monkey or Geraldine then kitten much easier than animal GD124/C! Regarding the monkey 'Crap'- another sickening example of illegal abuse that unfairly tars the reputation of everyone involved in legal experimentation. After all we don't judge all doctors by Harold Shipmans actions! But if i ever witnessed something like that, i'd be pressing charges, i hope the person resposible was dealt with appropriately.
Rock, you've worked in vivisection (and I'm not doubting you), but one thing I wonder about is why you don't realize the extent of what you call abuse, which is in fact simply use. The protection/rights groups know they won't be believed, so they film the raids, film what they find, steal documents, steal film the researchers themselves have made of their experiments, and hire experts to analyse the material. Have you watched many of these films? Unfortunately, not much is online, and the very well-known films have to be purchased. But they show material filmed by the researchers and stolen during raids, so this isn't illegal abuse (well, it might be illegal de jure but the laws are not being enforced). Much of it is unconscionable by any standard, which is why the attitude of so many is simply not to believe it (it's only PETA/the ALF/that silly scientist who always backs them up), because the consequences of believing it are too far-reaching (is this what happens so we can carry on smoking, drinking, eating rubbish?), and so cognitive dissonance reduction takes over, and we dismiss the stories as propaganda.
This probably isn't the right place for this debate, but if no one objects, i'm happy to have it. I'm afraid i haven't seen a large amount of the films outside those freely available on the web. (This is primarily because i refuse to commit funds to organisations that commit terroist acts. I had the fortune of being invited to Scotland Yard a few years back to be briefed by a member of their specialist team on animal-rights groups. You may or may not be aware of the paper trail from the donation tins of many 'peaceful' front organisations directly into funding attacks on citizens daring work for institutions that provide banking services for HLS. This isn't my POV, but a result of infiltrations from the British police whom you may choose to believe or disbelieve.) All i can rely on, with regards to the extent of alleged abuse, is my own experience of what i and my trusted colleagues have seen. Now, obviously i could be accused of being a propgandaist and my testimony branded false, but no more so than the anti-activists could and unlike them, i have expressed no ideological agenda either in support or opposition. The simple fact is, Slim, i have been inside perhaps 50-60 vivaria in 4 Western countries over about 12 years, in 5 of which i have had a level of responsibility for animal health and wellbeing. I have never seen an example of intentional abuse (and by that i can only go on the legal sense of the word abuse, as the 'wrongful' sense is clearly subjective and meaningless in such a polarised subject). I have seen animals not treated as they should, but these have all been due to miscommunication or inappropriate training, and are minor and rare compared to the examples you have illustrated. When these crop up, they have always been dealt with seriously and promptly (i'm talking about things like a technician not giving bedding when they should or a scientist using the gas to kill an animal instead of another method thts on their licence). I have also seen experiments that i consider innappropriate, needless or unjustified in my opinion, but they are legal and are licenced, thus my opinion - which is inexpert on the specifics behind any given experiment outside my own expertise - matters not. These cannot be considered abuse in any objective use of the term. And those that think that it is abuse are should direct their ire at lawmakers, not the people working within the framework of the law. I've never seen an experiment that is "unconscionable by any standard" because by working within the law scientists are working to a standard.
So, while i don't doubt it happens and at a rate higher than the examples highlighted by PETA, in my experience, the claims of widespread abuse simply don't add up to me. If you have evidence otherwise, i'd be happy to hear it, but until then i can only go with my own experience intergrated with the empirical evidence presented. I don't expect you to take my word for it (why should you, as i'm not taking yours or ALFs!), but i hope at least you respect why i take the line that i have on this controversial issue. As i've mentioned before, my personal POV is not based on any ideology, simply the facts on the ground as i've seen them from a reasonably informed position. Thats why i believe i can edit this entry without agenda. Rockpocket 22:57, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Your point about the scientists and names: the scientists don't as a rule conduct the experiments. The technicians do, and I wonder whether that's part of the problem: that the scientists may sometimes not fully appreciate what goes on either (though clearly some do).
I'm afraid i have to strongly disagree here. Perhaps its my fault for not making clear what i meant, but animal technicians do not conduct experiments. They are generally educated to a minor level (no offense to any animal techs here!), they are not named under project licences and thus cannot legally carry out specific experimental procedures. Their duties are in cleaning, feeding, enriching, reporting helath problems to the named vet, tagging and breeding. No scientist in their right mind would allow an animal tech to conduct one of their experiments. I think you are referring to research assistants, who are scientists themselves and conduct experiments on behalf of senior members of the labs. These are not the people who typically name animals, instead they are the ones responsible for assigning the codes. Rockpocket 22:57, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Rockpocket, the situation seems to be different in the UK. Here, animal technicians do carry out minor procedures such as dosing, blood sampling etc as well as animal husbandry and health checks. However, they can only do this if they have undertaken training, passed exams and obtained a personal licence that details the procedures they are qualified to carry out. Because they are experts in animal welfare, are familar with the animals and handle them frequently, this is arguably better for the animals than allowing the scientists to do such procedures. On naming animals, in my experience visiting many animal houses, the larger animals are all named by their carers, who do have genuine affection for them. In fact, I can't imagine any of the many animal technicians I have met doing anything to harm the animals in their care. Yes, as in any walk of life there are a few bad apples, and there have been a few instances of abuse, but I don't believe these should be used to tar the entire sector. 10:19, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Fair point, anon. I guess we are talking about different grades of animal technician between the US and UK. But the principle is the same, lab animals are not officially 'named' by scientists in either country, but in both the primary care technicians often give them their own unofficial names. Rockpocket 17:50, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
I've often wanted to write this page in two sections: in one, the very best we can find in support of animal testing, including images, examples, stories from scientists; and in the other, the very worst we can find against it. At the moment, we're trying to steal a balanced middle course, carefully weighing each sentence, and the result is mediocrity, and reverting over every change in nuance. Maybe if the pros could write whatever they wanted in their half, and the antis whatever they wanted in theirs, the page would have some life breathed into it. Part of my thinking is that, if we can get some real cooperation going here, we might have a featured article on our hands (gets to go on the front page), though it's hard work. Any thoughts? SlimVirgin (talk) 20:04, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Claims of abuse are common, but they are rarely substantiated. Maybe Slim and other antis here believe that animal testing itself constitutes abuse. Because of such views I agree that it's very difficult to steer a middle course. Ultimately it may be impossible, but I think the "pro and anti" approach Slim suggests is a cop out. I have no doubt, personally, that virtually all readers would find the pro side more credible, but that's not the point. Let's not forget that most of us here are doing our best to be good Wikipedians by leaving our pov outside the door when we come here. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we don't, but at least we're trying. Should we give up? Ermintrude 20:29, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, I can only speak with any real knowledge about my experiences with animal testing in New Zealand, and the situation here is as murky as anywhere. In New Zealand, in 2004, 246,000 animals were used in testing. Of these 10,459 were subjected to "very severe suffering". However there is very little publicly available information on the nature of these experiments (most institutions release only the numbers and types of animals used), adn efforts to obtain this type of information through freedom of information type requests by animal welfare and animal rights organisations is rebuffed with claims of commercial sensitivity. In light of this context, that there is little verified evidence of abuse is very unsuprising. The most egregious suffering tends to be obscured for obvious reasons. Similarly animal rights groups target the worst suffering, both to prevent it, and to call into question the practice of animal testing itself.

Many people would claim that very severe suffering is _in itself abuse_ (although others would claim that under some circumstances experiments of this kind may be justified).

Maybe most people would find the 'pro' side more credible if the scientific evidence was laid out. Maybe their 'anti' opponents would be able to present enough evidence to present reasonable doubt, as groups such as PCRM do. Perhaps if the suffering was well documented in this article (video or audio material of suffering primates anyone? :) 'most people' would oppose it. This being an encyclopaedia, this topic is too controversial to not have both sides well documented.

The whole debate between pro and anti belies the fact that there are other positions such as reductionism (although by this I mean active reductionism, not the oft repeated claims of those who have made little effort to move to other models) which may in the end narrow the gaps between either side. And of course there are those who oppose most animal testing because they believe it leads to misleading scientific results, but beleive that some experiments do provide valid and useful information transferrable to humans. There are people who do not oppose experiments that cause little or no suffering to the animals involved.

My apologies if I'm summarising the debate (or worse summarising it badly) but there is a tendency for things to get polarised and for intervening positions to be drowned out. This being the case I think that the pro-anti approach would result in a screaming match and would be a step in the wrong direction. Mostlyharmless 21:17, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

I'd be more tempted to suggest the pros write the anti pages and the antis write the pros pages. Not only would it be fun, but both might learn something. Seriously though, i think that would just turn into a propoganda war, Slim. While it is tiring to have to debate every single point (and i've only been here a week!) i don't think it will inevitably result in mediocrity. I'm perhaps more willing than other to let things slide from either side, as i'm a firm believer that the facts stand by themselves and allowing people to make their on POV. I don't believe making sure what is perceived as an anti statement is always 100% countered by a pro (and vice versa) is that essential, as any one sentense is not going to alter the anyones opinion and we have to assume some level of intelligence in the reader to understand that there is always an opposing viewpoint, even if not explicitly stated. I would say this: if you are pro and confident that you are correct, let the anti proponants have their fair share of editing. If you are anti, give the pros a chance to have their say also. But do it on this page first, there are enough people here with moderate views to ensure that the end result will be fair. Rockpocket 22:57, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
In response to harmless, i repeat what i've said above, in terms of this article, abuse can only be used in the objective sense (i.e. 'unlawful') as opposed to a subjective one ('wrongful'). If we want to use the term 'abuse' to mean 'wrongful in your/mine/his/her opinion' then this should be qualified each time. As it is currently, we have used 'abuse' when there is documented evidence of illegal activity and 'alleged abuse' when not. It seems you are equating 'suffering' with 'abuse' which are not synonomous - abuse causes suffering, but suffering need not be caused by abuse. Otherwise i think you sum up the situation pretty well. I think we have tried to incorporate the more centrist views where possible (see the 3Rs section for the various anti takes on these principles). Why don't you stick around and offer your take one of the sections? Rockpocket 05:26, 6 January 2006 (UTC)


A couple of concerns about the passage regarding Botox (which is a registered trademark - should they be capitalised)? The phrase: "due to a legal loophole, the LD50 test is still used on every batch of botox "anti-wrinkle" preparations", is kind of leading, i feel, as there is no 'loophole' (which is a subjective term anyway). We have already stated elsewhere that all drugs require testing and Botox is a licenced drug, so how is it a loophole? 'Loophole' (An ambiguity or exception in a rule that can be exploited in order to avoid its effect) is not the correct word because Allergan most certainly didn't exploit anything to avoid an effect. They and the British government would have loved it if the did not have to test Botox on animals (for cost and PR reasons, if nothing else). This is simply an inevitable effect of using important medical procedures for trivial purposes. The 'raid' makes it sound like this was a grand expose, when it was common knowledge to anyone that knows anything about Botox. Obviously not The Daily Mail. What the raid did reveal was what tests were explicitly used which is shocking when the drug is used trivially for cosmetics, but perhaps not when one considers its medical uses and potency. It also suggests that Botox is unique in exploiting this "loophole", which is unfair and not true. I think the key point is that some drugs today have extensive consmetic purposes and those require animal testing also. I propose changing this:

"Although the British Home Office stopped giving licences to test finished cosmetic products in 1998, a raid on a laboratory in 2004 revealed that, due to a legal loophole, the LD50 test is still used on every batch of botox "anti-wrinkle" preparations. [77] Botox is derived from a toxin so potent that .09 mg, administered intravenously, is lethal to a grown human being. As botox treatments are used for non-cosmetic purposes in the treatment of certain muscle disorders, it is not bound by the regulations specific to cosmetic testing. [78]"

to something like this:

"Although the British Home Office stopped giving licences to test finished cosmetic products in 1998, compounds that have both cosmetic and medicinal uses, such as the "anti-wrinkle" preparation Botox, are still bound by the regulations requiring animal testing. A raid on a laboratory in 2004 revealed that the LD50 test is still used on every batch of Botox (a toxin that, when administered intravenously, is lethal to humans) to establish potency."

Thoughts? Rockpocket 18:43, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Your version is better. If you know which other drug is used for cosmetic purposes and therefore tested on animals, could you include some of these examples too? SlimVirgin (talk) 18:49, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
So i've made this change also, including a few other examples of anti-wrinkle cosmetics that were spun out from medical applications (living in southern California, i'm all to familiar with them... Restylane and Botox are as common as asprin here!). If anyone knows an example from another field of cosmetics, it might be good to use that too, but i can't think of one off the top of my head though. On the cosmetics section, i'm thinking it might be a good idea to move it to become a subsection of the 'types of experiments'. Once all the types of experiments are in, we may be able to edit them down a bit to avoid repetition. That would make better sense if they were all together. A few other points:
While some cosmetics manufacturers have genuinely stopped all animal testing of their products, others continue to test. Companies that continue to perform cosmetic testing on animals may falsely claim that they do not do this in their advertising and on their products — or choose not to state either way.
While i personally don't doubt this for a second, i would suggest to leave it in there we should have a decent independent source. Otherwise it should probably be phrased as an allegation.
...the U.S. has also been a leader in developing cell culture alternatives (although most people are blissfully unaware that cell culture involves animal exploitation).
How did that sneak in? Again while probably very true, i don't think that phrasing is appropriate. The whole sentense is probably redundant, anyway, as that point is made clear in the alternatives section.
Re-using existing test data obtained from previous animal testing is generally not considered to be cosmetic testing on animals; however, the acceptability of this to opponents of testing is inversely proportional to how recent the data is.
Now it could just be because its late and i'm tired, but does that sentense seem really, really complex to anyone else? My head hurts thinking about it. I think i understand what it means, but surely it could be phrased in an more accessible way? Plus, the whole section below that is lacking citations.... let battle commence! ;-) Rockpocket 08:46, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Public opinion

As per my original comments on this article, i'd quite like to include a short section on public opinion. It seems to me that a lot of the feeling about default tone/POV can be diffused by making some statements about what the general public appear to think based on polls and referenda. I know this has the potential to be a minefield, but i don't think it has to, and here is why:

Unsurprisingly, polls commissioned by anti groups tend to suggest strong support against testing. Polls by pro groups often give the opposite indication, but in a much less striking way. This can quite easily be stated with one or two examples. However, when you look at polls from moderate commissioning groups - with less of an obvious pro/anti agenda - you begin to see the opinion falls much closer together. In my opinion, the UK Guardian newspaper's commission is one of the more neutral (Its a liberal newspaper, in the US sense of the word, and therefore probably seen as alightly anti). Its shows narrowly in favour of testing overall, but with some demographics against (18-34 yr olds against, with women split down the middle). The UK MRC and New Scientist also commissioned a polls (both, from a neutral point of view, might be seen as a pro-testing, but not in a major way). Both of these found that that cold start questions found opinion against testing, but when 'warmed' by an preable about scientific justification (real or imagined, depending on your opinion) of testing, swung back to about even or slightly in favour of testing. So i think overall we could claim these show that there is a large split (in the UK) on opinion, with significant minorities feeling strongly either way and the 'swing vote' of around 20% largely undecided (and uneducated) on the issue. This is consistant with the results of Swiss referenda on the subject, during which 2 extreme proposals for complete banning of animals tests were voted down by 70%, but a moderate proposition asking for a ban on painful experiments with declared exceptions, was only rejected by 56%. So i think its fair to conclude that polls suggest: In Switzerland and the UK at least, there are currently slight majority opinions for controlled experimentation overall (however this is based on widespread acceptance of the pro- scientific justification which may or may not be accurate. That said, the opposition is based upon the anti- justification, the accuracy of which is also in question). There is majority support for further limiting testing by species, purpose of experiment and type of experiment. Moreover, the demographics suggest that public opinion may change dramatically within a generation. It should also be stated that these two states are generally considered 'animal loving countries' and that anti-testing views tend to be more marginal in other countries.

I think (hope) this is a fair skeleton for a section on opinion. However, i could do with other polls from moderate commissioning groups (ideally from other countries), information on other referenda (if they exists). This may not work out as something we can agree on, and if that is the case then it might be better to leave it out all together, but i think that we could get the point across about how divissive this is without turning it into a fight about which side has the most support. Since i haven't written it yet, there is little point criticising the specifics of what i have fleshed out above, but general comments, ideas, good polls and suggestions are all welcome before i put something up for specific criticism. Thanks. 03:24, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure I see the point of getting into polls, which are notoriously unreliable, and it would mean we'd have to keep updating the section as new polls were conducted. The Guardian and Observer are strongly anti-animal rights, so any poll conducted by them could not be considered as coming from the anti-side. If any polls are to be mentioned, we have to include something from the anti side too. Also, I'm not sure why you see Britain as animal loving. I think that may be a view it has of itself, which isn't necessarily shared elsewhere e.g. remember the British response to the foot and mouth outbreak. Finally, this article isn't about animal testing in Britain. SlimVirgin (talk) 03:36, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Slim. Public opinion polls pose insurmountable problems in an article like this. Best to stay well away from them. --SpinyNorman 06:01, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, i'm glad you two are able to agree on something. Perhaps you are right about opinion polls, but it would be good to have something about solid about public opinion if possible. The Swiss referenda, at least, are valid. There may be further electoral propositions we could use. As for Britian as being perceived as animals lovers, even the antis appear to agree:
  • "...brings shame on Britain as a nation of animal lovers", Animal Aid [17]
  • "These days we think of England as a nation of animal lovers",The Animal Attraction, ABC, Australia [18]
  • "...Great Britain's reputation as a nation of animal lovers", Christopher Anderegg, Swiss Action for Humans and Animals, Zurich, Switzerland [19]
  • "...will be worthy of our reputation as a nation of animal lovers", Defra [20]
  • "...worthy of our reputation as a nation of animal lovers", Animal Welfare Minister, Ben Bradshaw [21]
  • "The UK does not look like losing its unique reputation as a nation of animal lovers", BBC, [22]
Its a common refrain, and when you consider the size of the anti lobby when the UK has the most strict regulation in the world, i think its justified. Its also no co-incidence that all the polls are from the UK (not to mention 90% of the other sources on this article) as no other country - with the possible exception of Switzerland - is so obsessed with animal welfare. Rockpocket 07:36, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
But note that your sources are British. As I said above, you may see yourselves that way, but it's not necessarily a view shared elsewhere. SlimVirgin (talk) 10:37, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I think this page needs to stop talking about the UK, because the article isn't about the UK. As Rockpocket says, too many of the sources are British already. SlimVirgin (talk) 10:38, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree with SlimVirgin and SpinyNorman that it's not possible to have anything solid on public opinion on this page, particularly in the space available: it's a very complex area. It's usually inadvisable to compare different poll results, because of significant differences in methodology, context and the wording of questions.
A couple of specific comments (about the UK situation, sorry, but it's what I know most about, and I started writing this comment a couple of hours ago!) related to the discussion above. All the quality newspapers in the UK, with the possible exception of the Independent, accept the need to use animals in research. The 'redtops' no longer run anti-campaigns, which suggests a swing against the antis. And polls are normally carried out by reputable polling companies, who are commissioned by newspapers, magazines or groups.
A further difficulty is that the characterisation of positions here as 'pro' and 'anti' may be a useful shorthand, but it can't be used to reflect the real debate or wider public opinion. I believe the 'anti' position is fairly clear - it is abolitionist - but what is the 'pro' position? Although there may be cultural differences around the world, I believe that few people are unconditionally 'for' animal research, even scientists. There are nuanced positions: people may accept that it is necessary provided that it's well-controlled, suffering is minimised, alternatives are fully considered, that it's used for serious medical purposes. Maybe the real debate turns on the extent to which people believe that animal research measures up to these conditions. The MORI poll in the UK for MRC mentioned earlier did attempt to tease out these attitudes, but it was the subject of a complaint to the Market Research Society by BUAV. The complaint wasn't upheld, but it shows the difficulty of getting any consensus in this area. 12:40, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
The consensus seems to be against me here, so i accept that and withdraw the suggestion. But i'll leave it with two points - firstly, Slim, two of those quotes were from non-British sources (one Australian, one Swiss). There are plenty more non British sources saying the same things, as a simple Google will reveal. I live in the USA, and a snap poll of American friends reveals that most have that opinion. Whether its deserved or not, that is a commonly held belief. Secondly, i completely agree that we should stop talking about the UK, but seeing as the majority of the relevent material appears to come from there (or the US), its difficult to do so if we wish to have good source coverage. Unfortunatley the legislation requiring publication of animal numbers, the activist groups with resources to counter, the population with a generally symapthetic ear and the number of newspapers with an appetite for scandal is not matched in any country in the world (with the possible exception of Switzerland). If you can come up with some such good sources with a more international flavour, then i would fully support their inclusion. Many South American countries have atrocious reputations for animal experimentation (pictures of which can usually be seen on anti-groups' stalls in British city centres, labelled as being taken inside UK facilities) If you can find documented evidence of this - outside anti-group speculation - then it would be a great addition. Good luck. However, even UK anti-groups don't like talking about the atrocious records of other countries, as they are afriad that would make the public think that it was better animals were experimented on at home, where there are much stricter regulations. Seeing as you're a robust contributer to articles of numerous British activists - and appear to be a firm supporter of BUAV as the reputable source on the subject - you would be aware of this. Rockpocket

Archive Policy for this article

In an unrelated to the article tangent, I would like to ask what people think regarding the length of time that should be left between "archivings" of this talk page. It is starting to get long again and will likely be too big for anyone with a modem in the next week or so (if it isn't already). How about a 1 month time limit or is this too short? -localzuk 12:44, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I think, as the talk page is now 143kb long (will be longer now I have typed this), we need to archive again in a few days. If it is ok with everyone, I will archive again on Friday 20th Jan. -Localzuk (talk) 12:33, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I have archived the page again. -Localzuk (talk) 13:33, 19 January 2006 (UTC)


The article in question took an unbiased position on whether testing on nonhuman animals is acceptable, but a similar page considered similar experiments on unconsenting humans to be an atrocity, without consulting opposing viewpoints. In the interests of true neutrality, you should include arguments in favor of testing on humans under the same rules used for testing on nonhuman animals, whatever those rules may be. Without these arguments in place in the human-experimentation articles, you make an inherent value judgement; you assume the biased position that humans are superior and/or more worthy of consideration.The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

Could you explain what you mean? Are you referring to the entire Animal testing article? If so, the article is supposed to discuss Animal testing as a practice - not put a moral slant on the position of humans over animals. It is an encyclopedia article that is supposed to be free from POV and is supposed to point out facts as covered by references. I may be misunderstanding you though. -Localzuk (talk) 12:36, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

New source

Have just seen the Nuffield Council on Bioethics The ethics of research involving animals - a guide to the report accessible from here [23]. This is an 8-page summary "setting out some of the arguments and recommendations that are discussed in more detail" in the original 2005, 330-page, independent report. Some of this is non-UK-specific and could be useful as a source for parts of this article that still need work, eg types of experiment.

