The subject of animal research is fascinating! Not only because it helps find cures for humans but also for animals - it works both ways. On a more personnal level I too have benefited from medical advances, since I have had several surgeries, have taken medication and have witnessed how my mother was saved from disease by the use of a radioactive implant. We should not take all of this for granted. We can educate ourselves, our children, friends and people around us about how important animal research is.
This link shows the wide variety of animals that are used in research, for which goals and some of the critical medical milestones reached in time. Remember though that currently rats and mice constitute the majority of animals used.
States United for biomedical research (SUBR)
One can also find information about the essential role of Biomedical research towards the search for cures, treatments and medical advancements here :
Foundation for Biomedical Research
There are some interesting stories to view on the FBR site and teachers can find educational materials for classroom use.
The following blog is an advocacy group that talks about the importance of animal research in medical and veterinary science. It is not only very informative but it also drills down to actual research level as you can see on a recent post about animal models and parkinson's desease.
Speaking of research
There are however other concerns those involved in research should be worried about. Increasingly Universities offer animal law studies. I am not saying this is wrong. Protecting endangered animal species through trade mechanisms such as the CITES convention is a good thing when done properly. However I worry when animals can inherit from humans through trusts or foundations. I worry, when animal rights groups seek to obtain for the benefit of animals the almost identical legal status as humans do. Boundaries are being pushed. Often this is done by using emotions and feelings such as guilt, others try philosophy.
When the devil creeps into the fine print of legislative proposals or initiatives, we should worry. Sentiency is another way of achieving the same purpose. We should however not forget the invaluable benefits humankind derives from medical research and what it is trying to achieve. Those that are involved in animal research , directly and indirectly, must be protected in law for I say it is part of an important public service we all benefit from one day or another, willingly or unconsciously.