Tests performed on animals help advance scientific research and medicines development.
Animal research takes several forms.
Basic or fundamental research helps advance scientific knowledge about how animals and humans behave, develop and function biologically. In the EU, basic research accounts for approximately 33% of all animals used for research purposes and tends to be publicly funded with some private funding from industry and medical research charities.
Targeted or applied research helps scientific understanding of diseases leading to and including the development of new vaccines and medicines. This type of research is both publicly and privately funded and may also use findings obtained from basic research. Targeted research is the second largest area where animals are used. In the EU this accounts for approximately 31% of animals used for research purposes.
8% of animals are used in toxicological or other product safety evaluation, which are performed to test potential harm to animals, humans or the environment. Such research is required by European legislation and international guidelines. Of these, just over half of the animals are used for evaluating human (incl. dentistry) and veterinary medicines. The remainder are used to obtain quality and safety data from household and industrial chemicals, herbicides, fertilizers, and food additives. Quality and safety tests are usually funded by private organizations.
The remaining 28% of animals are used for the purposes of production and quality control, diagnosis of diseases, education and training or other purposes.
And also: What is animal testing exactly?
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