25 May

Arguments against Animal Testing

Did you know that rats, the most commonly used animal in testing does not have a gall bladder? Open up any animal and you will find intricate and major physiological differences with man. And yet, for ages, animals have been used to test drugs meant for human beings, often with disastrous results. A few cases will be illustrated here to strengthen the arguments against animal testing.

It is reported by the Food and Drug Administration that almost 92% of drugs that have passed muster on animals and mandatory tests have failed on human beings. Take the case of drugs for cancer. Research on this disease has successfully led to production of drugs that have cured cancer for decades – on mice only. A drug for cancer for human beings is yet to be found. In any case, only about 30% of substances that causes cancer in humans do so in animals. Hence, testing of drugs for cancer on animals has not only been a waste if valuable research time and expenses, it has also caused untold suffering to animals.

A drug for arthritis, Vioxx has been estimated to have directly been the cause of 320,000 heart attack and strokes and 140,000 deaths worldwide. But it was found safe when tested on monkeys and 5 other animal species. Clinical trials of Hepatitis B drug Fialudrine killed five people during trials after it was found safe on animals. Human volunteers testing a drug for a monoclonal antibody in 2006 suffered severe allergic reactions and their condition had turned critical. On the other hand, testing of the drug at a 500 times dose on monkeys failed to show any side effects.

Given all these examples, and there are hundreds more, drug testing on animals is a totally futile and a bad in science scenario. The common thing here is that all these substances have been administered internally, either orally or through injections. But other than that, there are other aspects too. Skin care is one of them. Eyeliners, soaps, beauty products and other food ingredients are tested on animals to ensure safety of use before being recommended on human beings.

Take the case of using IPL hair removal machine and equipment. The basic principles of laser treatments have for long been tested on animals and found to be safe. But here too, cruelty to animals could have been avoided. Does the world really need a product or machine or device that causes untold harm and brutality on animals?

The strongest case against animal testing can be made based on the premise that animals are different from humans both genetically and physiologically. Hence any studies on animals have more of a chance of failing when tried on human beings. These pointers will bear this out.

  • Food items such as raisins, chocolates, avocados, grapes are much preferred items for humans but can be dangerously toxic on dogs.
  • Specific diseases that are common to human do not exist in the animal kingdom. Some of them are certain types of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia as well as HIV and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Cats, mice and rats are toxic to the common drug Aspirin which would not be in drug stores had it first been tested on animals.
  • Only 50% of DNA that regulates genes in mice matches that of human DNA. This was arrived at after analyzing almost 100 mouse cell types. Hence, testing drugs on animals is not the wise thing to do to get accurate results of drug usefulness or their side effects.

What has made animal testing irrelevant in today’s world is the invention of effective and humane research methods. This includes human-based micro-dosing, in vitro technology, human-patient simulators, and sophisticated computer modelling. Most importantly, all these tests are faster and cheaper than animal testing.

07 May

A Step-By-Step Guide to Starting a Pet Store

If you are an animal lover with entrepreneurial spirit then opening a pet store can provide you with an opportunity to work with animals and be your own boss. Although opening a pet store seems fun, owning and operating it requires plenty of hard work and careful planning. Running a pet store is not different to any other kind of new business. The success of your venture depends on meeting your customers’ needs and creating a positive atmosphere. Also, selling pets and supplies requires meeting certain standards, complying with rules and regulations and performing a few necessary procedures.

Here are some basics to get you started.

Assess your ability – It is a great idea to work or volunteer at a pet store. This way you will be able to learn the business and determine if you are capable for such type of venture. Learn as much as you can about different pets, their characteristics and needs. This is essential and will help you when you open your own pet store. You will be in a better position to relate to and serve your customers.

Create a business plan – Develop a business plan that includes your short term and long term goals. Outline the necessary steps which are required to achieve these goals. A good business plan includes, what is being offered, financing, and establishing your brand. Before creating a business plan, it is essential to research the market to determine your clientele and expected profit.

Select a suitable location – Choosing the right premises in the right location can be a critical deciding factor in your business success. This decision solely depends on the kind of pet store you are hoping to set up, types of animals you will keep and the services and products you will offer.  Once you have found the space, consult a commercial property lawyer to know about zoning regulations and permits required.

Obligation and compliances – Unlike a typical retail store that sells toys or clothes, owning a pet store requires you to take care of live animals, so it is necessary that you adhere to the laws and regulations related to it. Before opening the store, obtain a business licence or a pet shop licence from the local jurisdiction. Another legal aspect that pet shop owners need to abide by is the health and animal cruelty codes. While choosing animals, make sure that it is legal to sell them. You also need to purchase commercial insurance. No matter how experienced you or your employees are with handling pets, there is always a chance of injury. So it is advisable that you purchase commercial insurance. These are just a few legal tips, for more specific guidance call an experienced property lawyer in Melbourne. He/she will help you in applying for the permits and purchasing the insurance.

Outline the policies – Think about how much hours you need to put in and the workflow. Set a competitive pricing for the items. Decide how you will handle client payments and also make sure that all your liabilities and requirements are in the contract. Plan how you will notify clients of your time off and how to handle replacement care.

Running a pet store can be extremely rewarding if you properly adhere to the steps for setting up and registering your business.

02 May

The Concept of Buying and Selling Pets Online

Have you experienced the joys of online shopping yet? Browsing the internet for your favourite items and the excitement of having it show up on your doorstep within the next couple of days, it is truly the shopping mode of choice for many people today. If you have never experienced the convenience and excitement of internet shopping, you are missing out on a lot of the convenience that the digital age has to offer. Once you are familiar with online shopping it is interesting to discover how far you can push the concept of digital buying and selling. Many people have also asked whether it can include live species, whether a simple research decision or a true online buying deliverer process.

Online search for pets, demonstrates an abundance of choices for viewers. Dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and more, there is nothing that is not available apart restrictions on border control and protected species. Puppies and kittens are typically the most traditional species bought and sold online, offering a range of advantages for shoppers.

A typical puppy ad will include all information about the breed and the status of the animal itself. It will also detail out the dog’s typical eating patterns, the area of the space required for it for a healthy specimen, its age and most importantly the temperament. While some sellers will require a visit before taking a payment, some will simply deliver your new family member within a week of the cleared payment.

If you are selling a pup, you can easily take out a classified ad in the papers and deliver it locally. You can also link up with an ecommerce site that already handles this line of activity, advertise on their page and conduct the delivery through them. Remember, because it is a live animal you are dealing with, extra caution is always advised and typically a delivery by an experienced animal handler is preferred to make the process as smooth as possible. Without adequate caution, the journey can be extremely traumatic for a puppy or kitten and in even harmful if proper care is not taken. Consider whether you can afford the shipping cost of a live animal before attempting to sell or buy an animal online, and maybe instead look at your local shelter for an affordable alternative.