International Journal for the Study of Animal Problems


The current laws regarding experimentation on animals should be dramatically revised. These laws permit virtually unrestricted animal experimentation without regard to the benefits obtained from such experiments

and the consequences of such experiments upon the subject animal. Legislation constituting a two-step jump from the current laws is needed. Laws sanctioning and requiring animal experimentation should be repealed. Laws significantly restricting acceptable experimentation should be enacted. The principle underlying this proposal for change is straightforward: Nonhuman animals, like human animals, have interests in the integrity of their

bodies which deserve legal protection. Only by repealing the present laws and enacting new legislation can these interests be appropriately protected. In Animal Liberation, Peter Singer (1975) stated why an animal's interest, like a person's interest, in the integrity of its body deserves legal protection: "If a being suffers there can be no moral justification for refusing to take that suffering into consideration." However, while the law regarding experimentation on humans reflects the need to consider the subject's sentience (the capacity to suffer and to experience enjoyment), the law regarding animal experimentation ignores the experiment's likely impact on the subject animal.