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November 17, 1989

Human vs Animal Rights: In Defense of Animal Research

JAMA. 1989;262(19):2716-2720. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430190100039

For centuries, opposition has been directed against the use of animals for the benefit of humans. For more than four centuries in Europe, and for more than a century in the United States, this opposition has targeted scientific research that involves animals. More recent movements in support of animal rights have arisen in an attempt to impede, if not prohibit, the use of animals in scientific experimentation. These movements employ various means that range from information and media campaigns to destruction of property and threats against investigators. The latter efforts have resulted in the identification of more militant animal rights bands as terrorist groups. The American Medical Association has long been a defender of humane research that employs animals, and it is very concerned about the efforts of animal rights and welfare groups to interfere with research. Recently, the Association prepared a detailed analysis of the controversy over the use of animals in research, and the consequences for research and clinical medicine if the philosophy of animal rights activists were to prevail in society. This article is a condensation of the Association's analysis.

(JAMA. 1989;262:2716-2720)