Why animals are used in research?

Oct 19, 2015

Why animals are used in research?

Animals are used in research when it is necessary to know what happens in the whole, living body, which is far more complex than the sum of its parts.

The following are the four main reasons why animals are used in research:

1. To advance scientific understanding

Many basic cell processes are the same in all animals, and the bodies of animals are like humans in the way that they perform many vital functions such as behavior, breathing, digestion, and reproduction.

2. As models to study diseases

Humans and animals share many common illnesses. Consequently, animals can act as models for the study of such.

3. To develop and test potential forms of treatment

Once researchers learn more about a particular disease, animals are used to develop and test these potential therapies as part of the applied research process.

4. To protect the safety of people, animals and the environment

Novel medicines require testing to measure both the beneficial and the harmful effects of a compound on a whole organism. Initially tested in vitro but legally and ethically must also be tested in a suitable animal model before clinical trials in humans can take place.


Animal Research Process on Drug Development involves five stages:

1. Design Process whereby a target for the drug is identified for structural features that likely to have biological activity.

2. Initial Research Phase is where compounds are screened using simulations and modelling processes to determine their potential as drugs.

3. In vitro Research is where initial tests are carried out to see the action of the compounds on individual cells containing the drug target.

4. First Animal Testing to verify the findings of previous studies in vitro.

5. Higher Primate Research before the clinical trials in humans is done.


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