Our peers at Pro-test Germany explain the mission of this recently launched advocacy organisation.
Pro-Test Deutschland lends its voice to science. We supply information for everyone to help understand the role of animal experiments in research. By offering clarification on many scientific, ethical, legal, social, and psychological aspects of animal research, we provide a common platform to all those who wish to stand up for science. And above all, we say: Yes to research. Yes to science. No to ignorance, distrust, half-truths and hostility. Yes to insight – and Yes to a deeper understanding of what we humans are.
We believe that animal research is not only ethically viable but necessary. We are convinced that an overwhelming majority of the population will not and cannot do without the benefits of research on animals. It is often hard for people outside of the scientific community to obtain reliable information about what animal research is good for and why it is needed. Thus, to facilitate an informed and fair debate for the entire society Pro-Test Deutschland supplies information on one a common platform and provides contacts to everybody who wishes to know more about the role of animal experiments in science.
Scientists are constantly, often painfully, aware of the responsibility they bear undertaking research that raises ethical questions, which experimentation on animals most certainly does. They still make the moral decision to follow through on their line of inquiry: because they are convinced of their methods, and of the results they bring. And because they believe that research on animal models is as ethically justifiable as it is scientifically indispensable.
What scientists often fail to do, however, is communicate their moral decisions and the ethical reasoning behind them to the broader public. It is no surprise, therefore, that scientists are often accused of a supposed lack of ethics and attacked for allegedly inhumane, groundless, and therefore, immoral treatment of animals in their research.
We do not think animal research lacks ethical standards or moral fiber. We think that all it really lacks is a voice. It is time for science to speak up. For it is part of a society that deserves to know the whole story. That is the mission of Pro-Test Deutschland.
Press Release June 3rd, 2015
Pro-Test Germany, a supplier of reliable information and advocate for animal testing in research
Tübingen, June 3, 2015
Pro-Test Germany is an initiative intended to lend a voice to science. Its primary goal is to educate the public on scientific, ethical, legal, social and psychological aspects of animal research. In addition, Pro-Test Germany will provide reliable information to help those better understand the role of animals in research and the benefits to society.
Today the European Commission decided that the 2 010/63/EU directive for the protection of research animals will not be affected by zealous antivivisectionists. This is good news for animal welfare. And it is good news for our society as a whole, as this decision issues a clear vote for science and research in the EU.
The often one sided campaign led by animal research opponents has recently left a huge impression on Tübingen, Germany. For one instance, the renowned neuroscientist Nikos Logothetis had decided to withdraw from his primate research to escape ongoing threats and harassment. Until now there has been very little public support for this research, especially from the scientific community, even Logothetis lamented a lack of support in his decision letter.
A powerful voice in the public debate is largely absent. Where have the scientists been during these one sided discussions? Scientists, whom are the most familiar with this research, are largely afraid to speak out because of the potential hostility or because they may not be understood or able to convey a message that the public understands. Not all scientists are adept at speaking out about their research; however, Pro-Test Deutschland aims to educate and provide a secure platform for scientists to speak and the community to get involved.
The view that animal testing in research is not only ethical but also necessary may be widespread, but it is rarely openly professed. For many people outside of science, it is also often difficult to obtain reliable information, such as reports on the outcomes of animal research and their public benefit. This fundamental problem has been acknowledged by young scientists in Tübingen. So by now, it is time to release Pro-Test Germany, an advocacy group for animal research and a voice lent to science. The founders of Pro-Test Germany believe that animal testing in research is ethically and scientifically necessary. All the while supporting a broad societal discussion based on information and literature that ranges through all sides of the story. Thus, to promote an informed and fair debate, Pro-Test Germany will provide a point of contact for all those who want to learn about the role of animals in science.
Pro-Test Germany is initially aimed at building a website that collects data, facts and personal testimonies concerning animal research and its final outcomes. The homepage at http://www.protestgermany.org is going live tonight on June 3, 2015. Additionally, a social media campaign has already begun on Facebook and Twitter. In due course, further activities will also be tackled, such as informational events, lecture series, open letters, rallies etc. The objective is to push Pro-Test Deutschland as far past the Swabian university city limits as possible.