For instance, under "Types of research involving animals", the report says: "There are three main reasons for using animals in research:

■ To advance scientific knowledge

‘Basic research’ increases scientific knowledge about the way animals and humans behave, or develop and function biologically. It is not necessarily intended to lead to applications for humans [Chapter 5].

■ To study disease and develop medicines

Animals are used as models to understand disease processes and to develop new vaccines and medicines. Genetically modified (GM) animals, particularly mice, are used to study the role of genes in disease processes. Both these types of research often draw on findings from basic research [Chapters 6–8].

■ To assess the safety of chemicals

Animals are used in toxicological studies to help test the safety of a range of substances that could be harmful to animals, humans or the environment. These include household and industrial chemicals, herbicides, fertilisers, and food additives [Chapter 9]."

I suggest using the first two points, with minimal edits, as introductions to new sub-sections to balance out what is currently an overlong emphasis on toxicological testing. They can then be expanded by someone like RockPocket, who has volunteered to do this. What does anyone think? 10:03, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Be Bold and go for it. Just ensure that no unsourced info gets added as I will remove it (I am planning on an unsourced info removal spree on a few articles soon - so I won't be choosing a 'side').-Localzuk (talk) 11:38, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good. I am still planning on expanding on the pure and applied research section, just a bit snowed under at work at the moment :( Rockpocket 00:08, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Localzuk, most of the 'types of experiment' section seems to be unsourced right now? Ermintrude 13:02, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
And as such it should not be included. A lot of the information on here is unsourced, and as it is a controversial article it should not be here. The point I am trying to make is that unless it is sourced then it is a mute point to discuss as we can't confirm it either way so it shouldn't be there. We will never have a NPOV article until we have everything sourced. -Localzuk (talk) 16:05, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
OK, have inserted the three categories, under types of experiment, as discussed. Have also reordered some of the content in this section. The logical place for the drug testing sub-section, and the picture of the dogs, is under the second header "studying disease and developing medicines". Obviously each sub-section needs some content development, and the last section on assessing the safety of chemicals needs serious pruning of unsourced material. I think the similar categorisation in the intro (which we all seem to agree is too long) is now redundant, but I will leave it to others to cut or edit. I recall one admin virtually banned anyone whom she thought didn't share her POV from making deletions. Does this rule still apply? 13:59, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
I think event the admin you refer to accepted that editing the article down would be prudent, the difference in opinion stems from how it would be done and whom it was edited by. If you want to give it a go, then do so. On a slight tangent, i notice that all vivisection and animal testing articles have a right hand column headed "animal rights" listing activists etc. While i don't dispute their relevence to one side of the debate, i do wonder if links to some less anti specific articles should not be given equal prominence? There are plently or articles out there documenting noteworthy discoveries and subjects that use(d) animal testing (eg Developmental biology, Molecular evolution, Monoclonal antibodies, Sonic hedgehog, Bruce effect, Dolly the sheep, Xenotransplantation...). I neither know the protocol for having these columns nor how to make one, so thoughts on the matter would be welcome. Rockpocket 21:18, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Re editing down the article, specifically the introduction, I will consider doing it in a few days if there are no objections here. In my limited Wiki experience, that rh column is called a template. I agree that the article would benefit from an additional more positive template to balance this one, which seems to be a list of links to mainly 'anti' sources. A recent example of someting similar where good balance was achieved was a timeline on a UK TV website [24]. We could create a list of links covering similar subjects, maybe with a nice mouse picture or even a patient, but how to turn them into a 'medical advances' template for this article? 09:56, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
I like that timeline, and i think there could be stuff to use there. I'll see if i can find any way of making one of those templates later. Rockpocket 18:38, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Please be sure to invite discussion before placing it on the page. I'm concerned that we'll end up with a box full of "advances" that have involved testing at some point but were not necessarily the outcome of testing alone. The question whether it's possible to achieve "advances" without testing is not actually settled, so you ought to source any template very carefully, lest your box be mistaken for simple POV pushing. The timeline in the link given by the anon would be entirely inappropriate. It doesn't have any discussion of the part testing played in the "advances" listed.Grace Note 01:02, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree. For instance, the sentence relating to the House of Lords report that was deleted from the intro because that editor couldn't find it in the source given. I just took a look and here it is, with its own sources: "3.3 Some people believe, in addition, that animals may be used because they suffer less than humans would, if subject to the same procedures. This belief is partly verifiable. Some animals, certainly mammals and birds, have similar pain receptors and central nervous pathways to humans, and may therefore have much the same capacity to feel physical pain as humans do.[43] But the capacity to feel pain is not the same as the capacity to experience suffering or distress, and this is less easy to measure.[44]" We can discuss the actual wording used in the intro, but it is sourced correctly. 09:52, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't think anyone was suggesting using that timeline per se. It contains some good examples of medical advances that depended on animal research, that's all. The suggestion was to use similar examples as a template - which, if I understand correctly, is a list of links to other Wikipedia articles on a particular theme. This template would balance out the animal rights template which is already in the article and could be seen as POV pushing. 09:37, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

I would definitely object to your "editing down" the intro, whatever that means. It needs an anti-testing paragraph as it currently doesn't have one, so please don't make it even more pro. SlimVirgin (talk) 10:03, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

SlimVirgin, I don't know why you think I was going to make the intro more "pro". I refer you back just a couple of points in this discussion thread. My proposed edits were to remove the second paragraph wording "Animal experiments fall into three broad and overlapping categories: ..." and the three bullet points. This is because a) I think all agreed a long time ago that the intro was too long and b) similar (and sourced) text has been introduced further down under "Types of experiment". This section needs new content on basic and applied research, and the third category - toxicological tests - need to be better sourced. I was simply starting that process, which had been discussed and agreed with others here. 14:31, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Okay, thank you for clarifying that. My concern is that for many people posting here, the pro-testing position is seen to be the default, NPOV one, but it isn't. It's just one POV. If that could be borne in mind while editing, it will save a lot of disagreement. I'm sorry that I misunderstood what you wrote. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:06, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Whoever shortened the House of Lords quote in the intro missed out the most important part. The moral basis of the pro-testing position is not that "there is a moral imperative for human beings to develop medical and veterinary science for the relief of suffering, among both humans and other animals." Rather, it is that "[t]he institution of morality, society, and law is founded on the belief that human beings are unique amongst animals," and are therefore morally entitled to use them for their own purposes.
It's the combination of these beliefs that leads to the pro-testing position. If it were only the first (which is all that had been left in the intro), we could test on humans. SlimVirgin (talk) 10:20, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Proposed deletions

I deleted these statemnts earlier but they were re-added by an editor, so here I am proposing a vote whether these should be deleted:

1) The article states of the last ten Nobel Prizes for medicine have depended in part on animal research, [25], though whether that aspect of the research was necessary is in question. [26] [27]

I am proposing deleting (or moving) the second half which states: though whether that aspect of the research was necessary is in question. [28] [29] . The links here say nothing related to ANY of the last 10 Nobel prize discoveries, and therefore does not follow logically from the previous statement. Rather, they are general (and decidedly one-sided) statements saying that some medical discoveries could be done without animals.

2)The statement: Some people also believe that animals may suffer less during experiments than human beings would, arguing that although all mammals have similar pain receptors and central nervous system pathways and may feel physical pain in the same way, non-human mammals suffer less because they have a reduced capacity to remember and to anticipate pain. [30]. Is complete POV, the referenced source says nothing about this statement, and there is no proof that animals suffer less than humans.

Please vote/comment. Nrets 15:41, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Delete - per nomination. Nrets 15:41, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Weak Keep - though i think they could both be worded and sourced better. Its accepted some animals suffer less than humans (most invertebrates, for example) as that is the basis for the exclusion of these animals from welfare acts. I agree about removing the mammalian part though, i saw some original research last week that proves (in a rather brutal manner) that mice are very good at remembering and anticipating painful situations. It is also true that there is wideheld beliefs among the anti-animal testing lobby that animal testing was not necessary to reach the breakthroughs in at least some Nobel prize winning work. The text could be more specific though. Rockpocket 16:48, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Nrets, by the same logic, you provide no evidence that "most IACUC committees regulate the use of all vertebrate species in research". Thus it is POV and should be deleted. Further down the page, it was stated that OLAW regulates mice, rate and birds "implicitly", contrasting this with the coverage of the Welfare Act and thereby illustrating the mess that governs US animal welfare. The information was there and it was sourced. Why the change? Rockpocket 16:48, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
The OLAW does not implicitly cover mice, rats and birds, it does so explicitly, on page 1 by defining lab animals as vertebrates. So not only does it cover birds and rodents, but also fish and amphibians. Pretty much all universities that perform research have government funding, thus IACUC's have to conform to the more stringent standards of the OLAW regulations. From reading this section you would think that the majority of research on rodents at US universities is completely unregulated, which is certainly not the case. As far as the Nobel Prize statement, maybe it can be reworded at the end of the paragraph: Some animal rights advocates believe that animal testing was not necessary to reach some of these breakthroughs, then it becomes NPOV and refers directly to its source. Nrets 17:06, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
From reading this section as it was, you get the impression that all research on rodents is not federally regulated (which is true), but that which is federally funded is. If you have a source that states how much animal research is federally funded, by all means add it to the OLAW section to illustrate what the coverage is. The source mentions vertebrates, but the point of that sentense is to imply, though not directly express (thus the term 'implicit') that OLAW differs from the Welfare act in terms of coverage by highlighting the difference. I have no problem with the removal of the word 'implict' per se, but i think you edits removes the point that these regulations are idiosynchratic (to say the least) and do not provide blanket protection as the UK Act does.
Moreover, if you wish to remove material that is not explicitly sourced, then should shouldn't introduce more without specific citations. "Most IACUC committees..." is unsourced. If you wish to leave that in there, add a citation. Otherwise it will be removed in Locazuks upcoming purge. Rockpocket 17:52, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
OK, I've removed unsourced material, and added sources. WHo is Locazuks? Nrets 18:53, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, i think thats an improvement. Localzuk is the chap (or lady) who bravely indicated they were going to tackle all unsourced material in this article. By the way, i support your suggested change: Some animal rights advocates believe that animal testing was not necessary to reach some of these breakthroughs, though this particular statement has been the subject of debate in the archives previously, so i'm not sure it would reach consensus. Rockpocket 20:59, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't think the issue is the content of the statement (with which I disagree), rather whether somebody actually stated it and whether it belongs in the opening section. Nrets 21:14, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I believe the problem was with the use of "animal rights activists". As every statement about the positive outcomes of testing is not qualified by "vivisections believe...", thus it was put that the alternative POV should not always be required to qualified either (as, we are told, the Pro POV is not default). Nonetheless, i agree the statement should reflect the source, so i'd support the change to "some of these breakthoughs". Rockpocket 04:09, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't think that this is a view necessarily held by the majority, therefore I think it is appropriate to find a source. But fine, I see your point as well. It should still be moved to the end, as it is it is splitting up two sentences that flow logically from each other. Nrets 15:19, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
I would support deletion of the second half of the sentence. As nrets stated originally, it's not supported by the two sources given. Moreover, it's a minority - a very small minority - view. If not deleted, then certainly moved. Ermintrude 17:15, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
What is the small minority view exactly? SlimVirgin (talk) 18:51, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
I think Ermintrude meant that the majority of people, particularily scientists, would agree that use of experimental animals was critically important for many of the Nobel Prize winning discoveries. Nrets 20:15, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
Questioning whether animal research was necessary to achieve seven out of the last 10 Nobel prizes. This is what nrets was putting to the vote yesterday at the beginning of this discussion thread. Ermintrude 20:12, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
Since nobody has objected to the proposed changes for over a week I will make these changes in the opening paragraph. Please discuss before reverting. Nrets 15:33, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

What If?

Here's an interesting discussion point: What if alien lifeforms, vastly superior to the human race, were to somehow invade Earth, and use us for animal testing and research; and their defense was that they are more advanced and therefore, it was okay for them to use us? What would that do for animal testing now? Should this issue even be raised? I mean, if we discover a superior race, it may trash the whole notion of humans being "unique"; or maybe it wouldn't. I'm not taking sides; just was interested what would happen to the state of animal research if this was to occur.

What if, indeed. I (personally) don't see the conflict, as the basis on which humans are often considered 'unique' is in terms of consciousness or self awareness (though some would argue certain animals display elements of these characteristics too). The moral justification for animal research is not based on the fact humans are 'superior' or 'unique', but on an assessment of most other animals apparent lack of sophisticated apperception (hence the almost universal distaste for testing on great apes). A "superior" lifeform should recognise that humans are both sentient and sapient, and thus treat us as such. Or else we're screwed. Rockpocket 01:17, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
I wouldn't worry, if we were being invaded, I'm sure another vastly superior alien in a blue box would come along and save the day anyway70px-- 21:17, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Front Picture

Surely the main picture for the article should be one of mice or other more regularly used animals? The use of a monkey, though evocative, misrepresents the vast amount of animal testing that occurs. It would be like putting a picture of an animal used in free-range testing as the reference picture, I would suggest that the picture of the mouse lower down the page is more relevant to the article. -- 09:58, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

The copyright holder of Image:AnimaltestingMonkeyCovance2.jpg is not identified. The image should not be used on Wikipedia anyhow. --JWSchmidt 13:06, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
It's tagged public domain, JW. The activists who take these images don't claim copyright, for obvious reasons. SlimVirgin (talk) 13:15, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Are you saying that Wikipedia cannot verify the source of the image and its copyright status? If so, it must be removed. --JWSchmidt 13:30, 3 February 2006 (UTC).
It's not that the copyright status can't be verified or the source isn't known. (The source is on the image page.) It's that no copyright is claimed by the activists. Many of the images are taken during illegal raids. No activist is going to claim copyright on an image if, by doing so, they'd end up in jail for 20 years. They pass the images to organizations that will publish them, because they want them to be given exposure. In doing so, they're passed into the public domain and there isn't a newspaper or magazine in the world who would have a legal problem publishing such images, so it's certainly not a problem for Wikipedia. In the case of the image on this page, it seems to have been taken by someone working undercover for PETA, so I've written to them and I'll let you know what they say. SlimVirgin (talk) 13:39, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Based on the current information for this image, I think it is likely that the person who took the picture signed a work agreement saying that any documents/images taken from the facility belong to the company with a specific clause about the company's right to control distribution of any photographs obtained on company property. I'll contact the company to try to find out. --JWSchmidt 13:54, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

There is a ruling from the courts of Munich and various others stating that the imagery released following undercover operations in the Covance labs is allowed to be re-printed, used, publicised etc... as knowledge of these incidents is in the best interest of the public. PETA will be able to tell you this, as will the Covance campaign in the UK. Covance tried to prevent their release using the method you stated, releasing an interim injunction to prevent disemmination of the info, photos and videos. This was overturned in the munich courts (I have a copy of the interim injunction here - I can't read it as it is German mind, as I used to host copies of the videos). I will try and find the releases regarding this. -Localzuk (talk) 14:00, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, Localzuk. SlimVirgin (talk) 14:05, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Some details are: [31], [32], [33], [34] and finally [35]. I would also like to state that, IIRC, the images were never stopped from being published in the UK - just the video. -Localzuk (talk) 14:08, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for digging out those links. They seem pretty conclusive. SlimVirgin (talk) 14:21, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
It seems like thes court cases refer to European papers being allowed to publish the image. There is no mention whether it is legal in the US to publish these images. Therefore it is not clear whether it is not breaking any copyright laws in the US, since Covance is a US company. But that's not the point I think JWS was trying to make. Pictures like that clearly do not represent the vast majority of animal research done around the world and provide a highly POV slant to an already controversial topic. Nrets 15:31, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Just to clarify the copyright issue. The images were taken in Europe, by Europeans, and then released via various European organisations. Therefore the status of the copyright is defined by the above linked courtcase and outcomes. The US company Covance has no say on the matter as it is entirely part of the Eurpean system that these images are released. The copyright status is therefore defined in Europe and the USA follows this as it is a signatory to the Berne convention.
On the 'is the image biased', it might well be at present. If you can find one of equal quality that can replace it then suggest it here. It may be worth replacing it with an image of the more commonly used species and this one moved down to either the controversy section or the numbers of species used section. -Localzuk (talk) 15:46, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
The image is entirely representative of why animal testing is an issue for most people. Rightly or wrongly, if only mice were used, far smaller numbers of people would feel the topic was of pressing concern. Rather than trying to remove images, why not add others that present testing as you would like to see it presented, as Rockpocket has done? SlimVirgin (talk) 15:53, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
The image caption says it was taken in Vienna, VA. Which is in the US. I followed the listed source and indeed this page was taken in a US facility by a US employee [36]. Nevertheless, I'm not trying to remove the image, I'm just saying that it misrepresents the majority of animal research and to have it at such a prominet place in the article is, in my opinion, POV. Nrets 15:56, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Ah, maybe I should have looked at the actual picture. Oh well, I am sure it could be swapped for one that is from the EU that would be almost identical. My suggestion regarding moving it down the page and swapping for a more typical image still stands though -Localzuk (talk) 17:38, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

I can't comment on the legalities of the picture. However, Slim and i have had this discussion before and, while i do agree that concentrating on monkeys is not in proportion to reality, i also agree that for many people, the issue of primate research is the most contentious and is 'what comes to mind' when animal testing is mentioned. Thus, i don't really have a problem showing the monkey picture at the top of the page. As, in my experience, its not misleading as to what a typical monkey in a vivarium might look like and there are pictures of dogs and mice further down the page. I would have a problem if a picture of alleged abuse was used at the top of the cage, however, i don't believe that particular picture is that controversial. Nevertheless, if anyone could come up with a decent alternative (that isn't too saccharin coated) that isn't associated with possible legal problems, it might be prudent to go with that. Rockpocket 17:41, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Here are some proposed alternatives: [37] or [38]. Nrets 18:03, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Since when have house mice been used in research? Ermintrude 00:12, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
Mus musculus, the common house mouse has been used in research for years [39]. Along with rats, it is one of the most commonly used animals in research. Particularily in genetics. Nrets 00:22, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying that nrets. I appreciate it's the same species. However, I was taking a lay person's view - as the picture is captioned house mouse (not mus musculus) it implies that the not-so-clean and maybe even disease-ridden mice that live in my garage and compost bin might be suitable candidates for the lab. Ermintrude 00:32, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

I propose this picture; what do you think about it? --Mparu (msg) 18:58, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

  • I have been bold: in absence of recent objections, I changed the front picture. Please discuss the change if you disagree before rolling it back. --Mparu (msg) 16:17, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Archived Again

As this page was very long again, I have archived it. The prior conversations are again available from the links at the top of the talk page.-Localzuk (talk) 14:04, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Changes in the first paragraph

Slim Virgin, Why did you revert my edits to the intro. I posted the proposed changes in the talk pages, and I never saw you had any comment about them. Finally, the statment I keep deleting about animals not feeling pain is completely unsourced. If you follow the link of the source, it gives you some random piece of legislation that says nothing about whether animals feel less pain or not. Which is why I deleted it. This was also put on the talk page for discussion and you never raised any objections.

I don't have time to keep responding to these points, because they've all been dealt with already, and if you would read the source, you would see that the section is supported by it: "Some people believe, in addition, that animals may be used because they suffer less than humans would, if subject to the same procedures. This belief is partly verifiable. Some animals, certainly mammals and birds, have similar pain receptors and central nervous pathways to humans, and may therefore have much the same capacity to feel physical pain as humans do.[43] But the capacity to feel pain is not the same as the capacity to experience suffering or distress, and this is less easy to measure.[44] It is extremely difficult to conclude with confidence how much suffering or distress is caused by an animal's experience of pain, its memory of or anticipation of pain, or by the fact of its confinement in a laboratory. As Professor Marian Dawkins noted, "recognition of physical health is relatively easy, the recognition of psychological health is more difficult" (Q. 1793). Researchers need to take a balanced view, but ensure that this view is fully informed by ongoing developments in the understanding of animal cognition and suffering.[45]" SlimVirgin (talk) 16:25, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
OK, the link was pointing to a weird part of the document so I hadn't seen that, fixed the source left the paragraph. Nrets 16:50, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

I wish you would respond to my questions rather than reverting my edits. In the third paragrpah the sentence "7 out of the last 10 nobel prizes depended on animal research" is followed by a sentence which questions this, and has 2 sources, the first [40] refers to insulin and the second [41] is a general statment about animal research and medical advances, specifically mentioning polio vaccine. Neither of these have anything to do with "7 out of the last 10 nobel prizes depended on animal research". It does have to do with the last sentence which specifically mentions insulin and polio. Nrets 16:15, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

See below. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:26, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Disputed sentence

Could we stop the POV pushing over the sentence that keeps being moved? History: someone added that seven of the last ten Novel prizes in medicine have depended in part on animal research. This is a silly statistic to quote, because of course they have, given that almost all (if not all) medical research is based on animal testing at some point. It very precisely begs the question (logically) as to whether the animal testing part of the research was necessary. I therefore added: " ... this begs the question as to whether that aspect of the research was necessary." Someone else came long, who didn't understand what begging the question means, and changed it to "raises the question," which has a different meaning i.e. it suggests that someone has actually raised it, which I'm sure they have, but it's an empirical point rather than a logical one, so a source became necessary. So someone found a source and someone else questioned whether it was good enough, and now someone else keeps moving the sentence away from the Nobel Prize winners part. It's a mini-study on the effects of POV pushing.

