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Animal experimentation has been practiced for centuries to further our knowledge of the workings of the human body and to find cures for diseases Chang 1998 para 1 There is much contention in regard to animal testing despite its longtime practice in the United States and beyond however and both sides have compelling arguments to support their beliefs Is animal testing truly a valuable tool in advancing medical research Or is animal experimentation inhumane and archaic as animal rights activist insist What ethical basis do either side have for their opinions Animal experimentation became widespread in the late 1800s Louis Pasteur developed a vaccine against rabies through his experiments with animals Chang 1998 p5 Pasteur also isolated the microbe that causes anthrax and developed a vaccine against the deadly disease Botting and Morrison 1997 para 4 Joseph Lister a British surgeon who pioneered the sterilization of instruments and dressings used to treat wounds was influenced greatly by Pasteur para 5 In 1875 Queen Victoria asked Lister to address the Royal Commissions inquiry into vivisection the dissection of live animals because of her disapproval of it Though Lister a Quaker with high moral standards had publicly decried many cruelties of the Victorian era he was unable to condemn vivisection His testimony to the Royal Commission stated that animal research had greatly helped him in his studies of medicine and restricting research would only prevent discoveries that would help humankind paras 5 6 So animal experimentation through the years has clearly played an important role in furthering medical science Through animal experimentation researchers have discovered causes of and vaccines for many diseases including diphtheria tetanus whooping cough tuberculosis
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