The180

Ethics and animal testing: PETA's response

On this episode, we hear from Alka Chandna, the Senior Laboratory Oversight Specialist for People for the Ethical treatment of Animals who says it is categorically not okay to use animals in medical testing labs.
Fake mice are displayed as animal rights campaigners stage a protest in front of an international pharmaceutical company. (The Associated Press)

Teva Harrison has always considered animals equal to humans, has been a vegetarian all her life, and has always opposed animal testing. But recently she told us how a diagnosis of stage four breast cancer has forced her to reconsider her position on using lab animals to test pharmaceuticals.
On this episode, we hear from Alka Chandna, the Senior Laboratory Oversight Specialist for People for the Ethical treatment of Animals. She opposes the use animals in medical testing labs, and explains that PETA's position is that animals aren't ours to use, and animal testing isn't the most effective way to get drugs to market.

Scientists are increasingly recognizing that using animals in experiments to understand human disease simply doesn't work. Animals are not reliable models for human disease.- Alka Chandna, PETA

Chandna says that even setting aside ethical concerns, animal testing doesn't make for good science.

"Scientists are increasingly recognizing that using animals in experiments to understand human disease simply doesn't work. Animals are not reliable models for human disease."

Chandna says that despite the shortcomings animal testing, the practice is perpetuated because it is a regulatory requirement for so many drugs. She says the animal testing industry capitalizes on the hopes and fears of medical patients and their families.

Many people in the larger society have really been hoodwinked into believing that using animals in testing and experimentation can help us get the answers we need.- Alka Chandna

"Many people in the larger society have really been hoodwinked into believing that using animals in testing and experimentation can help us get the answers we need." 

Chandna says that scientists and regulators need to work harder to find testing methods that don't involve animals.

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