Please either remove the Novel prize winner reference, or leave in that it begs or raises the question (preferably begs, because the point is one of logic) as to whether animal testing was necessary. But don't split up those points. SlimVirgin (talk)

OK, I removed the "last 7 out of the 10" statement since it was a bit redundant, I agree. I'm not pushing a POV, I'm trying to make the article more fair. I think that saying "begging the question" is a matter of opinion, whereas saying something has been questioned is something which you can add a source to. Nrets 16:44, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Thank you. Whether something begs the question is a matter of logic, not opinion. If we're discussing whether having nice hair is dependent upon using Shampoo X, and I say: "Yes, it is, because I have nice hair and I use Shampoo X," I am begging the question. Similarly, in an article about the animal-testing debate, which revolves in part around the extent to which animal testing is either necessary or beneficial, to claim that 7 out of 10 Novel prize-winning developments depended on animal testing is to beg the question as to whether the animal-testing component of the research was necessary. The development may have happened without it, or may even have happened sooner. This is a point of logic, not opinion. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:49, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
This point has already been covered. To quote part of what i said in the archive on 2 January 2006 : really comes down to semantics and how the author sees the subject. "that begs the question as to..." is an odd phrase for an encyclopedia to use - its leading the reader to down a thought process, as opposed to stating fact. The use of animals in these studies doesn't beg the question for me personally, as i'm very much aware of the limits of non-animal models. Moreover, it didn't beg the question of the Nobel committee who are most certainly experts!...
Thus it is POV as of your own admission in the example above, YOU are begging the question. If you really wish to keep that phrase in there it should say "...some beg the question" or (the somewhat ridiculous) "...the question has been begged...". "...has been questioned", in contrast, it is a statement of fact that is verifiable and just plain sounds better. Rockpocket 17:59, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree Rock. The statement itself is perfectly reasonable and factual - it begs no questions. It is Slim who is raising questions about it, based on her own antiviv POV. If someone had said that the last 7 out of 10 Nobel Prizes depended in part on in vitro research, I don't think it would even occur to her to say that that statement begs any questions. Yet it is no more or less true or logical than the statement about animal research. Ermintrude 00:23, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
It just occurred to me where the difference on opinion is coming from here, Slim is proposing that begging the question be used in its traditional meaning of petitio principii (a type of logical tautology or circular argument), while the rest of us are protesting due to its modern usage as a synonym for to raise the question. This linguistic confusion, i think, is good enough reason in itself to not use the term. Especially as the common useage is the modern definition. That notwithstanding, i'm still not convinced that the original sentence is a good example of petitio principii, as the statement regarding the ubiquity of animals in research is, at best, implicit. Also implicit is the suggestion that Nobel winning science is synonymous with the best or most valid science. If it was explicitly stated that virtually all research used animals as part of the logical argument then i'd agree it would definately beg the question of their necessity in defining their use in the best research. Unless that is stated openly, i think, its not a classic example. Rockpocket 06:49, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Types of Experiment

For months now, i have been saying i am going to tackle the types of experiment in Advancing scientific knowledge and Studying disease and developing medicines to balance them up with Drug and Chemical testing. So here is a first attempt. I expect when they are all finished, we may with to edit down all sub-categories of experiment, but we can tackle that when we have all the information down for all of them.

Advancing scientific knowledge

Basic research increases scientific knowledge about the way organisms behave, develop and function biologically. Although it is not necessarily intended to lead directly to applications for humans, understanding fundamental biological mechanisms is considered essential for medical advances [42]. Both the largest number and greatest variety of laboratory animals are utilized in this type of research. Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans, mice and rats together account for the vast majority, though small numbers of other species, ranging from sea slugs, through blind cavefish to armadillos, are used for specialised research purposes [43]. Dogs, cats and non-human primates together account for less than 1% of the total number [44]. Examples of the types of animals and experiments used in basic research include:

  • Mutagenesis to study mechanisms in embryogenesis and developmental biology. Animals are often treated with chemicals or radiation to generate defective embryos. By studying disrupted development, scientists aim to understand both how organisms develop normally and abnormally [45]. The 1995 and 2002 Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine were awarded for research into developmental processes in animals [46][47]. Embryos used in experiments are often not covered by legislation and therefore not always required to be reported. Consequently, those that believe embryos are de facto animals claim the published number of experimental animals used is an under-representation.
  • Behavioural experiments to understand how organisms detect and interact with each other and their environment. Fruit flies, worms, mice and rats are all widely used in research into mechanisms of vision [48], taste [49], hearing [50], touch [51] and smell [52]. In addition studies of brain function, such as memory, and social behaviour often use rats and birds [53]. Much less common is the use of larger mammals in these types of studies, but cats are used to study suckling [54] and vision [55] and non-human primates are used to investigate social behaviour [56].
  • Breeding experiments to study evolution and genetics. Laboratory mice, flies, fish and worms are inbred through many generations to create strains with defined characteristics [57] [58]. These provide scientists with animals of a known genetic background, an important tool for genetic analysis that is currently not available when studying outbred subjects (such as most human populations). Larger mammals are rarely bred specifically for such studies due to their longer gestation periods, though some scientists take advantage of inbred domesticated animals, such as dog or cattle breeds, for comparative purposes [59]. Scientists studying mechanisms of evolution use a number of exotic animal species, including mosquitos [60], sticklebacks [61], cichlids [62] and lampreys [63], due to their niche physiology, morphology, ecology or phylogeny.

I'll add add a section about studying disease and developing medicines soon. In the meantime, feel free to comment or suggest improvements/criticisms. Rockpocket 21:55, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Looks good so far, just a few comments. In the mutagenesis section, perhaps the most commonly used animal for this is the fruit fly. Many of these studies are not necessarily to study development, but to study the function of a gene. By looking at the mutant phenotype scientists can then identify the mutated gene and gain insight into it's function. This is what is called forward genetics or a genetic screen. This procedure is also common in Zebrafish. Nrets 02:02, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I agree, Nrets - i wrote up developmental biology as an example mainly because the Nobel prizes for the Nüsslein-Volhard fly screen and the C. elegans fate mapping were cited as breakthroughs in developmental mechanisms and both used mutants. I'd planned to explain the gene function/mutangensis concepts a little more under the studying disease section, as reverse genetics is a common way of modelling disease and forward genetic screens often idetify the genes responsible. However, if you can reword that point better to get the concepts across, then please do so. Rockpocket 04:09, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
OK, I agree that this would fit better under "studying disease" Nrets 04:34, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Welcome addition, RockPocket. Look forward to seeing the "studying disease" section similarly expanded. It adds balance to have such well-sourced information on animal use in major areas of research. Unfortunately the toxicology section is still largely unsourced and biassed - maybe that can be tackled when the "types of experiment" category is more complete. MedicalScientist 09:14, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
I deleted some of the biassed, unsourced and unnecessary information in the toxicology section, as had been suggested here on a few occasions with no objection. However, SlimVirgin immediately reverted. I believe it is normal practise to explain such actions, so can she do so here, please? 15:03, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

The intro to this section now reads "There are a range of scientific uses of animals, which can be split into three broad and at times overlapping categories." As some of the content has been deleted, this no longer makes sense. I believe it was agreed that the three categories, to encompass all animal research and testing, should be pure research (done), applied research - to include studying disease, development and safety testing of medicines - (partially done) and safety testing of chemicals (needs rationalisation). Instead we have pure research, drug testing, toxicology tests (including specific toxicology tests) and cosmetics testing. Far too much emphasis on toxicological testing, nothing on applied research, and does not relate to the three categories stated at the start.MedicalScientist 21:00, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

SlimVirgin, the intro to this section states "There are a range of scientific uses of animals, which can be split into three broad and at times overlapping categories." The sections did not reflect this, hence my attempt to split into sections that did (as they did before, ie basic, applied and saftey testing of chemicals). I would prefer it if you could discuss it here, as I did above with no response for 11 days, rather than reverting immediately because you have not understood the point or read the discussion. Then maybe more people can have a say and come to consensus? MedicalScientist 00:32, 11 March 2006 (UTC) MedicalScientist 00:35, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

New article

A new page has been created (dumped) at Europeans for Medical Progress.

I don't think it deserves its own page. (I could be wrong.) Nor do I know if there's anything worth keeping in it. Anyway, I'm going to propose it for a merge here. If someone could eyeball it and then either merge it or afd it or wikify it as appropriate. Thanks, Ben Aveling 12:40, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

I don't think it deserves to be merged. Looks like completely biassed nonsense to me. MedicalScientist 13:34, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I have flagged it for speedy deletion as it is a blatant copyright violation. -Localzuk (talk) 14:08, 8 February 2006 (UTC)


I have a serious concern with the following statement, which is a common mistruth bandied around anti testing websites:

"Animal testing is regarded by opponents as bad science because... many drugs have dangerous side-effects that were not predicted by animal models; a well-known example of this is Thalidomide, where birth defects are seen in mice and rabbits, but not rats".

Thalidomide as an example of the exact opposite of what is claimed here. Its teratogenic side effects "were not predicted by animals models" because it was never tested in a model of teratogenicity. Had animal models been used (as they were after the scale of the tragedy became clear), the side effects would have been picked up. To quote from The History of Thalidomide by Jack Botting (my bold):

"Th[e] disaster brought on by thalidomide's teratogenic effects was responsible for the institution of some regulatory bodies, such as the United Kingdom's Committee on the Safety of Drugs, and for the strengthening of others, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. An objective examination of published papers and contemporary accounts confirms that the preclinical tests on thalidomide were superficial, and there is no doubt that it was never administered to pregnant animals prior to its use in patients. Within a short time after its withdrawal from the market due to its suspected association with fetal abnormalities, the drug was shown to produce fetal toxicity in laboratory animals. Had there been more extensive testing on laboratory animals before the drug was launched, the disaster could have been avoided."

I notice another editor has tried to balance the original statement by qualifying it, but now it simply sounds contradictory. I suggest this example be removed, or replaced with documented examples of the "many" drugs that have dangerous effects in humans but that were not picked up in animal models. Rockpocket 01:55, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

The editor that added the qualifier about rats is wrong: see King CTG & Kendrick FJ (1962), Teratogenic effects of thalidomide in the Sprague Dawley rat, The Lancet ii, 1116. In fact, the teratogenic effects of thalidomide have been seen in mice, rats, hamsters, rabbits, macaques, marmosets, baboons and rhesus monkeys (refs to scientific papers available for all). So I agree, let's delete the thalidomide example here. If anyone can add a different example that is solid and well-sourced, fine. MedicalScientist 10:52, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
In the spirit of not removing information (even if in this case, the information is misleading), i reworded to make it clear what the situation really is. Though it appears i was logged out, and thus my IP was logged instead of my name. I did the same for the other incorrect claims (i.e. that there is no evidence for teratogenic effects of aspirin in humans, that all models are induced, that the Parkinson's model does not exist). I also deleted the claim that aspirin does not display cardiovascular action in models (that is blatantly not so [64] [65]). Everthing has citations and i have more if anyone wasnts to contest. I tried to source the claims already there, as i didn't want to delete them and stand accused of POV pushing, but the sources are not great (probably because the claims are simply not true and most reputable antis are wisening up to the fact). If anyone can find genuine examples then please replace them. As i don't think everything should be countered in this section, but when the claims are false, i think the facts need to be given as a counterpoint. Otherwise we are left either deleting them or leaving them as unsubstatiated claims. Rockpocket 19:46, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Hosehold Products

I noticed in a recent edit user:Slim Virgin added a list of hosehold products used for animal testing: Well-known household products tested on animals include Domestos, Parazone, Ajax, Jif, Mr. Muscle, Flash, Mr. Sheen, Fairy washing-up liquid, Ariel, and Dettox. While I don't want to start a debate whether names of specific products used for animal testing should be included in this general article or not, I must say that I recognize only two of the supposedly "well-know household products", one is Ajax which to my knowledge is no longer sold, and the other is Jif which is a brand of peanut butter and should be counted as a foodstuff not a household product. I propose we remove or at least append this list to not be so obscure. Nrets 16:48, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Those products are all household cleaners available in the UK. Personally i don't see the point of having lists like this, as they will be region specific, and they are tokenistic in nature, as pretty much every household cleaner will have been tested in animals either as a finished product or as constituents. I removal or appending to include a more international selection. Rockpocket 17:59, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
Fairy washing-up liquid? I'd hate to see what they do with that one. ;) Nrets 17:29, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
Product placement! But seriously, the tokenistic nature of the list of products, and the contract testing companies, was why I made the changes. Was having Internet problems yesterday, so was inadvertently logged out when I invited SlimVirgin to explain her reverts here. MedicalScientist 10:54, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
  • OK, if nobody objects, I will remove the sentence with the specific product names. Nrets 20:12, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Split up article?

I have a suggestion which I would like to put up for discussion. One gets a sense from reading the article that there are only 2 camps of people, those that support the use of animals in research and those who don't. But I think many people would, for example, agree that animals are an important and necessary aspect of medical and basic research, while the use of animals for testing cosmetics and other household products is not. Yet somehow these two things are lumped onto the same category as "Animal testing". I suggest perhaps we either split this article up into 2 different ones such as "Animal Testing" and "Animal Research", or use a more neutral title such as "Animal experimentation" (or something along those lines) and then make the distinction clear in the article. I think that the issues, both moral and scientific are very different in terms of "Testing" and "Research" and it does everyone a disservice to lump them together as the same thing. Any comments? Nrets 20:36, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

You're again taking a pro-testing view. People who oppose animal testing do not see these as separate issues: good testing on the one hand (e.g. medical) and bad testing on the other (e.g. cosmetics), because the reality is that there are gradations, and many/most supposedly medical tests, it is argued, are as pointless as any other. The subject of this page is animal testing per se, and there shouldn't be any POV forks or attempts to keep awkward material off the page and put it elsewhere. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:12, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
Slim, It's not an attempt to split any POV forks. I'm saying that for most people there is not a pure "Pro-testing" or "Anti-testing" view, I'm just saying that the issues are different and the pros and cons of each are different. In many cases the arguments that can be made against one kind of testing do not apply to a different kind of testing. I would argue that many of the things you lump together as "Animal testing" are not the same things, I'm not saying one is good and the other is bad, just that the issues are different. Nrets 22:20, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
You want to argue that there is "good testing," and you want to get rid of "bad testing" from the testing page, so that "good testing" is uninfected by it. That is POV. Others argue that all animal testing is bad, or that it should at least all be evaluated in the same way, because it is all commercial at the end of the day e.g. there is no clear difference between a lipstick (cosmetics testing) and a preparation to give a man better erections (medical testing). Splitting up the article along those lines is therefore inherently and unavoidably POV. SlimVirgin (talk) 23:18, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
So in your opinion all scientific research is commercial by nature? Nrets 02:02, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
This is still focussed on the "testing" of substances - what about, for example, genetic studies to determine the genetic basis of pigmentation (and thus genetic basis of skin cancer, albinism, piebaldism, Waardenberg-Hirschsprung disease, Hermansky-Pudlak-Syndrome etc), that involves breeding mice of various colour and determining genotype of the offspring. Carried out in a not-for-profit institute. Is that "animal testing"? Rockpocket 23:42, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
I know I'm coming in late to this debate, but I think the line at the beginning saying "Animal testing (also referred to as animal research)" is misleading. Many, many people make a distinction between animal testing - the use of animals to test drugs, cosmetics etc for humans - and animal research - the use of animals for basic scientific research, including veterinary research. The article make the distinction clear later (without spelling it out in quite this way), but I think that line is a bit dodgy. Personally I'd rather the article title was "animal experimentation" with redirects from "animal research" and "animal testing" but I'm guessing I'd be in the minority here. We could also do with a reference to vivisection early on (although that article is not great, and bizarrely doesn't appear to have a link back to animal testing - although I guess animal testing isn't necessarily vivisection, but an awful lot of animal research is)--Coroebus 17:29, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
I think you have hit the nail on the head, Coroebus. It seems to me that Slim is promoting the term "animal testing" as a synonym for "research using animals". I, personally, use those terms differently to distinguish between two types of experimentation. The former, to me, indicates "testing substances on animals" and thus includes toxicology testing, efficiacy testing and cosmetic testing. The "test" in the testing referring to the compound . The latter doesn't involved the "testing" of any compounds. It involves the basic and applied sciences where hypothesis driven research are conducted. This of course, is my interpretation, and others may disagree. However, if this differentiation is followed, then we can distinguish between "biomedical research centres" and "animal testing centres", not on the basis of euphemistic differences, but on the basis of what type of experimentation goes on in them. Whether one of these if "good" and the other is "bad" animal experimentation is open for debate. But what it does do, is provide the reader with a strict boundary in which the context of the information can be interpreted. I can see no value to keeping the water deliberately muddy by insisting on the blanket use of "animal testing" to cover any animal procedure, especially when we can be more detailed by differentiating. I'm not convinced that means splitting up the article into two, simply making clear the different implications of the two terms in the same article might be enough IMHO. Rockpocket 23:33, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the terms are not synonyms and should not be used as such in this article. If there is to be a split, of course the terms should be well qualified early in the article. Another type of research which should not fall under 'animal testing' is that used for teaching purposes, most commonly in teaching university undergraduates. |→ Spaully°τ 00:02, 11 March 2006 (GMT)
It makes no difference whether you're testing a substance or an hypothesis, RP, you're still testing on animals. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:20, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, testing a hypothesis is testing, but in common usage when people hear animal testing it implies testing of substances. I agree with Coroebus and RP that we should either rename the article something like animal experimentation, or split it up. It seems like that is the consensus here, SV. Nrets 01:35, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Meaningless sentences

Could we avoid writing like this, please? "Animals are used as models to understand disease processes and to develop new vaccines and medicines. Genetically modified (GM) animals, particularly mice, are used to study the role of genes in disease processes. Both these types of research often draw on findings from basic research." It is POV, but more importantly, it doesn't actually say anything. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:18, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

It seems like the last sentence dangles a bit, but otherwise I see nothing wrong with the content of the sentence. Nrets 22:23, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
It's the kind of sentence you'd find on a government website: superficially meaningful, but saying nothing the average Joe doesn't know already. SlimVirgin (talk) 23:14, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
Slim, to be fair those sentences were put there as a holding summary of what will be elaborated on when i (or someone else) get around to expanding this section as i did the pure research section. I'm removing a lot of what you added about cats dogs and primates in the pure research section, as almost all the examples you gave are examples of applied research, not pure research. I don't believe there needs to be further justification for their use in this section as they account for such a small proportion of pure research subjects (Cats use in vision research and monkey in behavioural research is already there). I think we could use it in the applied research section that i have been working on, though. Rockpocket 01:05, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
Please don't remove the material about dogs, cats, and primates. There's too much emphasis on how e.g. NHPs make up only 0.3 percent but a curious reluctance to mention that still amounts to 50,000. I took the material from the same section of the same source someone else used, and there's no indication that it's referring to applied research.
Also, I don't think holding summaries are a good idea, and the whole "medical research" thing is arguable. There is pure research and applied research. What is to count as "medical"? SlimVirgin (talk) 01:12, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
I think there is a lot of content in the sentence. Developing an animal model of disease is not a meningless endeavor. Using transgenic mice to study the role of a given gene in disease, which is not something so obvious tothe average Joe. Nrets 02:04, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
It needs to be fleshed out before it's meaningful. Creating animal models of disease is one of the bones of contention for those who oppose animal testing, because they argue that animal models do not mimic the disease in humans. For example, to study Parkinson's disease, the animals are brain-damaged, but of course this doesn't help at all to understand how and why PD develops, and whether any treatment should address that, or be geared toward it, so it is regarded by some as "bad science." Therefore, we can't include one sentence that doesn't explain what it is and that represents it as non-controversial, when it is highly controversial. This is the problem again and again. People who are pro-testing feel that it is the default, NPOV position. All I'm asking is that nothing be written with that attitude in mind. Rather, we have to write as though we are Martians who have just arrived on the planet, and who know nothing about the issue, except that we have access to the Times, Guardian etc. SlimVirgin (talk) 02:12, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree it needs to fleshed out, and i'm working on it. If you wish to remove the summary that counted as the entire section in the meantime, then that is fine. I'll try and get the expanded section finished soon. I'm continually perplexed by the fascination with cats, dogs and primates. If, on principle, one is opposed to animal testing on the basis of animal suffering and sentience, why must we focus unduly on a tiny fraction (and, relatively speaking, a tiny number) of a few species. Millions, if not billions, of flies, worms, fish are being tested on yet no-one bothered to mention it, yet everyone fights over the mention of a hundred thousand cats dogs and primates. If one is to be NPOV, we should give due credance to the subject in perspective, uncoloured by how furry the animals in question are. Why would your hypothetical Martian be more intested in one species over another? If we assumed no humanistic species bias, then primate research would be a footnote in this article. That said, I have no problem leaving the number of primates in there, but the fact you mention "Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease ... and AIDS" - all human diseases - makes it, by definition, applicable to the applied research section (which, unfortunately, no longer exists). The info about cats is already stated, almost verbatim, further down. If you want to mention something about dogs specifically, go ahead, but it makes more sense to put in in the section that lists types of experiments and animals used, rather than directly preceding it. Though my understanding of the cardiovascular work is that it is applied (The hint is in the fact that you mentioned it is a similar model to the human system, afterall, why use an expensive dog to study basic cardiovascular mechanisms when a cheap mouse would do?)Rockpocket 02:37, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
Regardless the pure/applied distinction, we can't assume. The types of species were mentioned by a source that was quoted selectively, so I quoted more. I agree that types of species used shouldn't be in that section, when that has its own section, and I plan to move it, but don't have time right now.
The point is that many people object strongly to experiments on certain animals, and less so on others, rightly or wrongly, so pro-testing people are always at pains to say primates are 0.3 per cent, rather rather than 50,000 a year. The reason the latter is preferable is that it's clear -- 50,000 is a number; with 0.3 percent, we have no idea what else is included. Is the number of fruit flies being counted toward the figure, in order to reduce the others? It is these tricks that I object to. I expect it from RDS. I don't like to see it from Wikipedians. Rather than deleting the number of dogs, cats, monkeys, please add the number of fruit flies, mice etc if you want to see them included.
I didn't realize the applied section had disappeared, if we ever had one. SlimVirgin (talk) 02:45, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

I got tired of the indent list. My point is that this article isn't about what some people find objectionable, its about animal research/testing, and thus we should treat the subject with a NPOV. That means we should give weighting to the content in perspective of what happens in reality, not what some people like to focus on. The reality is in pure research cats, dogs and primates account for a relatively miniscule number of procedures (even smaller that those quoted, as those numbers are for all research, and large mammals are used disproportionatly in applied research, for obvious reasons). Just because some individals consider cats more "important" than mice, a NPOV does not follow that. Percentages are not tricks, and when deciding "importance" using unbaised criteria, proportions of total animal use seems the fairest way of doing that. Thats how i tried to reflect it. However, due to the disproportional human interest in some animals over others, I included cats and primates as examples, even though there is no mention of zebrafish, who outnumber both those species by a factor of ten.

