Posted by Dr Jarrod Bailey on 29th May 2019
We contribute to important new book on animal experiments
‘Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change' underlines the need to replace animal research with human-relevant science
A newly published book is set to accelerate a much-needed shift towards better science: science that avoids cruelty to animals, but which is also relevant to humans who are waiting for research to catch up with technological advances, to deliver urgently needed treatments and cures for disease.
“Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change”, is partly funded by Cruelty Free International and contains contributions from many experts on several different animal testing-related topics, including from our Director of Science & Regulatory Affairs Dr Katy Taylor, and from me.
My chapter highlights the many scientific and ethical issues with the use of GM technology when applied to animals, including the new technology known as ‘CRISPR’. It argues that the harm caused to animals, as well as the lack of human relevance of GM animals, mean that breeding of, and experimenting on, GM animals, has no scientific or ethical basis.
Dr Taylor’s chapter discusses the need for alternatives, summarises notable developments that have resulted in the replacement of animal use with superior methods, and notes remaining barriers to their greater acceptance and implementation that need to be challenged and overcome.
Overall, the book delivers the powerful message—backed up by thousands of references—that our understanding of human diseases and how to treat them can only be achieved by a shift away from trying to model them in animals. Misleading animal approaches have failed, and science must now fully embrace the many hi-tech, human-specific approaches that can and do provide data that can be relied on.
We have already participated in launches of the book in the USA, at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; and in London, England, at which presentations by all the authors were warmly received. Another launch is scheduled next month, in Munich, Germany.
Hard copies are available to purchase, but crucially it is also an ‘Open Access’ publication, and so is available as a free download. We, the other funders, and the editors believed that making it freely available, electronically, would undoubtedly maximise its readership and impact. It can be purchased, or accessed here, free and in full.
Dr Taylor and I are proud to have been part of this book, which will serve as an important tool to drive change for the better. The evidence against the scientific validity and human relevance of animal experiments is ever-increasing but already formidable. Along with the astounding capability of humane, human-relevant scientific methods, the argument for a paradigm change is irresistible.