Is Animal Vaccine Testing Ethical?


 Vaccines kill approximately 2.5 million animals annually.

Prior to the initiation of human based clinical trials, a significant amount of preclinical research is conducted utilizing living animals.

These are in vivo analyses (that is, conducted using the animals) which have multifarious purposes:

 – Live, attenuated vaccines are generally produced via a method whereby generations of viruses are grown in cell culture, or in animals, such that the viruses are gradually weakened. This process of viral weakening in the animals hosts becomes quite cruel and devastating. Inactivated and toxoid vaccines – typically created by killing the microbe with chemicals – are tested on animals which cause extreme suffering and death.

– “Abnormal toxicity tests” are often utilized on guinea pigs and mice. They are injected with a biological product and observed for a week. The test is usually performed numerous times until: a) no animals display signs of toxicity, b) no animals experience weight loss by the end of the observation period, and c) all animals survive.

– Tests such as the “mouse weight gain” utilized for the whole cell pertussis vaccine, subjects mice to a process whereby they are injected and subsequently observed 3 days later to determine if they are dead, alive, or have experienced weight gain. This is often performed more than one time.

-Oral polio vaccine testing includes a neurovirulence test, which subjects rhesus or cynomolgus monkeys to excruciating levels of pain. These monkeys receive an injection in their spines and are subsequently observed for the ensuing three week period to determine whether paralysis has been induced or not. Thereafter, the monkeys are killed and further examined.

-With inactivated vaccines, “potency tests” are often implemented to determine the effectiveness of the inactivated microbe in precluding disease contraction. Multitudes of rabbits, rats, mice, guinea pigs, and chickens are injected with a vaccine and then “challenged” with the corresponding pathogen against which they have been vaccinated. As one can imagine, the result is usually devastating for the animal.

-Another example of potency testing: to test one batch of the live, rabies vaccine, the virus is injected directly into the skulls of 160 mice. Some mice receive the vaccine while some do not (in order to ascertain vaccine “effectiveness”). As per PETA, “These cranial injections are extremely painful and completely irrelevant to the normal route of infection. Approximately half of the animals develop and/or die of rabies, a painful neurological disease involving tremors, loss of control over one’s body, the inability to swallow, and severe weight loss.”


The bottom line is that animal cruelty and killing it is perfectly acceptable per FDA/USDA standards for both drug and biological testing.

Upon learning the aforementioned information, a vaccine proponent might counter an animal activist with the following: vaccines are a necessary evil which must be developed in order to prevent the onset of widespread infectious disease. That is unequivocally the answer they will provide.

If one were to presuppose for a second that vaccines are beneficial (which they aren’t), should we be required to utilize evil means in attempt to derive a putative good result? The means justify the ends in the case of a vaccine proponent’s justification for the atrocities cited herein. However, one should be able to utilize good means to produce a good end result; one will find that is indeed possible with anything biologically necessary in nature. Ideal disease prevention emanates from stimulation and repeated challenge of a robust immune system, fortified by proper nutrition, mineral and vitamin intake, exercise, and moderate sunlight exposure, among innumerable other safe and effective techniques.

There are innumerable, ethical alternatives to animal testing – arguably more effective as well – explained on the following website:

2.5 million animal deaths per year are not a requirement of public health safety. Join the crusade: fight for what is ethically and scientifically right.