I agree that both accurate and meaningful numbers should be quoted where possible. You'll notice that i qualified the number of primates as the proportion of mammals used (not animals) to make it correct. If i wanted to, i could quote primate use as a proportion of all animals, which would make it less than 0.001%. Of course, it doesn't change the fact the 50,000 are used, but it would still reflect an accurate and meaningful proportion in the context of animal research. I didn't do that, though. Rockpocket 03:22, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

We focus on majority and significant-minority views. The majority of people who are concerned with animal testing are bothered about testing on larger mammals. If we were to be as ruthlessly NPOV as you suggest, we would not distinguish between mice and monkeys on the one hand, or monkeys and humans on the other, and this page would have a very different tone to it.
Could we perhaps stay away from percentages altogether? Or at least also add a number whenever a percentage is quoted? It is very misleading otherwise. I'm not sure that it matters what proportion of primates is used compared to other animals. What matters, and what readers will find informative, is how many are being used. To be told that it's 0.3 percent tells me nothing. SlimVirgin (talk) 03:31, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
Returning to the original point, I see nothing wrong with that sentence (about applied/medical research) as a holding sentence. I also don't see much difference betwen the terms 'applied' and 'medical' research - the application of the research in this context is medical. And the difficulty with quoting actual numbers is that world-wide figures are not available, but we can assume that the same percentages are used in other countries as in the USA and UK, for instance. The main point is that to concentrate on cats, dogs and monkeys when, proportionally (whether we quote numbers or percentages is irrelevant), the numbers are low, is adopting an antivivisection POV - this is what antivivisectionists do all the time.
I don't understand SlimVirgin's assertion that, one the one hand, we should treat this issue as though we are Martians (I assume that means with objective neutrality), but on the other hand she rejects being ruthlessly NPOV and says we should present majority and significant minority views. The two are not the same. I think the former approach is preferable, but maybe I've misunderstood? MedicalScientist 17:10, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
I concur with MedicalScientists. I'm very concerned with animal testing. Specifically i'm concerned that the facts be stated in a NPOV manner (not the POV of any lobby group). Slim essentially admits that, by focussing disproportionately on cats, dogs and primates, we are addopting a POV ("the majority and significant-minority views"). Why need we do that? No-one is suggesting we whitewash the use of larger mammals - the numbers are there for all to see (if we have them, otherwise we must, as MedicalScientist said, project from proportions). But the only way to be neutral about illustrating examples is to focus on the facts of how many animals are used. The argument about distinguishing man from monkey doesn't hold up as there are legal reasons for that difference. Moreover, the opening sentence sets the stage for the article: "Animal testing refers to the use of non-human animals in experiments." Therefore the only subclassification of animals we must take into account is human and non-human. Other than that, NPOV dictates we must not focus disproportionately on any one animal group or species because it suits one lobby over another. The facts speak for themseleves. However, i think Slim's concerns will be addressed in the applied/medical section anyway - as the animals antis love to promote are used much more widely in applied research (due to their phylogenetic relationship to humans). Thus, if we are following the NPOV rules, the focus of those examples will be on among others: mice, cats, dogs and monkeys. Rockpocket 21:25, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Toxicology tests

The previous subhead, safety testing of chemicals, was more accurate, since tox testing is carried out on both drugs and chemicals and the drug testing bit was moved to its own sub-section.

Can we have reliable sources please for the 'new' description of the Draize test - this looks like antivisection POV to me. Similarly, the first paragraph about Covance in allegations of abuse appears to be a statement of fact as it is not backed up with a source.

I see no good reason to have token lists of companies and household products that are tested. All significantly new products or ingredients have to be tested by law, why pick on a few in this arbitrary (and UK-focussed) list? MedicalScientist 17:37, 18 February 2006 (UTC)


Now species have been split out into a different section, the anomalies are very obvious. Why non-human primates first when numbers are so low? Why no mention of fish and birds, which are used in far greater numbers than dogs, primates and rabbits? Why no mention of use of dogs in cardiovascular research, which is an important use? Why is irritancy testing the only use of rabbits listed, when it is so minor? MedicalScientist 22:53, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

I've reworked this to list the species in order of their abundance of use (in the UK, seeing as thats pretty much all we have in terms of numbers). I've added invertebrates as the most abundant and cats, due to their being the focus of much activism. The one major class not represented is birds. That could be added i suppose. The numbers suggest the vast majority of dogs are used for applied testing (which includes toxicity testing of medical products and cardiovascular testing, so i suppose we can't know how important each is terms of number used). I have removed very little, but added some more numbers and select statistics to illustrate that, for example, rabbit Draize testing (of non medical products) is relatively minor in the UK despite it being another focal point. I'm also going to chop away a bit at the pure research section now, as some of it will be redundant. Rockpocket 00:55, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
I wondered how long it would take one of you to put mice at the top. I'm surprised you've not started off with fruit flies. You'll argue that listing in terms of numbers is NPOV, but this is again an example of you presuming that the pro-testing position is the default, NPOV position.
No-one is presuming that pro-testing is default or NPOV position. You keep saying this, SlimVirgin, whenever you disagree with something or someone. I concur with RockPocket and nrets on the species ordering thing. I think that you can't see that your own position is POV, Slim Virgin. Any order will have its advocates - how about alphabetical or by biomass? Someone like Richard Ryder would argue for order by numbers as he believes every animal's pain is of equal concern (well, I think that's what he believes). So it's nothing to do with "pro" or "anti" positions, and I don't believe it should be. MedicalScientist 23:40, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
NPOV says that we represent majority and significant-minority views. It is the majority view among supporters and opponents of animal testing that testing on primates and other large mammals is of greater moral and political concern that testing on mice and fruit flies. I'm not saying this is rational. I'm saying it is a fact. Only the most extreme animal-rights activists will argue that fruit fly = mouse = dog = ape = human, in terms of moral significance.
The reason the pro-testing lobby wants to emphasize flies and mice, and the reason you always talk in terms of percentages, is because you want to minimize the numbers of large mammals being used in experiments. That is why you have reversed the order of the list.
The list should be presented, as it was, in terms of the majority view that testing on primates and dogs is of greater concern than testing on rodents. I am therefore going to change it back. SlimVirgin (talk) 06:36, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm, frankly, flabbergasted at that argument, Slim. So you are essentially saying that your morals gets to dictate "importance" over abundance. A moral decision is by definition POV. You talk of "greater concern". Who's.... yours? You don't speak for me, and according to nost of the press today, you don't speak for the silent majority. And, whats your justification for saying i "want to minimize the numbers of large mammals being used"? In my last edit i ADDED the numbers of cats, dog and macaques being used. So that is utter nonsense.
What happened to your Martian analogy, Slim? If one is to report on animals devoid of interest, one would list importance by number. Thats not pro-POV, its the most objective order possible. Your order is, again by definition, subjective. Objective vs subjective, which is more encyclopaedic? Thus i'll change it back, and if you feel the need to change it again to push your "moral concern" (which you admit), i'll make a poll to determine support for either way. 09:07, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
Why should starting with the largest numbers be the NPOV way? Don't just say that it is. Please argue it out for me. SlimVirgin (talk) 09:12, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
This article is not about "concerns about animal testing", it is about animal testing itself. It is only logical to include first what the vast majority of animal testing involves. Nrets 15:26, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
Could I have an argument for it, please? This is the point I am trying to get across. You and the others are so thoroughly absorbed in a pro-testing POV that you're unable even to see it's a POV. To you, it's "only logical." But to me, it's a POV like any other. Therefore, please argue for your position so that we can decide which argument is the stronger, and decide on the basis of that. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:20, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

The argument is that (as I said above) this article is not about "concerns over animal testing", or "moral viewpoints related to animal testing", rather it is survey about the practice of animal testing itself. Where its done, what kind of tests are done, on which kind of animals by whom. If the overwhelming majority of experimental animals consist of invertebrates and rodents, then the use of these animals is the most representative use of animal for testing. Not only in sheer numbers of animals but also in sheer number of laboratories doing the experiments. You will find far many more labs doing research on rodent than you will in monkeys. Nrets 18:10, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

I completely concur with Nrets. But even if one wanted to make a "moral concern" argument for it, one could. I would argue that, if one is to take the view that one is concerned with the use of animals in testing, one would wish to learn about the greatest number of animals that are being killed. After all, we are told, to morally distinguish between different animals is speciesist. Thus i'd be interested in the millions if not billions of flies/worms and 100,000 fish more than i'd be interested in about 50,000 monkeys and 200 cats. To argue otherwise is giving due importance to one animal species over another, and isn't the whole point of protesing against animal testing on a moral basis, that we have no right to put the interests of ourselves (a species) over that of another?
But say we do follow your moral concerns and hold primates up first - where do rabbits come in, compared to say hamsters or guinea pigs. Which is more "important"? How about dogs and cats? Who wins out there? What is the justification for ordering those?
I'm playing Devil's advocate, of course, but that is the problem with taking a moral POV - it is based on your/mine/his morals. I genuinely don't understand where the line is drawn between what animals we should be more concerned with and those that we shouldn't. In contrast, numbers are numbers, they are facts. And if we follow them, we can't be accused of ordering to suit any POV.
But...... you know what, when i consider the amount of energy i've expended in trying to defend this order, its laughable. Do I really care whether our dear readers learn about the 200 cats about 30 seconds before they learn about the 20 million mice? And, i have no doubt Slim is right that more people will want to read about the monkeys first (as they will be under the impression from the anti lobby that they are the most widely used species anyway). So, i'm going to say order it as you see fit, Slim, but please justify the precise position of each species in that order, in terms of the moral concern of the majority or siginifcant minority. After all, we give reasons for each position when ordering them by number. I'll be content that the facts speak for themselves, irrespective of where they are on the page. Rockpocket 00:12, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
Slim - even if you don't consider ordering by number as NPOV, it at least can be justified in a simple, objective way. You don't appear to have taken up my challenge of justifying the precise order you advocate. As it still appears as a list based on numbers, why don't we make it clear that this order presumes no importance other than is stated, by under the heading "species", writing something like "listed in descending order of numbers of individal animals used". That makes it explicitly clear the justification for the current order. Rockpocket 21:38, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Hi RP, the reason I didn't respond was just that, as you said, I wasn't sure it was worth expending energy on. Readers interested in mice will read that section no matter where it's placed, and likewise those interested in monkeys and dogs, so I'm fine with it as it is. I agree that adding that it's listed in descending order is a good idea. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:38, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Ok, i've done that. Rockpocket 20:48, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

NPOV tag

I must have missed something. When did this go? Are there no POV issues now? MedicalScientist 22:54, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Someone removed it a while ago due to the person who put it there not providing reasons on here. If you wish to label it as POV then it must have specific reasoning. -Localzuk (talk) 09:54, 26 February 2006 (UTC)


The article contains the following quote: Some cosmetics companies claim that their products are not tested on animals, despite using one or more of the aforementioned practices. Can someone find a source to back this up? Ultimaga 11:56, 3 March 2006 (UTC) seems to state the same thing... -Localzuk (talk) 12:24, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Regulatory requirements

Anyone got any details of regulatory requirements for animal research for drug approval or clinical trial licencing? I think it is necessary to have something about that in the sections on legal frameworks for animal research in different countries to get the whole picture. E.g. the EU require "If, however, systemic absorption is demonstrated during therapeutic experimentation, toxicity tests shall be carried out on animals, including where necessary, foetal toxicity tests" warning pdf.--Coroebus 17:41, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Its pretty complex, and unfortunatly, most of the info in the article relates to the EU. There is a brief summary here and the references therein have more. I'm sure we could find sources for US FDA regulations, and possibly Japanese regulations, but i expect that most of them are pretty similar to the EU, i.e. two mammalian toxicity models (one non rodent), a suitable efficacy model, and specific tests if circumstances dictate. I'm not sure if there is a lot to be gained hghlighting slight differences between regulatory systems, but if there were major differences then that would be notable. Rockpocket 18:38, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I just wondered if there were - because that, as you say, would be notable. I was curious to see if it correlated with the strictness of their animal research legislation. I suppose it is pretty likely they've moved to standardise though.--Coroebus 18:45, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Its such a complex area to investigate cold, i don't think anyone feels up to it! However, i know some people in clinical trials, i'll find out if there is anything dramatically different, and if there is i'll try and find some references. Rockpocket 18:51, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Number of animals and species used

"Over half the experiments in Britain in 2004 — 1,710,760 — were conducted without anesthetic"

if this refers to 'procedures', is there any way we can tell what proportion were things like blood taking, otherwise the sentence seems to imply that anaesthetic -should- have been used, but wasn't. Perhaps a better way of putting this point is by what proportion of procedures were classified as mild vs substantial suffering e.g. project licences (not necessarily a great indicator of individual procedures I know) in 2004 were mild 38%, moderate 56%, substantial 2%, unclassified 3%pdf--Coroebus 18:45, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Hi Coroebus. Thats an interesting point and is an example of something SlimVirgin and i were discussing. Slim, and others, were concerned that the blanket use of the word "procedure" instead of "experiment" was euphemistic, and an attempt to hide the reality of what was happening. I have some sympathy for that argument - as i feel there at instances where "experiment" is a perfectly suitable word. However in some cases, "procedure" must be used, as by using the word "experiment" we are missrepresenting facts (because, of course, a much larger proportion of all animal experiments - including those that are not defined as a procedure - do not use anesthetics).
Thats one point, the other is a bit more complicated, i feel. As someone involved in the field, i understand what you mean. In the UK, things that are defined as "procedures" are somewhat odd and certain procedures are very simple and relatively non-invasive and painless and, one could argue, it would cause more risk and stress to the animal to give it anesthetics than not. Thus that statistic is useless for taking anything meaningful about animal pain and scientists choice, or lack thereof, to reduce it in experiments. However, i expect someone might argue that it is stating facts (which is true), that any inference made from the stat is assumption is and thus it need not be removed. If I would suggest adding a sentence, like you provide, directly beneath illustrating the suffering classifications and proportions. True, it isn't particularly informative, but it is only as flawed as the stat above it. Rockpocket 22:36, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Bear in mind that the classifications are utterly bizarre. Sawing the top of a monkey's head off, sucking out part of its brain to cause a stroke, then withholding food and water for 22 out of every 24 hours for months on end (I believe up to two years), and forcing the animals to perform tricks with their paralysed side in order to obtain food or water, is classified as "moderate suffering." We clearly can't rely on those. In any event, those are British classifications and this article already has too much that is based on what happens in the UK. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:18, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
But the statistic in the text that I refer to is a UK statistic, I agree that the suffering classifications are not exactly transparent, but the anaethesia statistic is misleading without qualification. If you don't think we should add any more UK specific in then perhaps we should just take it out.--Coroebus 12:05, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
RP, it is a fact, but you have to ask what you are hoping to gain from putting it in the article. Without any further explanation or discussion, as you have said, this statistic gives no reliable impression of suffering caused. On it's own this fact gives no useful information.
Slim, your example is an extreme case I feel, and perhaps the measurement of suffering is heavily based on pain inflicted (as your example should not be painful) but perhaps this is a more useful statistic than anaesthetic usage? If the criteria for the classification is described or linked to perhaps that would help.
I agree that the figure based analysis is disproportionately (in terms of world animal testing) biased towards the UK, but it seems that is based on the availability of evidence, the UK publishing much more complete information than most. Until we have such in depth evidence from other countries I don't see how this can be addressed. |→ Spaully°τ 12:28, 11 March 2006 (GMT)
There's a lot of information available in the U.S. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:03, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
I completely agree, Spaully. And if i was given carte blanche, i'd take it out also, for being meaningless in that context. I was trying to pre-empt the opposing argument with the suggestion we add the classification data. I also agree the classifications are somewhat bizarre and you can take limited meaning from that stat - but its only as useful as the previous stat, so if you wish to have one, you may as well have both.... or, preferably, neither. Rockpocket 18:20, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
As as for the UK-bias. We have this debate everytime there is a suggestion we add some information from UK sources that Slim doesn't agree with ;)! Its unfortunate that the UK is the only country that provides the sort of information that we need to illustrate animal testing. (strange then, that anti's are so keen to drive animal use out of the UK, where it will still occur but without regulation. Out of site out of mind, perhaps?) Its extremely POV of cherry pick the UK data one wants, then to dismiss any other addition on the basis that "there is already too much info from that country". If the information is informative, and its all we have, its better to add that and risk a geographical bias than leave it out. Rockpocket 18:28, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
It's all you have because it's all you look for. We have to stop adding material about the UK, good or bad. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:33, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
That is untrue, Slim. If there is better and/or more detailed information from any other country then i'd happily add it, but both you and I know there is not (for the very obvious reasons above). I challenge anyone to go into that article and take a number, statistic or fact that is based on UK animal use and replce it with the exact same fact that represents the use in another country. I would support every single one, but the number would be very few. I mean, it would be great if we had, for example, a lot of information on Sudanese animal testing, and opposition groups. But we don't for the very reason that i expect there is very little animal testing in Sudan and the concerned citizans have more pressing things to worry about.

So the question comes down to what is more important: having good sources of information that would improve the article but that is geographically biased by its very nature, or leaving out that information to the detriment of the article so we do not have a geographical bias? The answer, i feel, is obvious. Yes, we should be aware of adding more information from the UK for the sake of it just because its available, but i don't accept that fears of geographical bias should limit the improvement of an article when there is no alternative. Thats like criticising the cricket article for sourcing its information from the Test playing nations. Rockpocket 22:15, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

You use Sudan as your example, when you know the obvious one is the United States. Probably all the figures you cite from the UK are available there. It would wrong to rely exclusively on the States too, of course. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:48, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
Maybe you can write these people for some information. ;) - Nrets 01:52, 18 March 2006 (UTC)


"Cell culture is currently the most successful, and promising, alternative to animal use. For example, cultured cells have also been developed to create monoclonal antibodies, prior to this production required animals to undergo a procedure likely to cause pain and distress [133]."

The statement above is misleading. It assumes that cell cultures exist out of thin air. Cell cultures come from animals. Thus, it is not an alternative to animal use but at best, merely an application of the "reduction principle." Danielkueh 16:00, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

That point is made clear in the article, three sentences up: "However, some claim they are not true alternatives since ... cultured cells often require animal derived products" Rockpocket 18:47, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

commercial - scientific connection

I removed a nonsense and misleading sentence: "The animal-testing industry is a multi-million dollar concern. Advocates of testing may argue that their interests are scientific, but they are just as often commercial."

Medicine cannot be non-commercial as long as people pay for drugs in pharmacies. Moreover, some philosophers argue that animal use with practical applications in medicine and product safety (potentially commercial) is more justified than for pure science, while other philosophers consider opposite.


Anyone mind if I remove the text "The figures show that most animals are used in only one procedure: animals either die because of the experiment or are killed and dissected afterwards [66](pdf)." I've read the PDF and I can't find reference to that claim. G.hartig 19:30, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

The information is in the source, and it's well known that most animals are used in only one procedure, for obvious reasons. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:42, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
Sure, however I can't find it in the reference that's on the page. I'd be greatful if you could show me which part of the PDF refers to it. By the way, why did you revert *all* of my edits? I didn't delete anything.
Untrue, for example, inducing or maintaining anaesthesia can often be a separate procedure to whatever it is that is being done to the animal experimentally.--Coroebus 18:07, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
I should make clear that while most animals may only be used for one procedure, most procedures are not really what most people would classify as vivisection (blood taking, breeding transgenics etc) so the question is how many procedures are carried out on those animals that undergo classical vivisection, and the answer is we don't at present know but it would be misleading to say that most animals die because of the experiment or are killed and dissected afterwards if the procedure is simply blood taking. I've had a look through the UK stats and can't find any good evidence. Incidentally, do we mention anywhere that killing animals is not classified as a procedure? I think people would regard that as important to know --Coroebus 10:29, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

I think this line "The term "procedure" refers to an experiment", is a bit misleading, a procedure is just that, a procedure, and an experiment may consist of many procedures, so a given animal may receive the same procedure multiple times, or multiple different procedures during an experiment.--Coroebus 15:16, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Bad science

A quick read through suggests there is a point of reply missing to the bad science claim. Specifically, that although there may be shortcomings in using animal testing as models, the question is what is the alternative. I think it is fair to say even the most die-hard advocates of animal testing would support a reduction or elimination if they feel all the information obtained can be discovered from other methods. For them, most modern day testing, involves multiple methods including cell culture and computer simulations. While these provide useful information, most advocates would suggest they do not currently generally provide some information that can be obtained via animal testing. Or put it another way, what they're saying is that although there are many limitations and shortcomings with animal testing but it's not bad science because it still provides some information that cannot currently be obtained in any other way and the sum of this information proves to be worth the bad information that is also obtained. Of course there are meaningful replies to this point from opponents for animal testing which don't involve science which are already mentioned and opponents may not agree with this assesement but this doesn't mean it isn't a valid point to be included.

I'm not sure where this should go, perhaps in the advocates for animal testing subsection nor do I have a reference but I feel it is important enough that someone should hopefully search for a reference and include it where appropriate. Nil Einne 16:21, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

You, for example, could search for one. :-) SlimVirgin (talk) 16:32, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
Sorry I forgot to mention, I don't have the time. However, the recent case of the disasterous phase 1 clinical trial in the UK may be a good starting point since it appears to illustrate the point very well. I'm guessing that the drug being tested as it was in a phase 1 clinical trial has tested on at least 2 animal models first and has probably also been tested in cell culture experiments and in numerous other ways. Despite this it still had disasterous consequence [although I suspect however that at least one animal model will be found which does predict the disasterous results if it is tested further]. For some opponents, I guess it supports their view but for many supporters of animal view, I think it supports their view even better. Which is to say that animal testing, may provide the wrong information some times, but how often does it prevent the disaster that occured in this phase 1 clinical trial? For them, pharmaceutical testing especially is a serious of steps, each of which provides some good information and some bad information, none of which can be skipped at the current time unless we want to have many more disasters. Nil Einne 16:41, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
It was tested on rabbits and monkeys. I think it's too early to extrapolate lessons from it. It could have been a bad batch or something. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:02, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
Due to their specificity antibody therapies may also be an example of therapies where animal trials alone can be seriously misleading, and that may have been the problem in this case, we shall have to wait and see. --Coroebus 10:07, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

As tragic this case was, it's one failures out of million cases. Suggesting that animal testing should be abandoned because of this individual case is like suggesting abandoning shipping because of the Titanic disaster. No one said animal testing was perfect. No one said it was pleasant. It only makes cases like this less frequent. Unfortunately it's necessary. Face the truth: if someone is opposed to testing, he/she should not enjoy the benefit it brings for us. No medicine, no preservatives, nothing -only this way can he/she avoid to be called a hypocrat. As a Biologist I chose a field where I don't have to perform experiments with animals, but fully understand their necessity. And I fully agree that any facilities conducting animal testing should be frequently monitored to ensure tha most humane treatment possible.

