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  1. Ethical Science News

  2. May 13, 2021

Research on Animals: Harmful to Animals, Damaging to Laboratory Workers’ Mental Health

Study in a Sentence: A recent article reported on the mental health struggles faced by people who work in animal laboratories, citing the physical, emotional, and psychological impacts caused by inflicting restraint, injury, and death on animals. 

(Un)healthy for Humans: Evidence is mounting that harming animals in the name of science causes significant stress, compassion fatigue, social isolation, and poorer quality of life. Breaking the necks of mice day after day, realizing that animals were bred and then killed for no reason, and being required to kill a cat you’ve taken care of for months—it takes a serious toll on any caring person. 

Redefining Research: Too many have been led to believe that killing animals in experiments is the only way to make progress in medical research. This is simply not true. We can keep laboratory workers safe and healthy by  focusing on human-relevant scientific research and steering early-career scientists towards a path that will help them succeed, in their careers and with their mental health. Numerous nonanimal approaches have emerged in recent years, from patient-derived cells, three-dimensional organoids, and complex microfluidics technologies to integrated computer modelling and imaging techniques. The data derived from these models are far more reliable for human applications and won’t harm humans or animals in the lab. 


Butler G. Inside the secret mental health crisis of people who kill animals for science. Vice World News. 2021, May 7.

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