Medical Experiments

They say: “At least animal experiments give us the correct answer some of the time.”

The truth: Animal experiments have been shown to be correct less than 30% of the time. By the Law of Averages, tossing up a coin gives a correct answer at least 50% of the time. One would, therefore, be better off tossing up a coin.

They say: “At least testing on animals gives us some idea of the possible side-effects of a drug.”

The truth: One of the world’s best known toxicologists, Prof. Zbinden, has shown that only three of the 45 most common side-effects might be predicted using animals. This is the reason why so many drugs are withdrawn from the market after human use.

They say: “If it were not for animal experiments, we would not have antibiotics.”

The truth: Penicillin was discovered under a microscope, and not as a result of animal testing. If it had been tested on guinea pigs, who are ‘favourite’ laboratory animals, it would have no doubt been discarded, because penicillin kills guinea pigs.

They say: “If it were not for animal experiments, there would be no vaccinations.”

The truth: Vaccinations were practised in the Ancient Orient. The first modern vaccination was done by Edward Jenner in 1796, and was the result of 21 years of patient observation and not animal experiments.

They say: “We need monkey kidney cells to make vaccines.”

The truth: A strain of human cells was developed in 1967 by Prof. L. Hayflick from Stanford University. This strain produced a limitless number of cultures that could be frozen and thawed, when needed, to produce the growth medium for vaccines anywhere in the world.

They say: “Polio was eradicated because of vaccines that were cultured by using monkeys.”

The truth: The Nobel Prize was awarded to Enders, Weller and Robbins in 1949 for their research that showed that the polio virus could be cultured in human cells.

They say: “If it were not for Chris Barnard’s experiments on dogs, we would not have been able to perform heart transplant surgery.”

The truth: A heart transplant operation per se presents no great difficulty to a good surgeon. No amount of animal experimentation could solve the problem of a person rejecting the heart - a problem caused by the immune system. The immune system of animals and humans, although similar, are different. Therefore, despite practising on 400 dogs before attempting a human transplant, the first human ‘guinea-pigs’ died.

Cosmetics & Household Products

  • In South Africa, many ingredients for cosmetics and household products are tested on animals to determine the so-called toxicity and safety of these products.
  • Toxicity tests include the Draize Test (chemicals are injected into the eyes of rabbits and are applied to their skins) and the LD50 Test (the chemical dosage that will kill half of the animals who have been forced to inhale or eat, or have been injected with these chemicals).
  • Laboratory animals fall under the Animals Protection Act, which does not cover the ‘use’ of animals for scientific purposes in any way.
  • A complete ban on animal testing for cosmetics has been implemented in the EU. This means that “no company can carry out new animal tests for cosmetics purposes outside of the EU for products to be sold in the EU. Cosmetics companies can, however, continue to sell in the EU products with ingredients that have been animal tested in the past. If a product has ingredients which have been animal tested after the date the ban came into effect, a company will not be able to market this in Europe, even if it sells the same product in other global markets.”
  • India has banned cosmetic animal testing within the country, and has also imposed a ban on importing such products that test on animals.
  • New Zealand has banned cosmetic testing.
  • There are many ingredients that are safe, and do not need to be tested on animals again. There are also non-animal based tests available. No-one has to be part of this cruel and unnecessary industry.

What Can You Do?

  • Do not buy cosmetic or household products that have been tested on animals.
  • For cruelty-free products in South Africa, use Beauty Without Cruelty approved products:
  • For cruelty-free international cosmetic and household products, use the Leaping Bunny approved list:
  • Be an advocate for animals. Advise your friends and family about the cruelty of vivisection.
  • Contact us for support or to organize a protest in your area.

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