Task 2 Essay: Animal Testing
Question: Nowadays animal experiments are widely used to develop new medicines and to test the safety of other products. Some people argue that these experiments should be banned because it is morally wrong to cause animals to suffer, while others are in favour of them because of their benefits to humanity. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
Band 8+ Sample Answer:
(Intro) Opinions are divided on whether a complete ban should be imposed on animal testing on moral grounds or whether it should be maintained due to its roles in the development of new therapeutic agents or testing potentially dangerous products. This essay will discuss both views and give reasons why such a ban would be not sensible given the current lack of a realistic alternative.
(Body 1) Those who argue that experiments on animals should be prohibited may point to the suffering they experience. Animal rights activists believe that such testing would do nothing but cause harm and distress to animal subjects, which cannot be justified by any possible benefits to society. A good illustration of this is allergy skin testing in which rabbits can be subject to severe swelling and inflammation. This exploitation by the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, nevertheless, could be mitigated by implementing a set of ethical principles, including refining experimental procedures to minimise any possible discomfort that animals have to experience.
(Body 2) Despite the aforementioned arguments, I am in favour of animal research partly because of the concrete evidence it offers and partly because of a lack of alternatives. With regard to the former, these studies provide information on the effectiveness and safety profile of a candidate drug, serving as a foundation for its trials on human subjects. Such data can assist scientists in calculating the dose which should be used for patients. As far as the second idea is concerned, although some advances in computer modelling have been made, these options still have not demonstrated enough reliability and therefore, studies conducted on live animals are still irreplaceable, for now at least.
(Conclusion) To summarise, I believe that the use of animals for drug and product testing, although causing intense suffering to the subjects, is essential and incomparable. However greater investment in computer modelling is needed for the long term. (312 words).
Words Student essay, corrected & upgraded by Nick Kemp, former IELTS examiner.
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