Please remember that this is not a discussion forum for personal beliefs. It is to discuss the content of the article. Also, claims such as 'Face the truth: if someone is opposed to testing, he/she should not enjoy the benefit it brings for us.' as these are POV and have no place in a discussion about the contents of this article. -Localzuk (talk) 20:06, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

G.hartig's changes

GH, you're making some odd edits, which is why I reverted e.g. calling dogs "canines," and using & instead of "and." Also, you say you know why anesthetics weren't used viz. that they were not needed or were "not possible," whatever that means. Could you please discuss your changes here on talk first? SlimVirgin (talk) 19:48, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Be happy to! Regarding the anaethetics not used, in the UK regulatory section it states that """ The experiments must use "the minimum number of animals, involve animals with the lowest degree of neurophysiological sensitivity, cause the least pain, suffering distress or lasting harm, and [be the] most likely to produce satisfactory results" """ Basically, that if the animal is likely to undergo suffering that can be adressed by an anaesthetic, it is to be used, unless it impacts on the results. Some procedures don't require anaethetics (such as giving a rat a special diet). Are there any other edits you're uncomfortable with?
In simply repeating what the UK regulations say, you're repeating their POV without explaining their terms, whereas if you read what you've written above, it's basically meaningless. And where you wrote it's "not possible" to use anesthetic, you were referring to that an anesthetic doesn't have to be used if it might impact on the results, which isn't what "not possible" means. We're not here to regurgitate what the British government says.
The UK government regulations are the law, not a POV, and the same source the anaesthesia statistic comes from. You are throwing "POV" around as a weapon to push your own agenda.--Coroebus 18:10, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
Ok, the item is not specifically POV, however it is too regionalised as this article is a global one. The statement of the 'facts' in this case should be worded to specifically mention that it is according to UK law. I agree with SlimVirgin that the use of statements such as 'not possible' is bad. It is not a case of 'not possible' but a case of 'would alter the results of the experiment if they were used'. The law is not perfect - it is, if this is looked at correctly - badly defined. -Localzuk (talk) 20:07, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
Could you say why you want to call a dog a "canine" instead of a "dog" and why you use & instead of "and"? I'm uncomfortable with your changes because they're not improvements. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:13, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
If you want to talk about anesthetics, perhaps you could find third-party sources on both sides who discuss the issue. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:14, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
Both the '&' and 'canine' edits were stylistic ones. When in writing text, "that is", "for example", "and" are used. When in brackets, abbreviations such as i.e., e.g. & are preferred. Regarding the dog section, the section is called 'dogs'. By changing the focus of the first sentence of the section from Beagles to dogs, I thought it sounded better to have the first word of the section as a different, synonymous word.
Please don't make stylistic changes like that. See our style manual. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:37, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
Regarding the anaesthetics, the sentance """Over half the experiments in Britain in 2004 — 1,710,760 — were conducted without anesthetic""" is less specific than including an explaination of why they were carried out without anaesthetic. Otherwise someone might construe it to be misleading.
By all means find third-party sources who discuss the issue, but you can't add what the British govt says as though it's a fact, especially not when it's actually meaningless. It's a contentious issue, so we would have to include both POVs back to back. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:37, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
Do you disagree with my changes to the mice section, or were they part of an en-masse revert?
I haven't looked at them. If you make unsourced or contentious edits, the entire edit is likely to be reverted, because people don't have time to pick through the edit. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:37, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually, now that I look at them, I recall that I did before. I couldn't see how they were improvements. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:40, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Sorry? None of them improved the article? Not one, in the slightest? G.hartig 20:43, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Hi G.hartig. There has now been a few people how have raised concerns about how meaningful the statement about anesthesia is (see discussion in last archive). I also have concerns about that, and think it does need to be qualified (though i also agree with Slim's point that "not possible" is not true. It is possible, its just not ideal for the experiment). I'll try and come up with something that gives this statistic some context, but if you have any ideas, please put them forward here and we can see if we can agree on something. Rockpocket 20:46, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Hi Rockpocket. I'd be happy to discuss and try to work out the anaethesia issue. Would it be suitable to leave the sentence as it stands and follow it with a statement to the effect of "not all procedures require anaesthesia, for example specialised diets"?

No, it wouldn't. It's obvious that not all procedures will require anesthetic, and there's no need to give examples as though most of what takes place in labs is the creation of specialized diets. We need third-party sources for such a contentious issue, who are as detailed and neutral as possible. SlimVirgin (talk) 21:08, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
SlimVirgin, we have to look at the statement about anaesthesia and ask what it is trying to say. Is it just giving the % of procedures carried out under anaesthetic? If so I vote remove as it is not very informative, but if we want it to stay we need to qualify it because currently it looks like it is there to try and suggest that many procedures are done that should (if say they were veterinary) be done under anaesthesia, but are not for experimental reasons (e.g. they are trying to cause pain) - if that is what it is there for then it is a misleading statistic, and should be removed, for instance 20% of procedures were breeding transgenics in colonies, that is 1/3rd of the procedures without anaesthesia. If you want to make a point about how many procedures are done that cause pain/suffering then we do indeed need a reliable source, I would say the British government would be a reliable source, but it is notable that they do not seem to publish those figures (probably deliberately) only giving them in terms of project licenses.--Coroebus 10:17, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
As I said, GH, I couldn't see the improvement. You introduced stylistic changes that are poor English and clash with our MoS. You introduced your own POV about anesthetics, not even paraphrasing what what you say your British govt source said (and if you had paraphrased it, it would still have been POV), and not linking to the source. You deleted "genetically tractable," rather than querying it here if you didn't like it. You want to call dogs "canines." You don't seem to know that the overwhelming majority of animals are used in only one procedure then killed. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:51, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm not saying my edits were perfect - god bless wikipedia. However, some of what was written on that page was incorrect. For example, in an LD50 you don't give two species a compound. Despite my professional background in that field, I have no idea what 'genetically tractable' means (the phrase doesn't appear in the article it links to, nor anywhere else in wikipedia). You can find some pretty apocryphal content in wikipedia at times and this is the first time my edits have been met with such hostility. I've never had an edit that fixes a broken link reverted before!  :-) By the way, I did know that almost all animals are used for one procedure. What I corrected was that "the figures show that the animals are used for only one procedure".

You didn't correct it. You deleted the whole sentence, and if you're saying you knew it was true, that's close to a WP:POINT. SlimVirgin (talk) 21:08, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Mate, since nothing on this page is up for discussion, I wish you all the best, and enjoy your page. Ciao. G.hartig 21:49, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

There are a lot more procedures that do not require anethesia such as behavioral tests, or breeding colonies to produce genetically modified animals. As well as modified diets, I've added these to the article to reflect the suggestions made by the majority of the editors. Nrets 15:09, 20 March 2006 (UTC)


I noticed in a recent edit an anonymous user added a lengthy list in the middle of the article of companies that do animal testing. Perhaps this might be worth moving to a separate article and adding a link somewhere in the article, or should we leave it as is? Nrets 18:14, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

On the grounds of being unencyclopedic I deleted this list. With all due respect, I don't think any conventional encyclopaedia would publish such a list of alleged companies using animal testing. The article is meant to define what it is; and if applicable, any controversy surrounding the topic. See Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_Is - GSchjetne 19:51, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
I support removal of the list from Wikipedia. --Username132 (talk) 09:40, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Ambiguous sentence

Hi Slim, i notice you queried:

"Cosmetics testing is particularly controversial... after 13 years of negotiations, the European Union agreed to ban such testing on animals in 2009, with a ban on products still tested on animals being introduced by 2014."

I agree it doesn't make much sense. It seems to suggest that testing will be banned within the EU from 2009 and bans of products tested on animals outside the EU will be implemented from 2014. I don't believe this to be correct, though. The 2009 date implements a ban on the sale of tested products [67]. However, this article may shed some light on what it is supposed to mean:

"The agreement to amend the EU's 1976 Cosmetics Directive defines 14 different types of tests currently performed on animals to determine the safety of consumer products. Of those 14 tests, 11 will be banned outright -- well, at least they will be banned by 2009, assuming there are no later extensions to that date.
The three remaining tests are designed to measure toxicity and potential reproductive side effects of chemicals. Those tests don't have any viable alternatives to using animals. So they are set to be banned in 2014, unless there are still no viable alternatives by then in which case those tests can be granted a 10 year extension. So maybe by 2024, the EU might be looking at banning all testing on animal products."

Want to change it, or shall I? Rockpocket 00:04, 15 April 2006 (UTC)


SV commented that the following is either untrue on not demonstrably true:

"Most scientists and governments say they agree that animal testing should cause as little suffering to animals as possible, and that animal tests should only be performed where necessary. The "three Rs" [119] are guiding principles for the use of animals in research in many countries"

I don't think there are many, at least Western countries, whose guidelines and or laws do not say "animal testing should cause as little suffering to animals as possible" or "animal tests should only be performed where necessary". Of course, since they then go on and define what is 'necessary' and what constitutes 'suffering' themselves, it may appear that those sentiments are not always followed through or adhered to. But in terms of guiding principles for, and in some cases the legal obligation of, those designing and carrying out the experiments, that sentence is pretty accurate in my experience for 5 or 6 European and North American countries (i'm i expect it wouldn't be too difficult to find sources from a few countries to back that up).

Whether scientists agree with those or not is speculative. I guess one way of rewording might be to change it to "Most scientists are required to work within government guidelines that propose animal testing should cause..." Rockpocket (talk) 18:15, 28 April 2006 (UTC)


This article is filled with bias. It covers a volatile topic, so some POV is expected.... but it seems to be particularly bad in this case. If I have time, I'll contribute to the "other side" in an attempt to make it a little more balanced, but I have a feeling that everything I say will either be deleted, or somehow invalidated by saying it's biased because of my expertise in the area.

What "other side" is that? I'm not sure what POV you think that this article is biased to - a brief read of the talk page archives will reveal that there are regular claims of bias from both 'sides'. I would sugget that it is unlikely you will have any success if shifting this article further towards any 'side' as its current state has only been reached after many hours of co-operative editing by editors from both 'sides'. However, if you think you can improve it, please make your suggestions on the talk page first - any major editing to the article directly will most likely get reverted. Rockpocket (talk) 18:46, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
Considering there are only 12 lines of text outlining the benefits of animal testing.. and essentially the rest of the article is against it... I would say it was POV. In addition, the first image people see is a scared tattooed monkey huddled in the corner of a cage. Primate research probably represents 1% of animal testing, yet this is the first image we see. In addition, if by compromise you mean people simply giving up due to edit wars, then yes, there is a lot of compromise going on around here.
Well i can say for sure that is not true, as i personally wrote a significant proportion of the sections on legislation, pure research and alternatives. These sections are factual, sourced, definately not "against it", and they amount to considerably more than 12 lines. There has been debate on the placement of images. I agree that a monkey is probably not the best primary illustration, but there was no consensus to swap it. However, the legend clearly states the tiny proportion of animals testing monkeys amount to. Plus it is true that monkeys are a key concern of a lot of people interested in animal testing. There are images from pro-testing sources further down the article, so i don't see how there is really an overall imbalance. If you think you can improve the article, do feel free to make suggestions though. What is required is a section on applied research - its something i've been meaning to do for a while. Rockpocket (talk) 20:00, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Second that POV is violated. Article is very much biased against animal research. Beginning is very choice of name "animal testing" instead of "animal research" which suggests that most research is simple, invasive and involves testing chemicals.
Monkeys and beagles are propaganda poster of activists, who feel that public would approve research on invertebrates or mice (99% of research animals)
You must remember that POV is not the same as biased. Also, the article is about animal testing not research - as I read it anyway. Animal research implies research with and about animals so would be a lot more wide ranging than this article.-Localzuk (talk) 12:48, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

I further believe the article is biased against the use of animals in research. I conduct animal research for a living, and find it entirely defensible, although the arguments that would typically be used in its defense are largely absent. The article spends an inordinate amount of time expounding "talking points" of animal rights activists. There is a WIKI page on animal rights, these points would be better referred to the animal rights page. The "battle" is on the front of animal welfare, animal rights are not an issue at any level, and are not recognized by the governments of any nation that conducts research with animals.

Instead, the justification for animal research is that animals are used in research in order to advance society. There is no other justification used or acceptable. The amount of pain and suffering allowed must be balanced against the potential gains for society, and this requires weighing animal use in non-research areas against animal use in research areas. In the US 2-3 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year. Several million deer are shot in hunting for sport. Over a hundred million large animals are used in agriculture. And under 100,000 dogs, cats, and monkeys are used in research.

The use of animals in research is allowable only if a peer group evaluates the research aims and finds them consistent with animal use in general. The same standards are applied for all non-rodent mammals in research or testing of any sort in the USA.

Given that this evaluation is done in a balance and by peers, standards for animal welfare, and for research, are changing annually. This practice is somewhat aggravating to scientists, who must on one hand recognize the need for the system to work the way it does, and on the other hand adopt lower-efficiency ways of conducting research. Every year you need to work harder and spend more money just to achieve the same scientific merit.

That is the way the system works, it is basically the same in the US and the European Union, the regulation of animal welfare encompasses the regulation of experiments, and peer groups decide where to draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable practice.

Animal rights are irrelevant to the regulation of animal testing. Several high profile animal rights activism events have altered animal welfare laws, but no legal body has accepted animal rights are relevant to regulation of animal research. They have found sub-standard care in animal welfare as pointed out by activists, and acted to decrease the occurrence of sub-standard animal welfare. These points would be well recognized on an animal welfare or animal rights page.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

First may I ask you to sign your posts by using ~~~~. Second can I ask you to provide specific examples of what you complain of. If something is sourced and presented in the correct way, it is not POV.-Localzuk (talk) 15:06, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

I would not presume to let the obvious "speciesism" argument from the British House of Lords are as the moral basis for animal research worldwide (third paragraph in the top). Speciesism clearly is at play, but the basic position is that we sacrifice animal pain and suffering to advance society. The problem there is that the House of Lords states that we are allowed to use animals "for our own purposes". The reality is that the value of animal pain and suffering in our use of them is weighed against the value of benefits we may derive from their use. The House of Lords arguments makes it sound as though animals are value-less, and that clearly is not reflected in actual regulation of animal use in Britain or the USA or any other nation (except maybe China).

The second paragraph from the top says the topic is controversial. An incredible incredible minority of people are animal rights activists. Something REALLY controversial would be getting rid of animal research, but that is unthinkable currently. I would say the entire second paragraph is out of touch with legal regulation of animal use in any westernized nation. No legal body disputes the value of this research, and all of them support regulation of it in forms similar to those currently in use. That doesn't make it controversial at all. The incredibly vocal minority is really getting the best of you.

Vivisection, as a term, has CLEAR PEJORATIVE connotations, which is why animal rights activists use it to refer to research nearly exclusively, but animal researchers, and animal welfare activists, never use it. It continuously creeps into your pages without taking note of this obvious bias. See the second paragraph in "History"

In animal regulation in Japan, there is no regulation. This is recognized by animal researchers. However, the research in Japan must conform to NIH guidelines to be acceptable in most major scientific journals, so they do in fact have to conform to the same guidelines in research as those in the USA. And, this change by the journals has altered research in Japan in the last five years.

The entire section "controversy on animal testing" should be moved to the animal rights page. Really, there is no debate whatsoever on animal testing. Every legal body agrees that animal welfare must be maintained, and that merit to society must justify the use of animals. The balance between merit to society and animal use is performed locally by IACUCs in the USA.

Again, there is a large section on violations of animal welfare as determined by a series of illegal raids by animal rights activists. It should be clear. There are enforced regulations. Anytime there are enforced regulations, there are some who violate the enforcement. Again, this entire section is talking points from animal rights activists. When legal bodies meet to decide on enforcement of animal welfare, they dismiss the ideas from animal rights. No one involved in the process of regulation or research accepts the ideas of animal rights.

As someone professionally engaged in animal research, I can tell you first hand I deal with issues of animal welfare and IACUCs on a regular basis. Animal rights activists, and their talking points, are utterly irrelevant. Animal testing is about animal welfare, and making the world a better place. And from reading your WIKI page, you would be hard pressed to think that animal research should be carried out at all - in sharp contrast with its legal regulation. The governments of the US, Britain, and European nations spend HUGE AMOUNTS of money paying researchers to do science on animals for good reason, and that is completely lost in your animal rights bias. For example, one in five children died of smallpox, between 2 and 6 years old, in Britain before Jenner's work. Can you imagine losing 1 in 5 children at that age today? 1 in 100 people were paralyzed by polio before Salk. And on and on, the success stories of animal research are many, and are intimately intertwined with most medical and veterinary advances in the last 100 years.

Signed: a concerned animal researcher that can clearly see you have no idea what animal testing is about or how its regulation relates to animal welfare and animal rights. You really need to get it. Animal rights is not a part of regulation of animal research. No legal body accepts their propositions. Animal testing is about animal welfare, and otherwise using animals to advance the goals of our society.

I will reply to this when I have finished work.-Localzuk (talk) 15:56, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I think you are miss-understanding the way Wikipedia works. Information is presented on a subject and backed up with citations/references. This is sometimes countered by other information that is also backed up. All the information you have complained about and also presented is your opinion unless it can be backed up with reports from journals, news sites or other reliable sources. We will not be removing information on the basis that you think it is not a controversial subject - as it blatantly is. Please take a look around wikipedia and the howto's, you will then find out what Wikipedia is about and you will realise it is no place for opinion/POV comments such as those above - it is not a discussion board for expressing one's beliefs, it is an encyclopedia.-Localzuk (talk) 20:04, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Moral basis of use of animals in the USA (for the third paragraph from the top): "the Congress finds that the use of animals is instrumental in certain research and education for advancing knowledge of cures and treatment for diseases and injuries which afflict both humans and animals."


If you follow this Congressional statement to its philosophical roots, it also engages in speciesism, but it portrays the mentality of animal researchers in the US more accurately.

I still find it incredulous that the topic be portrayed as "controversial". You could use the same logic to conclude anything is "controversial" so long as 0.1% of the population engages in adequately vocal opposition. The US Congress finds animal testing is instrumental to advance knowledge and reduce animal and human pain and suffering. If you further follow the historical development of animal rights, you will find that this Congressional statement was added to the Animal Welfare Act after Alex Pacheco created the Silver Spring Monkey incident and testified in front of Congress. Congress made it clear at that point, in writing, that animal rights forms no part of animal testing. Animal welfare is a completely different issue.

This is the way the POV of the WIKI article is off. No one involved in animal testing accepts that animal rights has anything to do with animal testing. Yet a substantial portion of the article on animal testing deals with animal rights (which has its own WIKI page).

Signed: a concerned animal researcher. June 28, 2006 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

That's because we're not writing the article entirely from the point of view of animal researchers or the U.S. Congress. SlimVirgin (talk) 14:40, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

The US Congress regulates animal research in the USA. They give their own moral basis for this research, and it is written into law in the Animal Welfare Act specifically to make clear their consideration of animal rights. It is much more plainly and concisely written than the British Parliament's version. Not only that, this statement is the direct result of the largest animal rights issue in US history (the Silver Spring monkeys).

"the Congress finds that the use of animals is instrumental in certain research and education for advancing knowledge of cures and treatment for diseases and injuries which afflict both humans and animals."


Signed: a concerned animal researcher with an appropriate citation and reference. June 30, 2006

You are not understanding the argument. All information in the article has to be NPOV, however it does not mean the article has to not include criticisms. If you wish to include some information about the food security act of 1985 then do so but you must realise that everything that is in the article is related to Animal testing whether you think it is appropriate or not. (PS. Sign your posts with ~~~~ as it helps with archiving.-Localzuk (talk) 18:01, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Further to this, you are constantly mentioning 'moral basis for animal testing in the US' and citing a law. Laws and morals are different things, no-ones morals are decreed by law, they are based on their own views (which could be based on laws). Animal testing is a controversial subject, there are many organisations in many countries that promote animal rights and campaign against animal testing (such as Animal Aid Viva PETA BUAV NAVS. If there is a dissenting voice about a subject, by definition it is controversial. Just because the US govt. says Animal Rights is nothing to do with Animal testing doesn't mean a thing.
Take a look at Controversial for a definition of controversial. There is an active argument over this issue (as is shown by this very article and its talk page, by the media coverage of the issue, the protestors that demonstrate against it etc...).-Localzuk (talk) 18:07, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

The WIKI page on controversy also says "On the other hand, controversy is also used in advertising to try to draw attention to a product or idea by labeling it as controversial, even if the idea has become widely accepted to a given segment of the population. By doing this, the company hopes that people will wish to "see what all the commotion is" and pay to view the medium. This strategy has been known to be especially successful in promoting books and films."

And animal rights. The point to be made is that although some would call it controversial, the governments of every nation which has animal rights activists among its citizens supports, and pays for, animal testing, and accepts this as a moral practice. And all of them deny, point blank, any consideration of animal rights in the regulation of animal testing. This is a major point, that animal testing is widely widely accepted to the population as a whole in the USA, Britain, and all other westernized nations. The paragraph on "controversy", conveniently located as the 2nd paragraph on the page, doesn't recognize this point. The WIKI page on animal rights call it a radical social movement. On the WIKI page on animal testing, it would appear there is a legitimate debate on whether we ought to conduct animal testing at all because of the controversy with this radical social movement.

At a bare minimum the second paragraph should reflect that the representative governments of all westernized countries accept animal testing as a moral practice and fund it to improve their societies. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

You still are not understanding the point. People on this site are saying it is controversial and are backing it up with many different references. If you wish to include something about governments saying something is morally right (which I would say is pointless as morals are based on individual views not on the rulings of a government) then please do so but ensure you back it up. The fact still remains that it is a controversial subject simply because many people are questioning it. Scientists question it, government ministers question it (eg. Tony Blair stating there would be a full independent enquiry into the validity of animal testing during his 1997 campaign to be elected), people in general are questioning it. Just because the government says something does not mean it is true... (PS. Whey I say sign with ~~~~ I mean type four '~' symbols on their own without the nowiki tags.
There is a legitimate debate on whether animal testing should take place, here and elsewhere (in the scientific community - for example various Scientists, Doctors, Philoshophers etc... are all discussing it). I am sorry but stating that this is not controversial is plain wrong. -Localzuk (talk) 20:04, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Hello there, anonymous animal researcher. I too have extensive personal experience in animal research across a few continents. I have been reading your dialogue with interest and felt perhaps now was the time to interject.
While "controversy" is indeed a subject term, i do find it odd that you find its use in this context, well, controversial. A brief Lexus Nexis or Google search of the terms "animal testing" and "controversial" reveals plenty of examples of sources from all sides of the debate using those terms together, eg [68] [69] [70] [71] [72] [73] [74]. Wikipedia should reflect the situation as per primary and secondary sources, therefore it seems odd one would argue there is not a level of controversy around animal testing as a concept. While i agree that generally surveys suggest regulated medical research using animals is acceptable to most, it is also true that in many countries the tide of public opinion has turned against cosmetic testing and primate testing. These are types of "animal testing" and are most certainly controversial. Of course, the anti-testing brigade attempts to generate controversy to draw attention to what is, by most neutral accounts, a very noisy and effective minority. But there are remarkably successful at doing so, thus they have - according to notable and verifiable sources = created a controversy.
Incidently, as someone currently engaging in "vivisection" (i don't see the term as particuarly pejorative) the the US, i find that in general there is much less controversy about the subject than in Europe or Australia and South Africa. Which may (or may not - I don't know your location) impact on your opinion. Having navigated the weekly protests outside the National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, i am all too aware of the controversy that surrounds medical research ouside the US. Rockpocket 20:19, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Please point me to a single example of an animal testing or research group using the term "vivisection" to describe its own practices. The term specifically means "cutting up live animals", and refers only to the negative aspects associated with physiological studies on animals. It is specifically for this reason that animal rights groups refer to animal research using this term almost exclusively. Indeed, if I google for "vivisection animal research" then all the hits come back with animal rights groups' websites, or in which the term "vivisection" appears in the name of an animal rights group. In the war on words, the word vivisection is used pejoratively to refer to animal research - as though what I do for a living is get my jollies cutting up animals, instead of trying to address important scientific and medical issues using animal research as one tool.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I'll give you some examples of controversial subjects from history that were controversial due to a small minority being noisy about it:
  1. Black rights - the people proposing rights for non-white people were a minority, it was still controversial though (even though governments across the world said it was moral).
  2. Women's rights - again, a minority.
  3. War on iraq - Controversial even though it was 'morally right' according to GW Bush and Tony Blair.
There are countless other examples of this throughout history.
Also, the use of vivisection as a general term is explained well in the Vivisection article and backed up by [75] - quote Operation on a living animal for experimental rather than healing purposes; more broadly, all experimentation on live animals.-Localzuk (talk) 21:01, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Surgery is the set of practices used to treat disease physically. In animal research, surgical technique is used often. However, these procedures do not treat disease. For this reason, and to remove the association of animal research with surgery, animal rights' groups refer to these practices as 'vivisection'. The term is used SPECIFICALLY to draw a wedge between surgery and animal physiological procedures that utilize surgical practice but do not treat disease. Nearly every use of the word 'vivisection' on the web was placed there by animal rights' groups, or by someone who inadverdently did not know their agenda. You will not find the word 'vivisection' in use by any animal researcher. Indeed, I was trained by animal and human surgeons in surgical practice, and I refer to my procedures as surgical, as does every other animal researcher - because they utilize surgical practices. Otherwise, I would refer to them as a part of animal research. But 'vivisection' is a strange word, and while technically accurate, it is not in common use in medical centers, veterinary centers, or any research centers or literature - EXCEPT as placed by animal rights' groups.

