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  • Writer's pictureRitik Agrawal

Animal Testing: A Serious Concern

Nikita Nijjar

It takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal – Joaquin Phoenix

Animal Testing: A Serious Concern


The phrase "animal testing" describes processes carried out on living creatures in order to study basic biology and diseases, evaluate the efficacy of newly developed medicines, and test the safety of consumer and industrial goods like food additives, cosmetics, household cleaning products, and industrial/agrochemicals for human health and/or the environment[1].

All procedures, including those deemed "mild," include the risk of causing the animals pain and suffering on both a physical and psychological level. The operations can frequently result in intense discomfort. At the conclusion of an experiment, the majority of animals are killed; however, some may be utilized again in other studies.

Among the experiments conducted on animals are:

· Injecting or forcing food into animals that could be harmful.

· Surgically removing organs or tissues from animals in order to intentionally cause damage.

· Making animals breathe in hazardous gases.

· Putting animals to terrifying settings in order to induce fear and sadness.

History of Animal Testing

Animals have been widely used for biomedical research for a long time. Living animals were used in the experiments of early Greek physician-scientists including Aristotle (384–322 BC) and Erasistratus (304–258 BC).

Animal experiments were carried out by the Greek physician Galen (129–199 / 217 AD), a major figure in the history of medicine, to further understanding of anatomy, physiology, pathology, and pharmacology. Animal testing was first used as an experimental technique for evaluating surgical treatments before using them on human patients by the Arab surgeon Ibn Zuhr (Avenzoar) in Moorish Spain in the eleventh century.

Animal rights and protection organizations have harshly criticized the use of animals in scientific research in recent years. Many nations have implemented laws to make this procedure more "humane." Animal testing ethics have been extensively debated since the seventeenth century.

Animal experimentation is strictly prohibited because of legitimate concerns about "cruelty" to animals and the fair treatment of animals. This gave rise to the 3Rs campaign, which promotes the following three goals: 

1. Finding non-living models to Replace animals

2. Reducing the number of animals used

3. Refinement of animal use practices[2]

Different experiments animals are used in:

Numerous types of experiments involve the use of animals. These are merely a handful of instances:

· To investigate the potential effects of experimental chemicals on human organ function, dogs are given deliberate injury or removal of their hearts, lungs, or kidneys.

· In order to investigate the potential behavioral effects of acute stress, newborn monkeys are removed from their mothers.

· For two years, mice are given daily dosages of a chemical to see whether it could cause cancer in people.

· Cats with injured spinal cords are made to run on treadmills in order to investigate the potential effects of nerve activity on human limb mobility.

· In order to research how people could be impacted by the same disease, ferrets are purposefully infected with extremely painful, potentially fatal viruses (such RSV, COVID-19, or Ebola) and are not offered pain relief or therapy prior to their death.

· To investigate how human bodies could react to different technologies, including pacemakers and dental implants, pigs are implanted with them.

· For several weeks, hazardous pesticides are force-fed to pregnant rabbits in order to examine potential effects on human mothers and their unborn children.

· For hours at a time, sheep are exposed to extreme pressures (such those found deep beneath), and their reaction is then monitored by lowering the pressure to normal.

· To investigate how people might react to cigarette smoke, rats are put in tiny tubes and made to breathe in smoke for hours at a time.

· Endometrial tissue is injected into baboons to mimic the agonizing symptoms of endometriosis and investigate potential human implications.

· Horses exposed to a potentially lethal virus (like hepatitis) have their symptoms closely observed in order to investigate possible human infections with the same virus.[3]

The period of experiments can range from weeks to months to years, and the animals employed in them frequently endure terrible pains. Vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, irritation, bleeding, appetite loss, loss of weight, convulsions, breathing problems, salivation, paralysis, lethargy, blood loss anomalies of the organs, tumors, heart failure, liver illness, cancer, and death are all possible side effects of the experiment.

The degree of pain and discomfort that can be inflicted upon animals in the course of tests is unbounded. Sometimes, since it can interfere with the experiment, animals are denied any form of painkiller to lessen their discomfort or anguish before, during, or after the trial.

Animals used in studies can often be employed for several years, but after an experiment is concluded, they are usually slaughtered so that their organs and tissues can be studied. The number of animals that are killed in the laboratories each year is not well-reported.

Animal Testing in India

Small laboratory-bred animals are used in the majority of tests conducted in India, and the Institutional Animal Ethics Committee (IAEC) of the organization conducting the studies approves the studies.

A representative of the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA) is included in these committees, which are established in accordance with the Indian National Science Academy's standards[4].

