Expert Expressions Why we stand up against experimentation on animals Nirali Rohit Koradia is animal rights activist at the Peoples for Animals (PFA) Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is: â€œBecause the animals are like us.â€ Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: â€œBecause the animals are not like us!â€ We all love our dogs, there is no contesting that point. Our dogs are not only our trusted companions, they are members of our families who we care deeply about, however, many people donâ€™t realize that the products they buy every day fuel the abuse of dogs across the globe We commonly think of rabbits and mice when it comes to animals used in laboratories for experimentation and research, but â€“ to the surprise of many â€“ our beloved dogs also fall into this category. Dogs are especially popular for use in toxicology tests, which determine safe levels of an unknown substance for humans. They are also popular for cancer studies because dogs and humans have similar immune systems, making dogs a good model for cancer immunotherapies. The dogs used in these and other experiments are routinely euthanized at the end of experiments. But just because animal testing finds a product to be safe doesn't necessarily mean it is. According to the BFP, 106,000 people die each year from drugs that tested and found safe on animals. The first known dog experiment was performed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1657. He was the first person to inject substances into their bloodstream, in this case he used wine and opium. Beagles are the most commonly used dogs in animal testing, due to their smaller size and passive nature. A favoured animal in toxicology studies, these dogs are often kept caged for years on end until their study is complete. A total of approximately 12,000 experiments on beagles dogs were approved from 2007-2011. It can be deduced that at least 4000 dogs were procured for experiments and at least 3,000 dogs either died or were euthanized. Small, compact, and hardy, Beagles are active companions for kids and adults alike. Canines in this dog breed are merry and fun loving, but being hounds, they can also be stubborn and require patient, creative training techniques. Their noses guide them through life, and theyâ€™re never happier than when following an interesting scent. The Beagle originally was bred as a scent hound to track small game, mostly rabbits and hare. He is still used for this purpose in many countries, including the United States. A data analysis by The Voice of Stray Dogs of CPSCEA (GoI) data from 2007-2011 states that Toxicity study is the leading area in experimentation on beagles and forms 65% of all tests, dose assessment forms 11%, Pharmokinetic study forms 9%, Bioequivalnce forms 5% and all others form 10% of the tests on beagles. As per the same data, Advinus is the leader in experimentation on beagles with 40% share of experiments on dogs, Cadila has 18% share, Sun Pharma 15%, Jair Research 14, Lupin 6% while the total other industry had 6% share. Advinus is the leader in toxicology study as well with 48% of all toxicology experiments conducted by the industry being conducted by Advinus, Cadila does 18% toxicology experiments, Jai Research does 13%, Sun Pharma does 14% & others do 6%. Dogs are a favored species in toxicology studies. In these studies, large doses of a test substance (a pharmaceutical, industrial chemical, pesticide, or household product) are force-fed to animals or injected into their bodies, slowly poisoning them. The pain that they suffer repeatedly is out of our level of imagination. The dogs are social and intelligent beings, using them just as apparatus and being blind to the pain that they suffer is nothing other than the sign of how insensitive we humans have become. One enormous criticism of these tests is that they are performed without anaesthetics, which means that animals can suffer a great deal. The reason for avoiding anaesthetic use is because the interaction of two or more drugs can affect the animal's metabolism and excretion of the drug. This means that it is more difficult to gauge the specific effects of the drug in question. The overestimation can be a poor indicator of toxicity, in part, because the doses tend to be quite high and are also performed on a relatively low number of animals in comparison with humans. Although thousands of animals tested for one chemical may initially sound like a large number, a product could be reaching millions of consumers. Manufacturers are essentially extrapolating results from a very small number of animals receiving high doses of a substance. Another criticism is that toxicology testing in animals isn't closely aligned enough with the human body for the results to be accurate in humans. Life is awful for a dog used as a subject in laboratory experiments: The only home he knows is a stacked metal cage in a basement lab, the only light he sees is fluorescent, he's never felt a gentle touch or a belly scratch and he associates humans only with pain. Animals may receive just one application of a substance or they may receive regular or repeated applications over the course of several months. For some animals, they receive the chemical for their entire lifespan. Applications vary but include: â€¢ Orally dispensing the substance, using a tube or placing it in the animal's food â€¢ Application of the substance to the animal's skin â€¢ Dripping the substance into the animal's eyes â€¢ Injecting the substance intravenously or via the animal's muscles â€¢ Injecting the substance just under the skin â€¢ Forced inhalation of a substance through use o These highly intelligent and social beings, humanâ€™s best companion are reduced to nothing other than a Lab case number, a research study. They are injected with toxic drugs in high, medium and low dosage and are left to suffer so that the reaction of injected substance can be studied. These animals are forced to live in cramped up cages, bred to have particular deformities, most of the animals do not even make it till the end of the tests and die a slow, painful death. Cupa, ResQ and PFA many such organizations have so far rescued several such dogs from laboratories that were being used for experimentation. These dogs saw the sun light for the first time, they were cold to touch, they did not even understand affection, the basic instinct of being curious or being playful was killed. These voiceless animals will never be able to reveal to us exactly what they have gone through. All we can do is push the government to make the laws stricter, have a strong check on the laboratories which are minting money from pharma companies in the name of experiments at the cost of innocent lives. The Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experimentation on Animals (CPCSEA), a statutory body of the Government of India, regulates the use of animals before, during and after use in experimentation. The CPCSEA, as mandated by law Rule 9 (c) of the Breeding of and Experiments on Animals (Control and Supervision) Rules 1998 (which states that â€œanimals intended for the performance of experiments are properly looked after both before and after experimentsâ€, finds it necessary to frame guidelines which limit the use of animals in testing /research and their care after use in experiments. The society needs a change in life style, a change in thinking and a major change in the way of looking at the animals as nothing more than a product. Itâ€™s high time that we speak up, keep an eye on our surrounding and inform the authorities or local NGOs as soon as we sense something unethical going on in our neighborhood with animals.