It is specifically used to draw more attention to the negative connotations to animal research, and is pejorative for that reason. If I perform medical research, I get a more positive reaction from people than if I perform vivisection - even if both are technically accurate.

But it is really the one-sided usage of 'vivisection' that argues it should be removed from Wikipedia. It would be several thousandfold scarcer in use if animal rights' groups didn't use it. You would not even know what it meant. That word is a very intentional and specific part of their agenda.

I will be happy to agree animal testing is controversial. There are enormous variations in the balance between animal welfare and scientific merit even across research centers in the USA. But I think the second paragraph should include the mention that a) hundreds of hearings for governmental regulation agencies in all westernized nations have resulted in some balance between animal welfare and animal research b) all westernized nations not only sanction animal testing but also fund it. Even primate research is still carried out in all major research nations including Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the US, Canada, Mexico, and of course Japan and China. c) some nations, most notably China and Japan, have no controversy, no regulations of animal welfare or animal rights, and try to use their lack of regulation as an advantage. And it is a substantial advantage in speed of achieving scientific merit. It is not the regulations that slow research so much, but negotiating the bureaucratic infrastructure necessary to maintain it.

The verbiage against animal testing is being increasingly pushed against it. Animal researchers are too afraid of being targetted by animal rights' groups. Although these groups have been unsuccessful in getting any legislation about animal rights passed, they are quite good at making animal researchers' lives miserable. The tactics range from mild harassment to flat-out terrorism. It is for this reason few researchers will even engage in debate, and for this reason that I post here anonymously. However, the reality that I see every day engaging in animal research and some of the content of the Wikipedia page are not in sync. I have previously edited it for veracity along many lines without issue. But the second and third paragraphs really miss the important point that nations regulate animal research in a balance between animal welfare and animal testing. There is controversy over animal rights, sure, but no action. There is tremendous action in the controversy between animal welfare and animal research, because when a group of unbiased people seeking to improve society get together to consider the issue, they find animal rights absurd, but animal welfare important. That point is drawn clearly in the quote above, which was very specifically placed into law to tell PETA that the US Congress thought their ideas on animal rights were not consistent with our society. Scientific merit is achievable while maintaining higher and higher levels of animal welfare, and this is demonstrated in the millions and millions of pages the USDA keeps per the Animal Welfare Act. 13:31, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

I think you make some valid points there (though what you would have in the introductory paragraph appears overlong in my opinion, some of those may be better expanded in the main article). The use of the term "vivisection" is already minor in the article. If there is only critical sources which use the term then that should perhaps be mentioned. I have no problem with that. Though do not find the term pejorative personally, if its main use is to criticise that it should be noted, we should not just have the term removed. Why don't you draft, with sources, some of what you would like to see included and we can discuss that specifically as opposed to more generalised debate about what is missing. Rockpocket 18:47, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Dewikification Proposals


I propose that the article 'human' has little or no significant relevance to animal testing, the link is unlikely to followed and should therefore be removed from this article. --Username132 (talk) 10:57, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Considering hon-human primates is linked a few lines further down, i concur that the human in hon-human animals probably does not need to be linked. I have no problem with it being de-linked. Rockpocket (talk) 18:50, 30 April 2006 (UTC)


The sentence In France, legislation (principally the decree of October 19, 1987) contains linked dates. Following those links, nothing is mentioned regarding animal testing or legislation on the subject. I propose the removal of the links. Any objections? --Username132 (talk) 09:52, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

According to WP:CONTEXT, dates should be linked to allow date preferences to work. I see no reason to de-link this one. Rockpocket (talk) 19:43, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Country Names

I propose that the articles on all countries have little or no significant relevance to animal testing and link to them add nothing to this article on animal testing. I suggest that they are all removed. Does anyone disagree with the removal of any or all such links? --Username132 (talk) 09:33, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

No problem with delinking countries, but i would suggest the European Union be left as a link, as i think it has context in terms of standardising animal rights law and legislation across the Eurozone. Rockpocket (talk) 19:47, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

University of Cambridge

With regard to this section:

"In February 2005, while applying for a judicial review of laboratory practices in the United Kingdom, BUAV told the High Court in London that internal documents from the University of Cambridge's primate-testing labs showed that monkeys had had the tops of their heads sawn off to induce a stroke, and were then left alone after the procedure for 15 hours overnight, with their brains exposed and no veterinary care, because staff only worked from nine to five."

Do we have any independent evidence that BUAV actually claims the animals were left overnight with their brains exposed? I also mentioned this question in Talk:Primate experimentation at Cambridge University, which strangely isn't linked to from this section--Coroebus 00:13, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Hi Coroebus, I don't quite understand your question. Do we have evidence that the BUAV claimed this? Or do we have evidence independent of the BUAV that it was actually the case? SlimVirgin (talk) 00:15, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Hi again, now I understand what you mean. I've removed the reference to exposed brains until it's firmed up, and I've simply repeated what the Guardian said about it. Thank you for pointing it out. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:25, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Had a quick look through the report pdf and it doesn't look like they made the brains exposed allegation, suggesting the line is a misreading of the poorly worded Guardian article.--Coroebus 00:27, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

important tests

the article doesn't make clear that there ARE important tests on animals, i mean sure there is lots of phd and commercial shit but there also are lots of useful things (medicines for exemple) that NEED to be tested in some live organism and than can be used to save humans, and ecoterrists who are against it do not offer themselves or their children to be tested, i.e. ruin progress on research on cure of diseases. this article is peta pov. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 27 May 2006.

"NEED" is a subjective term, in animal testing, and thus we cannot make a case for it in an encyclopædia. Instead we say why some people believe they are important and why others disagree. Then you can make your own mind up. Rockpocket -talk- 01:19, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Use of great apes, including humans, in Britain

The article has the following paragraph:

"Most of the NHPs used are baboons, macaques, marmosets, and chimpanzees. The use of great apes, also known as Hominidae — humans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans — is prohibited in Britain, but chimpanzees are still used in the U.S., with an estimated 1,300 in use at any given time, according to the Humane Society of the United States."

Aren't humans used to test new drugs after they have been shown to be safe in other species? This implies that they are not. Gary 18:48, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

NHP means non-human primate, and the entire article deals with involuntary testing in non human animals. However, the definition of Hominidae placed there does make make it somewhat ambiguous. There is another problem here. The use of non human apes is not actually prohibited by law in the UK, it is just that Home Office policy is not to grant licenses at this time. I'll try and reword. Rockpocket 19:06, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Fake photo

Another fake appeared on page. Pavlow dog experiments from 1890's couldn't be photographed on color.

I must say, animal rights section in Wikipedia contains unusually many suspicious materials. :-( —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Incorrect I'm afraid. Colour Photography was working just fine by 1861. However it was still highly experimental (the film was not too great and it required 3 cameras to do the job). Further to this, the dog is stuffed and in a museum - not actually a living dog... Also, please sign your posts with ~~~~, and put new posts at the bottom of the page.-Localzuk (talk) 10:22, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
If dog is stuffed in museum, photo caption should say this.
It does say that in the caption. The exact caption is "One of Pavlov’s dogs with a saliva-catch container and tube surgically implanted in his muzzle. Pavlov Museum, 2005" The last bit is the bit which describes the photo's origin - 'Pavlov Museum, 2005' which indicates the photo is from the Pavlov Museum and was taken in 2005. -Localzuk (talk) 15:10, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Just say "stuffed" or "mounted". The museum can have both photos of actual experiments and historical exhibits. The photo looks very much like live dog. It is also unclear to me if apparatus is original (I suppose not, during all preserving and mounting an exhibit specimen, it would be difficult that delicate glass stayed in original position).
It does not look even look remotely like a live dog. Anyway, Pavlov's archive's are apparently publicly available and if you want to do some internet hunting, you might be able to find an original photo of his dogs, which we can include here and in the Pavlov article. Nrets 16:52, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
It looks like. And quite a happy dog. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
I'm sorry but it does not look even remotely alive. The eyes are blatantly fake. Also, if you click on the image, a larger description is provided there. I do not see the advantage of adding 'stuffed' into this box - it doesn't actually change anything in the article. -Localzuk (talk) 16:02, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Another misleading

"It is estimated that 100 million–200 million animals worldwide [7] [8] [9] are used annually and subsequently killed in scientific procedures,"

Propose to remove "and subsequently killed".

Sentence wrongly claims that all experimental animals are killed after experiments and annually. It is obviously not true (ageing and behavioral experiments and primate experiments are obvious example. It also mixes referenced numbers with un-referenced and wrong assumption.

You state 'ageing and behavioural experiments', but if you work on a rolling scheme, some experiments will be coming to a close and therefore the animals will be killed during the same year that new ones will take place. Maybe it should be reworded slightly but not removed. -Localzuk (talk) 13:17, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Wrong. Not all animals are killed after experiments. Ageing experiment is obvious example, because it often follows animals to their natural death (eg. mice given restricted calories diet live longer compared to controls). Animals in behavioral experiments usually participate in many different experiments over years. Experimental primates frequently (or usually) are retired into sanctuary after experiments (eg. HIV test chimps). Cloning is another obvious example where animal is raised to live, not killed.

I have reworded it slightly to reflect this. I have said 'many' are subsequently killed. Is this acceptable? -Localzuk (talk) 15:09, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Many is a weasel word. Is many 100 or 100,000,000 animals? Please, provide a number or proportion of annually killed animals.
Most readers would perhaps prefer 'vertebrate' animals. The vast majority of research animals are fruitflies and worms with always short lifespan (weeks) and high mortality (Earth has no resources to sustain their breeding).
  • It would be nice to have some actual statistics that break these things down, by species and type of procedure, but I haven't been able to find anything comprehensive. Nrets 17:02, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Also remember that the part in question is the intro so should not go into too much specific detail. The stats are provided in more detail further into the article. -Localzuk (talk) 18:31, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Even in the body of the article where it repeats the same point there are no real statistics regarding the ultimate fate of the animals in question, and how this varies by species. Nrets 20:06, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
It is policy of Wikipedia not to use weasel words. If you cannot reword it without weasel words, just accept original proposition and delete text.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
I still believe that removing it would be removing a valid piece of information. I will find a publication that states that they are killed in order to qualify it. (Please remember to sign your posts!)-Localzuk (talk) 09:47, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
All the authoritative sources confirm that the overwhelming majority of animals are killed after the procedures, and if you look at the number used versus numbers killed, you'll see that the figures differ by only a tiny number. The sources were in the article the last time I looked. SlimVirgin (talk) 10:03, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I changed 100-200 million back to 50-100 million. I don't know when it was changed, but all the sources say at the low end 50 million, and at the high end 100 million, and the Nuffield link says between 50 and 100 million. SlimVirgin (talk) 10:06, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
It is plainly misleading especially in context of monkeys and apes. There is even no possible way, how over 50,000 of monkeys and 1000 chimps could be delivered annually to labs, if they were killed.
Where does the context of monkeys and apes come in to it? The line states how many animals a year are tested on and that many die afterwards. Are you discussing a seperate section now? -Localzuk (talk) 15:59, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Image of monkey at beginning of article

This has probably been discussed before, but why not use the picture of Pavlov's dog at the top of the article, instead of the picture of the monkey? The monkey seems to be there to produce an emotional reaction in readers of the article, and there is already a photo of a mistreated primate (Britches) under the Allegations of Abuse section. Pavlov's dog, however, illustrates a valid, well-known, scientific use for animal testing, and is a member of a species much more commonly used in animal testing. (left unsigned by User:Gary2863)

I had initially advocated a picture of a rat or mouse, but people complained because "this did not cause as much of an emotional reaction than the monkey". And since a number of editors seem to give more impotance to this reaction rather than a neutral discussion about animals in research, the idea was rejected. Maybe we can re-open a vote to change the picture to a rat or mouse? Nrets
I think you are misinterpretting the argument there. IIRC the case was that you wished to use an image that was nowhere near the same quality as the monkey. I do not recall any such argument on any page regarding the emotional impact. If there was then Wikipedia is not the place for this and it should be discussed again. If you dislike the monkey, please propose a photo of equal or better quality. -Localzuk (talk) 09:32, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Image should be a typical test, not sitting animal. It is 'animal testing" not "monkeys". And it should be on fruitfly or worm - most common experimental animals.
It just makes clear that this part of Wikipedia is dominated by people who turn information into propaganda. Further discussion seems pointless, because it is not arguments but "emotional reaction" which counts.
In fact, nrets, looking back at the actual argument, you stated that it isn't representative of animal testing - which I said was true so was willing to allow it to be moved down the page for a more representative image of equal quality to take its place. Rockpocket said that it monkey/primate testing is the thing that people think of when thinking about animal testing so he had no problem with it staying. You then proposed 2 pictures of mice - both of which are completely void of any relation to animal testing (in the photo's). So in the end, that debate ended with no change as it appeared you could not come up with a suitable replacement.
User: please assume good faith. We are all working to try and have an NPOV, well balanced, informative article. You have valid points but I believe, as Rockpocket (who IIRC is a pro-testing individual) stated, that this sort of image is what people think of when thinking of animal testing so is representative of that. If you can provide us with images of the same quality please do so. Do not state that anyone turns information into propoganda - as you will see that most of the editors on these types of articles are good NPOV editors and have in fact removed a lot of anti-animal testing POV from the articles. -Localzuk (talk) 09:43, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for a classical example of propaganda trying to keep the uncomfortable information away. Purpose of encyclopedia is telling what animal testing IS, not what you THINK it is.
Please assume good faith! Also, you have not actually entered in to the debate very well there, instead choosing ad hominem attack instead of replying to my questions - have you got an image of equal or better quality that you think depicts animal testing suitably?
One option that I don't think has been looked at is removing the image altogether and not replacing it. Does the article need an image that provides a generalised impression of animal testing? -Localzuk (talk) 15:54, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Also, I forgot to say, Wikipedia is built on consensus. If the editors of this page have decided that an image should stay because that is what people think of when they think of animal testing then it should stay until that consensus changes. One opposing voice is not enough, IMO, to change the decision of the number who put it there. If you can convince us otherwise (with good argument - not ad-hominem attacks, suggestions of suitable replacement images) then I am sure we, as reasonable people, will agree. -Localzuk (talk) 15:56, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I had proposed this image, which is of an albino rat, and which was specifically bred for laboratory research. So why does this have no relation to animal testing? The rat is obviously not in any natural environment and is in something that looks like a laboratory. Or is it that only a picture of a rat undergoing a procedure or another is acceptable? I also think there is nothing wrong with the quality of this image. Nrets 18:08, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

That image is high quality but it does not relate very well to this article for the following reasons:
1. It is of an albino rat - yes they are used in experiments but I have 3 as pets.
2. It is not in an any way laboratory/testing situation - the image looks a lot like a studio photograph to me, hence the darkened background and clean, clear sheet on which the rat is sitting
The animal is an environment that could either be seen as a pet rat or a lab rat. I would personally prefer something a little closer to a lab situation as the article is about animal testing - it doesn't have to be undergoing a procedure, it could just actually be in a lab (as the monkey one is at the moment). What do you think about getting rid of the image altogether?-Localzuk (talk) 19:27, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I oppose removing or replacing this image. The intro is already POV in favor of animal testing, and the motivation for using a mouse or fruit fly is to POV it in that direction even further. This is a photograph of an animal in a laboratory setting where the researchers didn't know the photograph was being taken. That's as authentic as you can get. Any image they give permission to use or have on their own websites is one they have staged, at least to some degree. Bear in mind that this image is nowhere near any of the really bad ones that are available. There used to be a photograph of a dog there, but that got objected to by a pro-animal testing person, and so it was replaced. The pro-lobby won't be happy until we have a photograph of a mouse reclining on a chaise longue and nibbling some caviar. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:46, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
The rat picture is from the NIH, and was intended to show some of the species used for research. The sheet under the rat looks like a standard lab diaper pad. I don't know why SV is making the assumption that if an animal looks calm and healthy, then it could not possibly be in a laboratory or animal housing setting. Also, if you are showing a picture which as you claim was taken covertly without permission, then isn't this somehow illegal? Can I sneak into your kitchen, take some pictures and post them, without your permission, under the Wikipedia article about kitchen sinks? Somehow I don't think this would fly. But anyway, that's not my point, my point is that rodents are by far more commonly used than primates and therefore better represent animal research. As far as not having a front picture, I think that's a fair compromise and I support Localzuk's suggestion. Nrets 20:31, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
There has been a test case about the legality of using these images, brought by one of the animal-testing companies using your argument, but it was rejected. I disagree that rodents are more representative. To maintain that, you'd have to mount an argument that what matters is numbers. But if that is your argument, then we'd have to go with fruit flies. There is no reason not to have an image. Most, if not all, good articles have an image at the top. This just an effort to make the introduction even more POV, and it can't continue. SlimVirgin (talk) 21:14, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Excellent idea, maybe then we can use this image. Nrets 00:35, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Putting it that way, we should leave it as it is. The issue is that the image is a good one and is a good image of a non-staged lab situation. It is not full of gore etc... (as most of the images available are).
Also, on the legality side of things. The US Supreme Court recently ruled against Covance after they tried to block the publication of various video's, photo's and information regarding the research done at their sites. The judge, IIRC, stated something along the lines that 'It is in the public interest that this information be available'. There are many images, almost identical to this with a cleaner bill of health from the EU (again, from Covance and again various judges have ruled that the information/videos/images are legal to publish. The images are public domain (as in there is no copyright due to the people who took the photos releasing them saying so). So, I believe that it should stay as it stands really, unless someone can provide a compelling argument to pursuade me otherwise.-Localzuk (talk) 23:02, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Irrespective of the legality, every vivarium i have been in has policies that restrict the taking of photographs without permission of the people in them. This is for the obvious reason that the photographs could idenfify a worker who could then be harrassed by militant animal liberation groups. Therefore it would be impossible to get a photograph of a lab animal being experimented on that was not "staged" (in that the person involved did not know they were being taken). Thus any such 'non staged' photographs that are taken will be done convertly, and anyone that does that clearly has an agenda. Therefore we are left with the problem what covertly taken photographs may not represent the reality, just as "staged" ones may not either. If there is a real desire for a rodent photo in a lab situation, i can take a hi-res photo of a lab mouse in its cage, or sitting on my hand (but of course, that would still be "staged).
For the record, i didn't object to the monkey image previously, as in my experience, it looks to me much like a regular primate in a vivarium realy does. Just as the two RDS images of the mouse rack and beagle cage reflect reality (again, in my experience). Therefore i don't think any of those images can be called misleading. As to which one should be at the top of the article? Well, it seems to be to be very subjective. Yes, primates make up a small proportion of all animals tested, but they are also the most high profile. On principle, i guess i would support a good image of a mouse or rat in a cage, rather than a primate at the top, but i really don't think it is a big deal. Rockpocket 01:06, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree it isn't that big of a deal but still disapprove of replacing it with an image of an animal not in a lab situation. Just a quick thought? How is a photo taken covertly not true to reality? Isn't that exactly what it is? A staged one of a lab situation by an organisation is more biased in my opinion due to the fact that the animals are being portrayed in a much better situation than they are normally in. A covert one is a snapshot of a real situation. -Localzuk (talk) 12:54, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
It seems we're agreed that, even although this photograph was taken covertly, it's representative of the way primates look in labs, which (as I see it) is good from the point of view of being realistic, and also good because it wasn't staged by the lab, so we have the best of both worlds. We also seem to agree that primates are the most high profile lab animals, and if we were going to judge by numbers alone, we would have to use an image of a fruit fly, which would make us look silly. All in all, I can't see any compelling argument for changing it, except to make the intro even more in favor of animal testing. SlimVirgin (talk) 13:01, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, I see monkeys all the time, and monkeys in labs are rarely if ever shaved from head to toe. That monkey looks like a fraternity prank gone awry. Why not use "Ham the Chimp", the first ape in outer space? OR Sam the Rhesus Space Monkey The rationale for these is that 1) they are well-known 2) both animal testers and animal rights activists can easily see them as examples of animal testing.--Animalresearcher 20:15, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

It doesn't seem to me that "we're agreed". I detect some dissent here. Some people have said they don't think it's a big deal, but that's not the same as agreement. I can see several problems with this picture: i) the suggestion that covert pictures have not or cannot be staged is not true - there are instances of activists staging situations and then taking pictures, or simply taking pictures of one animal that looks miserable out of many that do not - 'covert' ie 'anti-viv' pictures are no more NPOV than 'staged' ie 'pro-viv' ones; ii) this image suggests the monkey is caged, not gang-housed which is more usual; iii) use of a monkey (or dog or cat) suggests it's a commonly used lab animal; iv) there are good pictures available of lab mice and rats - see the photolibrary on for instance, or or or 15:54, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
All of the sites you list contain images that are unsuitable for the following reasons: 1. The images are copyrighted by their respective creators (compared to the current one being PD, so takes preference), 2. The images of the labs at the RDS exhibit all the problems explained earlier about staged images. Also, I think you'll find a general murmering of agreement by myself, slimvirgin and rockpocket. So far we have not had a quality image that is good enough suggested. -Localzuk (talk) 17:03, 26 June 2006 (UTC)


After having just re-read the introductory paragraphs on this article, I would have to agree with SlimVirgin's comment that it is biased. To give a little bit of an example, the following paragraph is an extract of all the pro-testing information in the into:

"The topic is controversial, with supporters and opponents arguing about ethical issues and whether using animal models is good or bad science. According to the U.S. Foundation for Biomedical Research, "[a]nimal research has played a vital role in virtually every major medical advance of the last century — for both human and animal health." [4] Many major developments that led to Nobel Prizes used animal research, including the development of penicillin (mice), organ transplant (dogs), and work on poliomyelitis that led to a vaccine (mice, monkeys). [5] he moral basis of the pro-testing position was summarized by a British House of Lords inquiry in 2001–2: "The institution of morality, society, and law is founded on the belief that human beings are unique amongst animals," and are therefore morally entitled to use them for their own purposes. This belief is "combined with a further belief that there is a moral imperative ... to develop medical and veterinary science for the relief of suffering ..." [8] Some people also believe that animals may suffer less during experiments than human beings would, arguing that although all mammals have similar pain receptors and central nervous system pathways and may feel physical pain in the same way, non-human mammals suffer less because they have a reduced capacity to remember and to anticipate pain. [9]"

The following is now the extract of all animal rights information:

"Whether animal research was necessary to achieve these breakthroughs has been questioned by animal rights groups [6] and critics of the animal model [7] Opponents of animal testing strongly contest these views."

