Do you wish to know about the laws outside of the US as well?
It's kind of a big thing, if you want to know how it works every where
But some of the alternative ways is using living tissue or cells, but not a whole human or animal. Some things can also be calculated by computers, so you don't need animals.
Some things can be difficult without animals. Like looking at how cancer evolves - for this a species of fish (sorry, don't know what it is called in english, neon perhaps?) is used. They've made it transparent, so they can follow the cancer...
So annoying - I know this really good site, but it's not in english, and I don't know half the words in english >_<
First, the PI have to present a study proposal to your institution's IACUC (Institutional Animal Care And Use Committee). The IACUC is made up of at least, 1 veterinarian, 1 scientist, 1 member of the community (non-vet and non-scientist) and 2 more members that can be either of the above mentioned. They review the proposal, and approve or deny it. When they review the proposal, they make sure that you are complying with all the laws regarding animal welfare. Also, they question why you are using certain species, the number of animals you are using and your procedures. Everything has to be approved by the AVMA. You institution will be inspected, after all, every 3 years by... ummm.. NIH, I think (my lab animals professor would kill me if she knew that I can't remember!) and every 5 years by the USDA. If you are accredited by AAALAC, then your institution will be inspected by them every 3 years too. IACUC makes sure that everything is in order for those inspections and inspect every laboratory every 6 months.
Yeah, some alternatives are computer models, in vitro experiments, and you have to use animals of the lowest phylogenic rank possible (for example, if you do something with rats, and want to do the same thing with monkeys you have to state a valid reason why)
Wherever you decide to link, dont go by Peta's site..I find they tend to irrationalize and sensationalize the whole thing.The only test I'm familiar with is the eye draize test :an acute toxicity test devised in 1944.Initially used for testing cosmetics, the procedure involves applying 0.5mL of a test substance to an animal's eye or skin for four hours.The animals are observed for up to 14 days, for signs of redness, swelling, discharge, ulceration, hemorrhaging, cloudiness, or blindnes..Almost always this is performed on albino rabbits and is very painful(go figure) administered without any or little anesthetic and usually the rabbit is killed in the end.
I'm very much against the use of animals in experimentation so I'm probably almost biased. In any case,Proctor and Gamble company is the worst for testing products on animals so I have completly boycotted anything made by them until they stop killing animals in un necessary tests..
A commin test is the LD 50 (Lethal Dose).
This is used on all sorts of animals, but mostly invertebrates as far as I know.
You simply apply toxins to the animals, until 50% dies, and then you can make some statistics on how bad the toxin is.
Purple-hops, I totally agree with you! i am AGAINST it totally. In my eyes there is no excuse to use animals.
I done an essay on this subject and actually caused up a fuss in my college class over it people saying i was overracting and i needed to get real BlahBlah. But also Peta does kinda make stuff up and make it worse.. Some things are correct but others are not.
I cannot really provide you with anything as im from UK and our laws are different..
Here is our UK laws. http://www.aboutanimaltesting.co.uk/local-laws-animal-testing.html
The animal testing laws vary by species. In other words, some animals can legally be used in labs for testing purposes, and some cannot. This pie chart breaks it down. Mice are the most unlucky with over 50 percent of all testing performed on them.
The law is vague.
It comes from the Animal Welfare Act and basically says that, "any procedure can be performed on an animal if it can be successfully argued that it is scientifically justified"
However, this only applies to animals that are allowed to be used for testing. Obviously an animal like the spotted Owl, and other endangered species are protected by other laws.
Hope this helps. Lots of info on the web about this. PM me if you need anything. ;-)