It is impossible to argue that animal testing is 100 percent flawless. It only takes a few clicks on any internet search engine to find proof that animals are mistreated every day. However, completely banning animal testing is not the way to go. Effective testing is definitely possible without inflicting harm on the subjects.
The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) is the only federal law that places restrictions on what can and cannot be done with animal research. The law provides no protection for rats, mice, and birds, which make up about 90 percent of the species used for research, and hardly any protection for the species that it does cover.
For example, in 2004, a chimpanzee died from overheating because of sub-par ventilation in his cage while being held at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. The USDA fined the center $1,375—a slap on the wrist. In 2008, the AWA raised the maximum fine per violation to $10,000. These amounts are simply inconsequential, especially for facilities that rake in millions of dollars annually.
The AWA is also incredibly vague. It does not specify what animals can or cannot be subjected to during experiments. So what exactly is being checked during the required annual inspections?
This is an issue that simply needs stricter regulations. It does not take heavy scrutiny to see the areas that need improvement. In addition to the weak, non-intimidating punishments for the minimal amount of regulations that currently exist, there are only 115 USDA inspectors to oversee close to 8,000 testing facilities.
An all-out ban on animal testing would work about as well as the War on Drugs, or Prohibition. If it is completely outlawed, manufacturers will just find somewhere else where they can test their products on animals.