A little bit unbalanced wouldn't you say? How can we reduce the pro-testing information - as including any more information in the intro would make it overly long? -Localzuk (talk) 23:08, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

After writing part of the intro a few months ago, my plan was to add a final anti-testing paragraph, but then pro-testers kept adding more pro material and I couldn't be bothered to fight (believe it or not). :-) My suggestion is that we remove the second paragraph entirely, because that detail can be in the body. We could also remove the details about major developments and the Nobel Prize, and just leave that part with the quote from the Foundation for Biomedical Research. Then we should reduce the quotes from the House of Lords, or paraphrase them so they're shorter, and then we'd have space for a few anti-testing sentences.
Suggestion (I've left out the references):
The topic is controversial, with supporters and opponents arguing about ethical issues and whether using animal models is good or bad science. According to the U.S. Foundation for Biomedical Research, animal research has played a "vital role in virtually every major medical advance of the last century." The moral basis of the pro-testing position was summarized by a British House of Lords inquiry, which concluded that "the institution of morality, society, and law is founded on the belief that human beings are unique amongst animals," and may therefore use them for their own purposes. There is also an argument that animals may suffer less during experiments than human beings, because although all mammals have similar pain receptors and central nervous system pathways, non-human mammals may have a reduced capacity to remember and anticipate pain.
Opponents of animal testing strongly contest these views. [Continue with a new anti-testing paragraph, same length as the one above.] SlimVirgin (talk) 23:28, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. -Localzuk (talk) 23:40, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree that removing the second paragraph is fine, but I don't like the shortened version of the other paragraph. I think that listing the advances (of which these are only a handful) is important. Finally, this point about the pro-testing side insisting that animals suffer less from pain is not representative of the pro-testing side. Most everyone, including those supporting animal research, will argue that animals suffer as much as humans and feel as much pain, this WP article is the only time I have heard anyone making this argument , which is clearly not representative of the pro-testing side. I sense that you insist on keeping this in the intro as some kind of ridiculous "straw man" argument. Nrets 00:32, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
We have to reduce the two pro-testing paras into one, so we can have one anti-testing para. As for the pain argument, it's a very common one. I think it was in the House of Lords report. They don't say animals feel less pain, just that they remember and anticipate it less, which is part of suffering. I'll look for a reference. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:36, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
How about moving the bit about the supposed reduced suffering to later in the article, since this is something which seems only to appear in the House of lords document and not a main point used to support animal research, and leaving the sentence about the various discoveries intact? Nrets 01:15, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree with SV about the pain issue. Its important to distinguish between objective nociception and subjective pain, that is the basis of the argument. However, i don't think it needs to be in the intro. I have no problem with the reworking of the intro as per suggested. However, i tend to agree about keeping the advances list, i think it is very important to give some kind of historical context in the intro.
Its interesting that Localzuk lists this as "pro-testing". It isn't. That "many major developments that led to Nobel Prizes used animal research, including the development of penicillin (mice), organ transplant (dogs), and work on poliomyelitis that led to a vaccine (mice, monkeys)" is simply a fact. Whether these experiments were neccesary or worthwile is debatable (and describing opinion on that would be pro- or anti-), but the fact itself is "neutral". Neither is the following describing the "pro-testing" position: "The topic is controversial, with supporters and opponents arguing about ethical issues and whether using animal models is good or bad science." Rockpocket 01:23, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
RP, the reason people want the Nobel Prize list in the intro is because it's perceived as being pro-testing, even though it's really neither here nor there. All these procedures routinely used animals, whether necessarily or not; indeed, it may even be the case that using animals slowed down research that would otherwise have proceeded faster. We don't have that information, because no parallel procedures that didn't use animals were conducted i.e. there were no meta procedures. It's a bit like me citing that it rains whenever I go out as evidence that my going out causes the rain. Just because animals were used in every experiment doesn't mean the experiments led to the results they did only because animals were used, and to reason that way is primitive thinking. Because there's the issue of intro length, we should put forward only the strongest pro- and anti-arguments we can find, using authoritative sources. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:53, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
I think the list of advances is a very strong argument, and a commonly made one, even if you don't like it. So we should keep it. The fact is that these major advances were made possible because of animal research, no matter how you try to turn this around. Nrets 01:59, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
No, it is, as a matter of hard, cold logic, a poor argument. You do not know, and you have no way of knowing, that these advances could only have been achieved using animal testing. SlimVirgin (talk) 02:25, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
No, It is SlimVirgin's argument that is poor. Adding the words "hard" and "cold" do little to shore up the flawed logic. The advances were made possible by animal testing. If SlimVirgin wishes they had been achieved some other way, that is an interesting point of view, and perhaps a valid argument against animal testing, but the fact is the road to these achievements was paved by animal testing. An encylopedic article about animal testing is not a forum for arguing in favor of alternatives nor for hiding facts that don't support a preferred point of view. The fact is that "[a]nimal research has played a vital role in virtually every major medical advance of the last century — for both human and animal health." If alternatives to the vital role played by animal testing are proposed in reputable published literature, those can be included in the article as counterpoint to the core fact. The availability of a viable alternatives would not, however, diminish the vitality of the role played by animal testing. To apply the same reasoning to another context, a leading actor plays a vital role in a film. That another leading actor could have been selected to play the vital role does not change the vitality of the role played. ForUsByUs 03:49, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree with ForUsByUs. Just because we do not know the the effect of not doing something, does not negate the importance of the fact that we know what happened when we did do something. Moreover, one of the major justifications for continuing to use animals is the empirical evidence of the successful outcomes of their use in the past. Again, be you of the opinion whether the logic is flawed or rational, that it is true it is nevertheless a cold, hard, verifiable fact. When summarising an article on animal testing, it seems ludicrous to me to not establish the important events it has played a role in historical context. Whether they were a help or a hinderance can be elaborated on further in the article. Rockpocket 05:18, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
I have to agree with SlimVirgin's logic on this one. We cannot simply say that these advances were made because of animal testing. Animal testing was part of the advances but how can we say that the advances wouldn't have happened without testing. To include it in the introduction is unnecessary as it is obviously a very contentious point and needs discussing in full in the article. The intro is supposed to be a short summary, not go into lists and details such as this. -Localzuk (talk) 11:43, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
RP, you have to distinguish between cause and effect and constant conjunction. That all successful experiments (for the sake of argument) use animals does not imply that the success depends on the use of animals. Perhaps if money had been poured into alternatives to animal research, all these advances would have been achieved faster, or perhaps better advances would have been achieved that still haven't been. Nothing prescriptive can be derived from the fact that animals were actually used. To argue that is to jump from an "is" to an "ought," which is a fallacy. The other problem with the Nobel Prize sentence is that it comes from the Foundation for Biomedical Research, as does the previous sentence, which I feel gives them too much say in the intro. They are a lobby group, not a serious publication. If we want to include arguments about how necessary some people believe animals are, let's find a decent scholarly source. SlimVirgin (talk) 12:01, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Hello, I am an anonymous animal researcher. SlimVirgin really argues from the animal rights POV, which is fine, all POVs should be represented, and Wiki should represent some balance. I'll throw in my $0.02 for the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs.

Proposed second paragraph

The topic is controversial in some nations. Animal testing unquestionably causes pain and suffering to animals. Animal researchers, and government agencies in every major research nation believe that animal research has a positive role in advancing society, both for medical and non-medical purposes. The US Congress summed these arguments in response to the Silver Spring incident by amending law to state "the use of animals is instrumental in certain research and education for advancing knowledge of cures and treatment for diseases and injuries which afflict both humans and animals." Animal testing has since continued in a balance between the pain and suffering of these animals, animal welfare restrictions, and scientific merit of the studies. The controversy has been heated by raids of animal research facilities, and theft of animals, to highlight deficiences in animal welfare in the current system. In some nations, most notably China and Japan, however, there is no legal regulation of animal welfare or testing, and little to no controversy. The principal regulation of animal welfare in these nations is the requirements from journal editorial boards (, which require all submitted works to comply to animal welfare standards in the journal's country.

I think the 3rd paragraph can go. It is more on the moral arguments, which is an issue that is big for animal rights activists, but isn't accepted as relevant to animal testing by the laws of nations that conduct animal research. However, if it must stay...

The moral basis of the pro-testing position was summarized by a British House of Lords report in 2002: "The institution of morality, society, and law is founded on the belief that human beings are unique amongst animals," and are therefore morally entitled to use them for their own purposes. This belief is "combined with a further belief that there is a moral imperative ... to develop medical and veterinary science for the relief of suffering ..." [15]. The most prominent counterarguments are that this practice is needless "speciesism", a view held by Peter Singer, philosopher and author of "Animal Liberation". A more extreme viewpoint is held by PETA, which believes consideration of animal pain and suffering should be equivalent to the consideration of human pain and suffering. 13:19, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

I actually think that the proposed second paragraph by the anonymous user is actually a good substitute for the current third paragraph. They both address the moral issues behind animal research, but the new peargraph is more complete and less focused on Britain. Nrets 14:35, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
I disagree on this. I'll break down the paragraph into my complaints:
  • The topic is controversial in some nations. Animal testing unquestionably causes pain and suffering to animals. - These 2 sentences are both far too short, unreferenced and are not encyclopedic.
  • Animal researchers, and government agencies in every major research nation believe that animal research has a positive role in advancing society, both for medical and non-medical purposes. - This is pov in that 'major research nations' needs a reference stating this. It also need references for all these nations having said what is stated.
  • The US Congress summed these arguments in response to the Silver Spring incident by amending law to state "the use of animals is instrumental in certain research and education for advancing knowledge of cures and treatment for diseases and injuries which afflict both humans and animals." - We need an acual reference for this rather than just an extract.
  • Animal testing has since continued in a balance between the pain and suffering of these animals, animal welfare restrictions, and scientific merit of the studies. - According to who is it in balance?
  • The controversy has been heated by raids of animal research facilities, and theft of animals, to highlight deficiences in animal welfare in the current system. - Each of the examples needs qualifying with a reference (raids, theft etc...). Also need reference that the controversy has been heated by such acts. Also we need a reference stating that the aim of the acts was to highlight dificiencies.
  • In some nations, most notably China and Japan, however, there is no legal regulation of animal welfare or testing, and little to no controversy. - We need a reference stating that there is little to no controversy else it is a POV statement.
With regards to your third paragraph replacement:
  • The moral basis of the pro-testing position was summarized by a British House of Lords report in 2002: "The institution of morality, society, and law is founded on the belief that human beings are unique amongst animals," and are therefore morally entitled to use them for their own purposes. - who makes the judgement 'therefore morally entitled to use them for their own purposes.'? If it is you then that is POV, if it is a report or statement from a source, please reference it.
  • The most prominent counterarguments are that this practice is needless "speciesism", a view held by Peter Singer, philosopher and author of "Animal Liberation". - Most prominient according to who?
  • A more extreme viewpoint is held by PETA, which believes consideration of animal pain and suffering should be equivalent to the consideration of human pain and suffering. - more extreme according to who? Can we have a reference to PETA's belief's?-Localzuk (talk) 16:01, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

The topic is controversial in some nations. Animal testing unquestionably causes pain and suffering to animals. Animal researchers, and government agencies in every major research nation believe that animal research has a positive role in advancing society, both for medical and non-medical purposes.

Add cites to

You have not addressed the badly constructed 2 sentences at the beginning. Also, you have not covered the fact that you state 'Animal researchers, and government agencies in every major research nation'. Who are these major research nations and can you back up the fact that they all state what you claim (otherwise it is not appropriate and needs to be narrowed down to the facts that you present).-Localzuk (talk) 21:15, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
The US Congress summed these arguments in response to the Silver Spring incident by amending law to state "the use of animals is instrumental in certain research and education for advancing knowledge of cures and treatment for diseases and injuries which afflict both humans and animals."

This text is verbatim from the Animal Welfare Act, after a set of Congressional Hearings in response to the Silver Spring monkey incident

Animal testing has since continued in a balance between the pain and suffering of these animals, animal welfare restrictions, and scientific merit of the studies. - According to who is it in balance?

Well, you could accept that it is according to me ;) Or, you could see that it is legislated as such. My studies have to be approved by an IACUC. In Britain, a cost-effectiveness analysis must be done. The point is, that animal welfare statutes require this balance. Of course, an animal rights activist would say there can be no balance, because no value is given to animal rights. They would be correct, legislative bodies have largely ignored animal rights, after debate, when constructing animal testing statutes.

Sorry but that doesn't work here. We need an actual reference that it is balance. Your opinion on the matter doesn't work as it would be original research-Localzuk (talk) 21:15, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
The controversy has been heated by raids of animal research facilities, and theft of animals, to highlight deficiences in animal welfare in the current system. - Each of the examples needs qualifying with a reference (raids, theft etc...). Also need reference that the controversy has been heated by such acts. Also we need a reference stating that the aim of the acts was to highlight dificiencies.

Reference Silver Spring, Britches For heating controversy reference Alex Pacheco. He worked as a lab technician, documented deficiencies of animal welfare, got the animals taken from the investigator, and worked the case to the US Supreme Court. His congressional testimony was part of the hearings that led to the shortly thereafter amendment to the Animal Welfare Act.

That still is your opinion. We need a reference to this claim. Also, you haven't covered that the aim of the raid was to highlight anything. We need a reference of this (the Pacheco doesn't cover it).-Localzuk (talk) 21:15, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
In some nations, most notably China and Japan, however, there is no legal regulation of animal welfare or testing, and little to no controversy

China cannot even adopt animal welfare practices for agriculture, much less research Japan is similarly far far behind the US, Britain, and EU nations with respect to animal welfare regulations.

I cannot find references for the lack of controversy, I similarly cannot find evidence of any calls from within Japan and China to end the use of animal testing in those nations. My own impression, having visited research centers in one and discussed animal welfare with researchers from the other, is that there is little to no public debate about whether to continue animal testing. Perhaps you can find a reference that such controversy exists?

As you are wishing to mention china and a lack of controversy you need to back it up. Your impression isn't any help.-Localzuk (talk) 21:15, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
With regards to your the third paragraph replacement:
  • The moral basis of the pro-testing position was summarized by a British House of Lords report in 2002: "The institution of morality, society, and law is founded on the belief that human beings are unique amongst animals," and are therefore morally entitled to use them for their own purposes. - who makes the judgement 'therefore morally entitled to use them for their own purposes.'? If it is you then that is POV, if it is a report or statement from a source, please reference it.

Actually I took that verbatim from the current WIKI page.

Ah, and in that case (I should have noticed really as I was comparing it as I went along :) ) it needs the same things.-Localzuk (talk) 21:15, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
  • The most prominent counterarguments are that this practice is needless "speciesism", a view held by Peter Singer, philosopher and author of "Animal Liberation". - Most prominient according to who?

Singer is widely held as the father of animal rights, by PETA and other animals rights groups. His book was a huge inspiration for the following generation of animal rights advocates. Animal rights is literally hundreds to thousands times larger following his book.

We need references for this still... -Localzuk (talk) 21:15, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
  • A more extreme viewpoint is held by PETA, which believes consideration of animal pain and suffering should be equivalent to the consideration of human pain and suffering. - more extreme according to who? Can we have a reference to PETA's belief's?

PETA's blanket statement is "Animals should have the right to equal consideration of their interests."

As the introductory paragraphs, I had certainly hoped the level of detail necessary to explain every statement would be fairly obvious from the entire article. However, the citations are all there (except those to demonstrate a lack of controversy in China and Japan. And, even removing that clause would be acceptable. Certainly there is a lot of animosity against Chinese and Japanese practices towards animals from Europe. But when I visit these countries, they seem blase towards animal concerns compared to US and Europeans.

As this is a controversial subject, everything needs to backed up else it will cause problems.-Localzuk (talk) 21:15, 3 July 2006 (UTC) 17:30, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

I'm replying inline with your answers...-Localzuk (talk) 21:15, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Anonymous animal researcher again. I still feel the second paragraph, as written, is too filled with specifics to summarize what the controversy is all about. I think it is much more clear to state the main talking points of both sides, along with citations directing the reader to the proponents of the two viewpoints. There are plenty of details in the rest of the page. This paragraph should summarize the sides of the controversy with clarity and citations. Just MHO. The specific issues, ie: successes for animal research, or failings, have many examples later in the article.

Proposed paragraph 2 in Intro

The topic is controversial (1,2,3). Supporters find animal testing instrumental to advances in society, adopt animal welfare restrictions to minimize pain and suffering not necessary to achieve scientific merit, and embrace campaigns to reduce, refine, and replace animals in research when there is not a clear advantage to using animals (4,5,6,7). Opponents find animal welfare adherence inadequate, doubt the necessity of using animals to achieve scientific merit, or ethically oppose allowing animal pain and suffering to occur to advance human society(8,9,10,11).










10. Animal Liberation, by Peter Singer

11 .The Case for Animal Rights, by Tom Regan

Descriptions of citations (this not part of proposed, paragraph.

1. Humane society page on debate on animal research

2. BBC hot topic on animal experiments

3. Ethical group consideration of the debate

4. Animal Welfare Act (USA legislation)

5. UK Animal Act

6. US biomedical advocacy for animal research

7. UK biomedical advocacy for animal research

8. British anti-vivisection group

9. US animal rights group

10. Peter Singer's work on animal rights (leading philosopher of ethics)

11. Tom Regan's work on animal rights (leading philosopher of ethics) 16:49, 6 July 2006 (UTC)


Made a few revisions in the intro, which neither remove nor add content, but more accurately conform content to sources. The revisions did not alter the structural balance of opinions represented, though more precise presentation of cited material could tend to reduce implicit bias. Sources cited refer to numbers of procedures. That is different than a citation of numbers of animals used in those procedures. I included specific language to define who asserts the numbers, because "it is said" otherwise is vague and requires further research to determine who said it. Since each of the three sources was an advocacy group, it is important to accurately characterize the source, especially when can the sources can be generally identified as succinctly and more accurately than the vague declaration that "it is said".

I didn't find in any of the cited references verification of the implicit assertion that animals are always killed after each procedure, but retained the assertion that animals are often killed in a seperate sentence, assuming the good faith of the person who said it is in the sources. The assertion that animals are killed was not in the source in the same sentences that suggested numbers of procedures or animals used, which means it is original synthesis to attach it as if numbers of procedures equals numbers killed. Animals used in psychological research, such as in those few experiments that explore the capacity of chimpanzees to learn sign language, the more common procedures that explore rats' capacity to navigate mazes or those that examine various species' likelihood to respond to reward reinforcements are less often sacrificed after each procedure. In animal research for psychological study, deliniations along the continuum of zoological and human studies are vague, and we have no evidence where advocates have deliniated the line in their estimate of 50 to 100 million annual procedures.

I arranged a sentence that gives examples of what species are used so identification of the range of species used occurs in immediate proximity to citation of the number of procedures estimated to be conducted on all species. It was circuitous to cite the number (what) then discuss the where (at Universities, etc.) before continuing with the thought about what species are encompassed by the number. Again I didn't readily find citations for the assertion of where most research is conducted -- it seems correct, and apparently is also sourced on anti-animal testing literature.

The first sentence in the second paragraph was vague -- it raised questions about whether use of animal models is "good or bad science" but did not discuss in what context the debate arises. Use of animal models to test hypotheses about animals is less controversial than use of cross-species modeling. Also in the second paragraph, the topic is controversial but more accurately, it is the practice which is controversial. In precise terms, there is no controversy among anti-vivisectionists whether the topic is relevent -- they raise controversy about the practice. ForUsByUs 04:53, 22 June 2006 (UTC)


I'm still struggling with the number of animals/procedures offered in the first paragraph, but I'm more confident the current language more accurately depicts teh citations than when I started. The main problem I was after was the attachment of animals killed to animals used, which was inconsistent with the citations, which refers to numbers that "suffer," numbers that are used and numbers of procedures. But the other problem is animals used vs. procedures conducted. It is problematic to rely primarily on advocacy sources to establish matters of fact in the first place, but I'm trying to work with what is already here. The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection estimates neither the number of animals used nor the number of procedures conducted but rather suggests the number of animals that suffer (100 million). There is controversy over whether all animals suffer in all procedures -- regulations mentioned later in the story specifically govern suffering, though some obviously occurs. Research Defense Society estimates no more than 50 million procedures world wide.

