Animal testing is a common laboratory practise meant to assess the safety of market-bound medical, cosmetic, household, chemical products and to research potentially harmful diseases. This testing method is responsible for the deaths of around 25 million animals every year. These tests are often performed (in order of decreasing use) on mice, rats, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, farm animals, dogs, primates, and cats. The common argument against animal testing is regarding the ethics and the violation of animals’ rights; however, an environmental and health impact has been documented, including impacts on biodiversity, waste production, water contamination, resource use, and laboratory workers’ health.
Animal welfare describes how an animal is coping with the conditions in which it lives. “An animal is in a good state of welfare if (as indicated by scientific evidence) it is healthy, comfortable, well-nourished, safe, able to express innate behaviour, and if it is not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear, and distress. Good animal welfare requires disease prevention and veterinary treatment, appropriate shelter, management, nutrition, humane handling, and humane slaughter.”