?h Alternatives to Animal TestingAlternative methods fall into three main categories, also known as the three R??s: Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement. Replacement is when animals are replaced, either by absolute replacement, which is when an animal is completely replaced, or by relative replacement, just cells and tissues are used, instead of the whole animal. Replacement isn??t always an option although, for those animals that do undergo testing, scientists try to lessen the pain and make the animals more comfortable. Replacement isn??t considered an option anymore-it has become daily. A few years ago, when a woman wanted to find out whether or not she was pregnant, she had to stop at a laboratory and get a test that involved killing a rabbit. Nowadays, she can buy and over-the-counter kit that tests her for certain chemicals. Computers are a new high-tech method of replacement. For example, dissection on a computer model instead of real, live frogs, which I would prefer! People are becoming increasingly popular when it comes time for the needs for volunteers for new facial and skin products.
Reduction is the second method involves ??sharing?? research animals. For one example, if one scientist doing a study on the lungs of a sheep, when it comes time to kill the sheep he will allow the others to use his kidneys, liver or heart.
Refinement being the third choice means to reduce any pain and suffering that the animal is going through. Techniques that are less hostile to the animal can also be considered refinement. Researchers can use ultrasound or an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to see what is going on inside the animal instead of cutting into it. The cosmetics industry, which 20 years ago tested all its products on animals has come so close to stopping using animals. Many companies have reduced the use of whole-animal testing by 80 ?V 90%. Some have eliminated it completely. Since the 80??s many companies have put serious amounts of money and effort into a search for alternatives for animal testing. Plus, most ingredients that are being used today have already been tested on an animal and have shown to be safe. ?h What kinds of tests are being done?The chronic-toxicity tests assess the effects of long-term exposure, often at low levels, to certain subjects. Acute-toxicity tests evaluate the risk of short-term exposure, accidental contact with eyes, skin and indigestion. There have two