Jim Meehan

Das stressreiche Leben der Labortiere

Tierversuche werden gemacht, um Erkenntnisse über Krankheiten sowie deren Heilung zu gewinnen und um Aufschluss über die Toxizität von Medikamenten zu bekommen, bevor man sie am Menschen testet. Tatsächlich haben Tierversuche bei fast jedem größeren Fortschritt in der Medizin eine zentrale Rolle gespielt.

Obwohl Wissenschaftler an der Entwicklung neuer Methoden arbeiten, die Tierversuche einschränken oder als Ersatz dafür dienen sollen, kann man mit gegenwärtig zur Verfügung stehenden Technologien viele Arten von Tierversuchen noch nicht ersetzen. Der britische Ethikrat Nuffield Council on Bioethics schätzt, dass weltweit jährlich zwischen 50 und 100 Millionen Tiere, von Fliegen bis zu Affen, bei Tierversuchen ihr Leben lassen, wobei es sich bei ungefähr 90 % der in der Forschung eingesetzten Wirbeltiere um Nager handelt.

Um nützliche Erkenntnisse aus Tierversuchen zu gewinnen, müssen zuverlässige Ergebnisse aus den Experimenten vorliegen, wobei diese Resultate von unterschiedlichen Wissenschaftlern an verschiedenen Orten reproduzierbar sein sollten. Dazu bedarf es eines grundlegenden Verständnisses jeder Tierart und ihrer Biologie.

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