Of the about 5000 laboratories in the nation, less than a dozen have been accredited to comply with good laboratory practices standards, despite the fact that a few government agencies and private laboratories keep their animal homes in good condition.

In their labs, scientists have had nearly unrestricted freedom for the past fifty years. In 1998, guidelines for the care of animals were created for the first time. These regulations are comparable to those in the USA and the UK, albeit less strict.

2014 saw a significant campaign by PETA India, which included appeals from prominent politicians, international stores like LUSH and The Body Shop, and in-depth talks with the organization's scientists. The drug controller general of India declared that the country will no longer allow the testing of cosmetics and their ingredients on animals.[5]

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare released the new Cosmetics Rules, 2020[6], which provide a distinct and up to date governing structure for testing, producing, distributing, maintaining, displaying, and importing cosmetics in India. The rules include provisions to ensure that the importation ban on cosmetics tested on animals is strictly enforced, in response to recommendations from PETA India.

The new regulations require importers and manufacturers to provide safety data using only non-animal testing techniques, along with records that demonstrate the precise methods tested and a list of countries where authorization for marketing or import permission has been granted, in order to facilitate effective enforcement.

After discussions with PETA India, India became the first nation in Asia to outlaw the testing of cosmetics and their substances on animals, as well as allowing the importation of cosmetics that have undergone this kind of testing. Notably, the regulations are predicated on the fundamental tenet that the possible advantages of novel cosmetics will never exceed any harm inflicted upon animals.[7]

Indian Constituional Provisions for Animal Testing

Indian Constituional Provisions for Animal Testing

The very first Indian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) was founded in Calcutta by Colesworthy Grant in 1861 during the British era, although it was short-lived there. Before the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals[8] (PCA) was established, a center for laboratory animal science was originally established in Mumbai in 1957 following independence, with financial assistance from UNESCO[9].

Later came, The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act[10] (PCA), 1960 and the Breeding of and Experimentation on Animals (Control and Supervision) Rules, 1998[11], which established the regulations governing animal experimentation.

"The Committee for the Purpose and Supervision of Experiments on Animals" (CPCSEA), a legal organization created in 1964 in accordance with Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA) Chapter IV, Section 15(1), is responsible for carrying out the legislation. The committee's primary goal is to ensure that animals are utilized responsibly in research.

India has added "Rehabilitation" as a fourth R to the list of three R's. Acknowledging the need for alternatives to animal experimentation, the Indian Council of Medical Research presented a roadmap for non-animal technology research in India in 2019.

Two significant changes to the DC Rules were implemented in 2014:

· Rule 148C[12] forbids the testing of cosmetics on animals

· Rule 135B[13] forbids the importation of cosmetics that have undergone animal testing.

The Cosmetics Rules were amended to include specific measures for more effective enforcement after it became apparent that the import restriction was not being strictly enforced.


Different individuals have various attitudes toward animals. While some see them as friends, others see them as tools for improving experimental studies or medical procedures. Animals used in cosmetics and laboratory testing endure excruciating pain, suffering, and death; therefore, it is necessary to put an end to animal research in order to save other animals from being wasted.

Regardless of how people feel about animals, the truth is that cosmetics firms and research institutes throughout and internationally utilize animals for their own purposes. Despite the fact that effective animal research frequently benefits humans, the pain of animals are not worth the potential advantages to humans.

There are many similarities between people and animals, including the way they think, act, feel, and endure pain. Animals should therefore be treated with the same dignity as people. However, they are not offered a choice, and animal rights are infringed when they are utilized in research.

Last but not least, there is absolutely no need to test things on animals when there are effective alternatives.


[1] HUMANE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL, (last visited April 9, 2024).

[2] Rachel Hajar, Animal Testing and Medicine, HEART VIEWS (April 9, 2024, 8:36 PM),

[3] THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES, (last visited April 10, 2024).

[4] S. Chinny Krishna, Animal Testing In India, 357, THE LANCET, 885-886 (2001).

[5] PETA, (last visited April 10, 2024).

[6] Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, No. 23, Acts of Parliament, 1940 (India).

[7] PETA UK, (last visited April 10, 2024).

[8] Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, No. 59, Acts of Parliament, 1960 .

[9] Shruti Yadav, Animal Experimentation Laws In India, 5, Open Access Publication, 115 (2020).

[10] Supra note 8.

[11] Animal Welfare Act, 1960, No. 59, Acts of Parliament, 1960.

[12] Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, No. 23, Acts of Parliament, 1940.

[13] Id at 12.

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