The next problem in accurately correlating numbers to the sources for those numbers is determining the species involved. The advocates whose numbers are cited do not include in their promotional literature explanations of their methodology. We are told in the "species" section the "total number of invertebrates used remains unknown." In fact, the total numbers of any species used remains unknown. ForUsByUs 06:00, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Read the Nuffield report that we cite. SlimVirgin (talk) 10:18, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
A better idea, instead of issuing an order, would be for you to introduce an argument and to support it with a specific referece to which of the 376 pages you reference it is you claim supports the argument, wiht a brief excerpt of the passage you claim supports your claim. EveryClear 16:09, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
I should add, that I wrote the "total number of invertebrates used remains unknown" sentence based on the fact that there are no regulations requiring the keeping or reporting of these animals used or killed. Therefore it is impossible to even estimate animals used. In certain countries (like the UK, for example) procedures need to be reported, so (making some broad assumptions) one could estimate the proportions of different vertebrates used globally. You are correct, of course, that the total number of any species used remains unknown, not least because "used" is a subjective term in terms of animal testing, but it appears people can estimate within a few tens of millions. I wouldn't know where to start in terms of estimating invertebrates used. Rockpocket 06:21, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
I've reverted to the previous version of the intro, in part because there was no prior discussion, and in part because it introduced errors (e.g. it is not only opponents who say 50-100 million, and animals are not used only to study human biology). Please see the tag at the top of this page. SlimVirgin (talk) 10:17, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
There is no "tag" at the top of this page. Please enunciate what you are refering to, and don't rely on vague references to obscure or nonexistant messages to make your point. EveryClear 16:28, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
In reference to your claim of introduced errors, it is not even opponents of animal testing that say 50-100 million -- it is a small clutch of Wikipedia editors who have assumed a wikipedia article on testing is their personal property who say 50-100 million. One opponent says less that 50 million procedures. Another opponent estimates 100 million animals. Then you allude to 375 pages which you claim are not the work of advocates but which you say are evidence to support your original synthesis.
afternoteNow having done the homework for the person who claims not only advocates say 50-100 million, it is clear that she relies on secondary sources from which we are unable to devine the provinence of the claims. The 376-page pdf file she simply refers to as "the Nuffield report" cites yet another source for the repetition of the claim there. The source the "nuffield report" cites is "A Companion to Bioethics". Appendixes to that report seem to allude to original data for one year or two years, but in no case provide basis for extrapolations about how many animals are used or procedures are conducted each year. The reports underlying the data in no case suggest that 50-100 million animials (or procedures) equates to 50-100 million animals killed. Claims about numbers killed in a rambling sentence punctuated with multiple dashes and which alludes to "universities" and "industry" is nothing more than a play on emotions by advocates intent on advancing their side of a debate.
You again deviate from rational argument when you claim anybody asserted that someone argued that animals are only used to study human biology. The statement in question was about the relevence of cross-species animal models. Extrapolating from your falacious account of the point you are attempting to rebutt, I recognize that cross-species modeling is also used to test toxilogocial and other hypothesis among animal species. In this case, it is not the animal model that is in question, but the cross-species nature of modeling that is controversial among a few advocates dedicated to interfering with the vast majority of researchers who find value in cross-species modeling.
By now, AnnH has blocked my colleague from editing this article for some spurious reason, assuming bad faith and uttering a veiled legal threat that accuses my colleague of harrassment. We don't have a clue what she is talking about, but it is apparent to those of us here that you and a few others intend to shape this article into an advocacy piece to satisfy your needs to publicize a minor view. I will repair the damage you did to the more accurate introduction composed in clear, accurate language by a more qualified editor, but I have no doubt that you and your tag-team will continue to interfere with public peer review to prevent a fair and accurate representation of facts relevant to this subject.EveryClear 16:03, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Please be civil. Do not claim that people are less qualified etc... Do assume good faith with user Musical Linguist (the actual blocking user) (who is an admin and follows the policies of wikipedia). If you have a problem with their actions, please take it up with them.
I have reverted your change as the issue is being discussed here, the information you changed it to was incorrect (the figures 50-100 million quote the rds as a source as well as buav so are not opponents of animal testing alone). Can All editors post suggested changes here before making them as it will save a lot of effort in the long run. -Localzuk (talk) 16:27, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Please spell out your arguments. The only one of three sources cited not solely dedicated to opposing animal research is a publication from a foundation started by Viscout Newhouse, a supporter of the British Union of Fascists. Don't worry, the consensus in our office is to leave this project to the ecofascists who want to use this article as a pseudo-scholarly recruiting document for their spurious political purposes. We have no interests in continuing to edit an article in which editorial privilages are afforded proportionally to ones loyalty to the cult of Wikipedia.EveryClear 16:44, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Please calm down and stop making references such as 'ambling sentence punctuated with multiple dashes and which alludes to "universities" and "industry" is nothing more than a play on emotions by advocates intent on advancing their side of a debate.' Your behaviour is not in any way civil and is liable to being reported as such. -Localzuk (talk) 16:37, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
The so-called was tag buried in comment codes on another page. my critique of sentence structure about which you declare bad faith on my part was perfectly civil and my analysis that the use of rambling sentence structure to joing disjointed comments is a civil analysis that refers to a standard logical fallacy, that fallacy being an appeal to emotions. If arguments in favor of concise sentence structure and against logical fallacies are not civil, we have cause to question exactly what sort of civilization you are attempted to foist on those attracted to this project by its disproportional search-engine rankings. (disproportional vis-a-vis credibility). Again, we will continue to rely on reliable search engines, such as Nexus-Lexis and will avoid those that elevate advocacy literature such as this to the top fo search rankings. EveryClear 16:48, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
The reason I say it is uncivil is that you call it rambling. This is insulting to those who wrote the sentence. Also, calling someone a meatpuppet is uncivil as it is completely false.
Why are you commenting upon the credibility of this site in relation to its search engine rankings? Rankings are generally based on popularity not credibility. Also, this site is credible as the study by the Nature journal found. -Localzuk (talk) 18:02, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
A person could call a ham sandwich uncivil with that sort of logic. Analyzing sentence structure is not an ad hominum attack. The sentence starts on one subject, rambles to another, then rambles through another dash to another. If recognizing such convoluted conjugation is uncivil, every English 101 text in publication is uncivil. What is uncivil is writing a supposedly open sourced article, then accusing those who try to join consensus discussion of harrassment, making false allegations when not the slightest hint of harrassment has been written. MonkR 19:42, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

I'll ask again if people can post their changes *here* before the main article. Until we reach a consensus on these issues the changes are likely to be disliked by both sides.-Localzuk (talk) 19:17, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Where the animals come from

I just realized that we say little or nothing about this, so I've added one sentence to the intro — "Most laboratory animals are purpose bred, while a smaller number are caught in the wild or supplied by pounds." ("Use of Laboratory Animals in Biomedical and Behavioral Research", Institute for Laboratory Animal Research, The National Academies Press, 1988) — and then perhaps at some point we could have a brief section on what the main sources of animals are around the world. SlimVirgin (talk) 11:53, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Well I never, you can use animals from pounds in research in the US. How very odd. --Coroebus 16:49, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Coroebus, many states have legislation specifically prohibiting pound animals, even those about to be euthanized, from being used in animal testing or research. Two to three million dogs and cats are killed every year from overbreeding, 100,000 are used in research, but those 100,000 largely cannot come from the 2-3 million.

Anonymous animal researcher 13:24, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Explanation of missing diffs

In the last twelve hours, a user posted to this page giving personal information about another user. I have absolutely no idea whether or not that personal information is accurate, but that's not really relevant. WP:STALK says:

Posting another person's personal information (legal name, home or workplace address, telephone number, email address, or other contact information, regardless of whether or not the information is actually correct) is harassment. (Emphasis added by me.)

I deleted the page, and restored only the versions prior to the harassing posts. I then manually reinserted everything that had been added since (including the bad posts, but with the personal information removed). Unfortunately, since there had been several posts made since the personal information was posted, the diffs for 21 edits are now gone, and the diff for my edit makes it look as if I was the editor who made the posts that really came from ForUsByUs, Rockpocket, and SlimVirgin.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind people that posting personal details (real name, address, etc., whether accurate or based on wild guesses) about other editors is not "gently discouraged". It is absolutely forbidden under all circumstances, except where such editors voluntarily provide such information themselves, for example through their userpage. Editors who violate this are likely to be blocked, unless they can show that it was an innocent error and can provide assurance that it will never happen again. Posting of personal information includes not only direct references to other editors' real (or supposedly real) names and addresses, but also links to websites that provide such information. AnnH 13:14, 22 June 2006 (UTC)


The two accounts MonkR (talk · contribs) and EveryClear (talk · contribs) are obviously sockpuppets or meatpuppets (almost certainly the former) of ForUsByUs (talk · contribs). If the reverting continues, the page is likely to be protected and/or you'll be reported and blocked too. Each time you revert, you're also removing references that have since been added, so this is very disruptive editing. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:27, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

This is another false accusation. Calling editors disruptive is a personal attack. The history shows that each of the changes has been to only the section of the article in question, have preserved sourcing in that section, refactored rambling sentences to simpler conjugations and more accurately represented sources which were synthesized to construe conclusions not evident in the sources. MonkR 20:02, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
You're clearly not a new editor, and you and the other accounts write in the same way and revert to each other's versions, deleting material that has been added since your last revert, which is pretty close to a definition of disruptive editing, not to mention the block evasion. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:09, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Constantly reverting to a state which people are disagreeing with and refusing to post changes you wish to make on the talk page despite the requests of other users is as close to disruptive behaviour as can be really, i'm afraid. All we are asking you to do is post what you want to write on here first so we can discuss it, bit by bit, and allow for a collective set of changes to be made. -Localzuk (talk) 21:14, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
There is no evidence that you have responded to a single point of discussion entered by the user you are accusing of disruption, Localzuk, though the person you accuse of not wanting to discuss edits has offered detailed explanations of every item entered in the article. You accused them of making a personal attack by calling a sentence rambling. If that is the way you discuss editorial decisions here, it is no wonder everything written in the media about Wikipedia gets worse by the day. Lets examine that sentence:

"It is estimated..." starts with a vague passive structure that doesn't tell us who made the estimate "that 50million -- 100million animals worldwide..." neer mind punctuation used where a preposition is appropriate, the data cited mixes procedures with animals, and one source estimates less than 50 million, as stated on this page and as I verified by checking the tedious sources which your co-writer ordered us to read but didn't bother to suggest what parts we read. "are used annually..." the data cited is based on one or two years and does not infer annual usage, nor even direction of trends toward more or less use. "and subsequently killed..." again, not from the sources cited, but original synthesis by a writer of this article. Some are killed during research, some subsequent to research and some are reused, but the sources in this sentence don't mention anything about killing. "in scientific procedures..."this part of the sentence might be accurate. So far, one out of five phrases is accurate. "&emdash; conducted as part of pure research, applied research, or toxicology testing..." as soon as we see an emdash, it is fair to raise the question of whether the sentence is rambling. "&emdash;mostly inside universities, medical schools, pharmaceutical companies, and commercial facilities that provide animal-testing services to industry." never mind the obtuse language that claims the tests occur "inside" organizations (companies) this is where the sentence truly rambles. We started with an estimate based on what "is said". Then the 49-word sentence rambles through a conjunction to a hyphen-separated sentence fragment rendered as a subordinate clause, back through another hyphen to end a sentence about how many are animals or procedures are used or conducted with informaton about where animal are killed. Discuss all you want. All I see is advocates indimidating people and using technical resources to prevent anyone from discussing what you claim to want to discuss.AlexaBaxter 01:06, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

First, the 'it is estimated' may be vague but as there are several sources, to define who estimate it would be overly detailed for an introductory section. Second, the 50 million - 100 million part could do with some changes, although not to the figures. The RDS state 'unlikely to exceed 50million' which gives us our lower bounds, buav say 'over 100million' and the nuffield report says 'between 50 to 100 million'. So that gives us our 50 - 100million figure. (Also, the source isn't tedious if you use a reasonably good pdf editor, for example on my computer it opens directly at page 45 where the relevant section is). Your next issue 'used annually': All three sources state 'yearly' or 'anually'.
'subsequently killed': This was discussed earlier on this same page. I won't elaborate further. Regarding the sentence structure, better use of punctuation could be employed. How about splitting the 'as part of x,y & z research' and 'mostly in x,y & z places' into its own sentence?
I will ask you to be civil also. Do not make claims such as 'advocates initimidating people' unless you can show some evidence of intimidation - it is a personal attack. -Localzuk (talk) 08:28, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
I've semi-protected the page as there are strong indications of a blocked user trying to evade a block. AnnH 19:37, 22 June 2006 (UTC)


I would like to add a section on the business side of animal testing, because I think many readers may not realize that it's an industry like any other. I'd like to find something about the types of animals sold, by and to whom, equipment, and so on. I wouldn't make it long and I'll write it in as NPOV a tone as possible. Does anyone object in principle? SlimVirgin (talk) 00:01, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Do you mean the discussing farms like Darley Oaks that provide animals for research? Or discussing companies like HLS or Quintiles that do contract toxicology and efficacy testing? I think that is fine to mention both. I'm less keen on a discussion about the economics of animal testing (i.e. that the whole point of testing is to make money?). While that is true with regards to the contract companies, the argument along those lines against research and pharmaceutical companies is on shaky POV ground. Rockpocket 01:21, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure what I'd include, but yes to including the breeders, and the people who make equipment, import animals, and so on. It depends what the sources focus on. I know that various government have at times discussed the loss of jobs if animal-testing facilities close and move elsewhere. The point of the section would be to describe that industry: the industry the governments appear not to want to lose. SlimVirgin (talk) 05:33, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
I think you may have some trouble finding good sources though, for obvious reasons. --Coroebus 07:44, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Sure, SV. Then by all means give it a go. Rockpocket 08:12, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Okay, thanks, I'll give it a try. It won't be within the next few days though, but I just wanted to check in advance that there were no objections in principle. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:42, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Nobel Prize argument

Nrets, I see you removed the attribution from the sentence about Nobel Prizes. I'd like to ask that you return it. You can attribute the statement to anyone you like, but it needs to be attributed, because it's a bad argument. As it's written, it's not in the form of an argument, but because it's been added in support of animal testing, there's a hidden implication "animals were used in these research projects" (hidden implication: "and necessary so").

It is like adding to the introduction of Slavery that "X number of major agricultural and commercial advances were made using slaves in America". All editors would regard this as a statement that needed unpacking and attributing, because on its face, it is ambiguous, as well as potentially offensive and stupid, though it may indeed be true. It may also be true that slavery built up the economy in ways that could not have been achieved without it, but that would need to be made explicit with very good sources, good arguments, and good evidence. To simply stick that one sentence in the intro with no unpacking, no argument, and no attribution would make Wikipedia look unintelligent.

I'm saying this regardless of POV. That we're trumpeting the Nobel Prize sentence in our intro makes us look bad, and therefore we can't have Wikipedia saying it. Who you attribute it to is up to you. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:42, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

There are three references that state the same thing, would you like me to list them all as part of the sentence? I've changed the sentence to reflect this. Nrets 21:01, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
You could choose your best source, saying "According to ..." or "X writes that ..." SlimVirgin (talk) 21:09, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Or even in some form of 'it is often argued that...' followed by references (or is that too weasel wordy?) --Coroebus 17:10, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
That would work too, although better still would be to attribute the statement to a source in the sentence, in my view. SlimVirgin (talk) 14:44, 28 June 2006 (UTC)


Hello, anonymous animal researcher here. I wanted to clarify this bit on vivisection in the history section. It currently reads

Although the term "vivisection" literally means the "cutting up" of a living animal, and originally referred only to experiments that involved dissection of, or surgery on, live animals, it is now commonly used to describe any experiment, and particularly any painful experiment, on a living animal, [18] [19] which is also known as in vivo testing. [20]

I propose the term be references to its own WIKI page, and the connotation that it is a term specifically used to criticize animal research be added.

The term "vivisection" literally means the "cutting up" of a living animal. Animal rights [18][20] groups have increased its prevalence in the past two decades by using it exclusively to refer to experimentation on living animals. Researchers and testers instead have long used the term in vivo testing to refer to this class of experiments, because it makes clear that the testing is done on living animals, and that the testing is conducted with purpose.

As an aside, I just read the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection's vivisection FAQ, and I was astonished at what a large fraction of the Wikipedia animal testing page was taken verbatim from this obvious animal rights advocacy literature. talk about POV, check it out... EVERYTHING from the BUAV source should be considered carefully-selected to oppose animal testing. 13:50, 3 July 2006 (UTC)


Nrets, please don't add material from an inferior source like that contradicts material from a good source like the Encyclopaedia Britannica. SlimVirgin (talk) 08:35, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

The material is from the Oxford English Dictionary, but Localzuk complained that the online version was not accessible without a subscription, so I referenced the print version, and added a link to a free source that basically repeats what the print version said. So I will revert my edits. You would be very hypocritical to re-revert these, since originally several editors had said vivisection was often used as a derrogatory term by those opposed to animal research, you reverted this saying there was no source, I added a source and now you complain the OED is inferior? None of the other sources mention usage. Plus the Britannica link provided is only to the freely accessible content of the EB, which is equivalent to So just because the source is inconvenient to the way you think, you need not act in such a highfallutin' manner here, only counting your sources as acceptable! Nrets 13:53, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Nrets, please assume good faith and not make comments like those towards the end of your statement. Also, I would say that part of what you said is a personal attack which can lead to banning very easily.-Localzuk (talk) 16:18, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Localzuk, It is difficult to assume good faith, when standards are applied inconsistently. Moreover, from SV's remark to me (as well as from your threats above), there is a very implicit personal attack towards me. Finally, I don't see where my remarks could be interpreted as personal attacks, rather than plain ol' disagreements. Nrets 16:27, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
It is not a threat. It is a warning. It may be hard to assume good faith but you still should do it. The part I commented about being a personal attack is So just because the source is inconvenient to the way you think, you need not act in such a highfallutin' manner here,. This is an attack on SV, not helpful to the article and as I stated before, under WP:NPA can get people blocked. You again didn't assume good faith by reading my comment as a threat rather than a warning to stick to the policies.-Localzuk (talk) 16:55, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
It appears Nrets has provided a verifiable and notable scholarly source for his edits as requested. That the source cannot be accessed easily online does not make it invalid. I cannot see the justification for further reverts. Especially, as the anonymous researcher pointed it, it is near impossible to find use of the "vivisection" as a coverall term outside of criticial websites and literature. Rockpocket 17:11, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
OK, I'll try to keep my cool. I also wanted to point out that I made a mistake in my previous comment, my source is not the OED, but the New Oxford American Dictionary, which is based on the New Oxford Dictionary of English, which reflects current usage of words. It is published by Oxford University Press and is still a reliable source. The source is correctly cited in the article, my error was only on the talk page during a fit of anger. Nrets 17:21, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Nrets, the definition you give is not from the OED. It is from Askoxford, which is vastly inferior. Also, it is far, far better to use scholarly sources or a good encyclopedia, than a dictionary. As for the EB, the citation I gave goes to the main article. Remove the link if you prefer. References do not have to be online. RP, Askoxford is not by any stretch of the imagination a scholarly source. In addition, I have provided two sources that say it is not only used by anti-activists. That can't be changed on the basis of one inferior source saying otherwise.
Nrets, you often cause problems like this. I'm asking you please to stop the POV pushing and the use of poor sources. Sometimes we all have to edit from the other POV. I sometimes do it, RP sometimes does it, Localzuk sometimes does it. I have never seen you do it. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:23, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
As I just said, I made a mistake in my previous comment, my source is not the OED, but the New Oxford American Dictionary, which is based on the New Oxford Dictionary of English, which reflects current usage of words. It is published by Oxford University Press and is still a reliable source. Dictionaries are reliable sources for the meaning and usage of words. Nrets 17:21, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
What makes you believe that dictionaries in general are reliable sources, and why would you suppose that just because an online dictionary is associated with an offline one, which is published by OED that it must be reliable? It's absurd to place an online dictionary that offers one sentence definitions over the Encyclopedia Britannica, which offers a whole article, and a former vivisectionist who has written an entire book about it. Nrets, please take my point. It would be good if we were all on the same page about how to edit this article. We all have our POVs, but it would be helpful if we could all sometimes edit from the opposite POV and always use as good sources as we can find, instead of any old thing that happens to confirm our prejudices. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:36, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
This is NOT an online dictionary, it is a bonafide print dictionary, I just provided a link to the online site for verification. The actual dictionary has a longer definition than the online free link suggests. There is not a whole article in EB, just a short blurb. We have said over, and over, and over that vivisection is used as a critical term, which is obvious to almost everybody, but this was not accetable due to lack of sources. Now I provide a real source and for whatever reason you think it is not acceptable. What happened to editing in good faith SV? I'm really finding it difficult to assume that this is what you are doing, rather than taking your personal dislike to me and using it against my edits. If you feel like pushing your POV here is the right thing to do, then do so, delete my statement, but under my protest that you are not editing in good faith. Nrets 17:42, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
It appears that the usage of the word 'vivisection' is 'commonplace' according to one source and not according to another. I do not think this is the article to discuss it on and both references to its usage should be removed and a wikilink to the vivisection article used. That way we stick to animal testing here and the discussion of vivisection and its meaning according to different people discussed over there.-Localzuk (talk) 17:50, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
I'd be fine with that if we remove the whole paragraph, and simply link to vivisection from the above sentence. Nrets 17:55, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Nrets, you're once again arguing only on the basis of your personal knowledge rather than informing yourself. Askoxford is a silly online dictionary supplied by the people who print the larger dictionary (itself not much use). My source is the EB article. Have you read it the article rather than the online teaser they offer? If not, please don't comment on it. Go look it up instead. What I am asking you is to demonstrate your good faith by AT LEAST SOMETIMES editing from a POV other than your own. I have never seen you do it, but I have seen the other regular editors on this page do it. When I see you start to do that, I will shower you with buckets of good faith. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:52, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
I have made the change I suggested as the argument about vivisection is well documented in the vivisection article and serves no real purpose in this one. -Localzuk (talk) 17:57, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, SV, my comment was based on the assertion that the source was from OED (which i think is pretty scholarly on defining the usage of words and as strong a source as EB). That it is not OED, but another dictionary published by OUP, doesn't necessarily make it invalid, though we do have to be careful of cherry picking definitions.
I can see both sides of this debate. I never really had a problem with the section as it was, but also think there is something in the fact that the term is used in general terms in critical literature only (something that i had never really noticed before). Could we perhaps leave the sentence as it was but then add in another brief qualifier afterwards, with Nrets source, along the lines of: "The term vivisection is favoured by those critical of animal testing, while those who engage in it prefer terms such as in vivo testing or animal experimentation". This could even be lifted out of the history section and into a definition section. Alternatively, i have no problems leaving it as a link to the vivisection article. Rockpocket 18:00, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

I think RP's suggestion is also a good one, and I agree this does not belong in the history section. Leaving it out is also fine. As far as SV's comment, I think my edits are fairly neutral and restrained, and I could be far more extreme about views, but I know that that would not be productive, as seen by recent episodes where editors were basically bullied away from editing this article. So please stop accusing me of POV pushing. Nrets 18:25, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

I don't think it is necessarily 'POV pushing' that is the complaint, more that every single argument you have presented, every edit that has been made has promoted a single side of the argument with Animal Testing. As SV has said, we all edit from both sides of the argument, removing POV comments that could well support our own views but SV (and myself) have never seen you edit from this perspective. That is my interpretation of it anyway.-Localzuk (talk) 23:03, 5 July 2006 (UTC)