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Animal Testing

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What do you know about mice? Did you know that mice in the wild can leap and climb trees? Or that one type of mouse called a harvest mouse builds a nest of woven grass attached to stalks or reeds above the ground? Did you know that dormice can lower their body temperature to save energy when its cold or when there isnt much food around. Its all true! Now thats amazing!

Rats are also very intelligent animals who have very sharp hearing and a good sense of smell. They are good swimmers and climbers and like to live in groups. People who look after domestic rats say that rats are affectionate and gentle and that they are very keen explorers!

Listen now!
Did you know that some medicines and even some of the shampoos, soaps and other products your mum or dad might use to clean the house are tried out on mice, rats and other animals to see if the animals get hurt when eating or touching them? For example, rats might have to eat washing powder to see what happens to them, and rabbits might have to have toilet cleaner rubbed on their bare skin to see whether they get a rash.

Even cats and dogs are used to try medicines before people can buy them. Animals either die during the tests from being fed too much medicine or soap, or they are killed after the tests.

Some people think that it's a good idea to test on animals; others say that it's wrong.

Someone who thinks it is OK to test things on animals might say
  • Using animals is a good way to find out whether products like polish, shampoo and medicines are safe for people to use. At least no humans get hurt!
  • Animals do not always react to things in the same way people do, but they do help us predict whether a product might be safe.
  • Not just anyone can use animals in this way. The government says who can do it, and may stop a person at any time.
Someone who thinks it is wrong to use animals like this might say
  • It is not right to use animals like this because animals hurt, just like we do.
  • There are other ways to test products. We can even use computers to find out if a medicine or shampoo will hurt us.
  • We cannot tell if a medicine is going to help or hurt a person by testing it on an animal; we can only find out what it will do to that type of animal. People still get hurt because some medicines that are safe for other animals arent safe for people.
  • No one keeps track of every test, so animals are used over and over for the same painful tests when they dont have to be.
Talk About: Topics to Chat About!
1. What do you think about testing things like nail polish and shampoo on animals?
2. Is it OK to use animals to test medicines? Why or why not?
3. Would you prefer to buy products that were tested without hurting animals?

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