National Academies Press: OpenBook

Science, Medicine, and Animals (1991)

Chapter: How Do Animals Benefit from Animal Research?

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Suggested Citation:"How Do Animals Benefit from Animal Research?." Institute of Medicine. 1991. Science, Medicine, and Animals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10089.

How Do Animals Benefit from Animal Research?

The same methods that have been developed to prevent and treat diseases in humans have improved the lives of countless animals.20, 21 Vaccines, antibiotics, anesthetics, surgical procedures, and other approaches developed in animals for human use are now commonly employed throughout veterinary medicine. Pets, livestock, and animals in zoos live longer, more comfortable, and healthier lives as a result of animal research.

In many cases, treatments have been developed specifically for animals. Vaccines for rabies, canine parvovirus, distemper, and feline leukemia virus have kept many animals from contracting these fatal diseases. Treatments for heartworm infestation (a painful and ultimately fatal affliction in dogs), therapies for cholera in hogs, and diagnostic and preventive techniques for brucellosis and tuberculosis in cattle are all now available because of animal research.

Animal research has also been integral to the preservation of many endangered species. The ability to eliminate parasitism, treat illnesses, use anesthetic devices, and promote breeding has improved the health and survival of many species. Through techniques like artificial insemination and embryo transfer, species that are endangered or have disappeared in the wild can now be managed or maintained. Research on the sexual behavior of animals has made it possible to breed many species in captivity, enabling endangered species to be reintroduced to the wild.

Animal research has also greatly extended and improved the lives of many companion animals.

Suggested Citation:"How Do Animals Benefit from Animal Research?." Institute of Medicine. 1991. Science, Medicine, and Animals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10089.
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The necessity for animal use in biomedical research is a hotly debated topic in classrooms throughout the country. Frequently teachers and students do not have access to balanced, factual material to foster an informed discussion on the topic. This colorful, 50-page booklet is designed to educate teenagers about the role of animal research in combating disease, past and present; the perspective of animal use within the whole spectrum of biomedical research; the regulations and oversight that govern animal research; and the continuing efforts to use animals more efficiently and humanely.

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