Besides the wonderful possibilities that transgenics could bring, there are many of the same arguments against transgenic animals as there are against cloning and stem cell research.
Others who support the study of transgenics say:
Most think research on animals should be allowed to an extent.
If the animal doesn’t suffer AND humans can benefit, people are okay with it.
For example, like in the case of creating transgenic animals that simply express a human form instead of the animal’s original form of a gene to make products with therapeutic effects, this is considered humane to the animal and beneficial to society and therefore acceptable.
The following is a small portion of an interview between Dr. William Gay, who used to work at National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Victoria Harden, director of the historical office at NIH.
“Gay: My assessment is that most of the really good basic research has depended on
animal models. This [AIDS] has been a more animal model-dependent disease
than most that we have experienced, because we do not have any human patients
who have survived…
With transgenic technology…being applied to some other animals–sheep, cattle,
and mice–we can create types of susceptibility that were not possible before.
We have the SCID mouse, in which we can do screening that we could not do
before. Thus there has been a real evolution of animal models, which may help.
Harden: Do you think the public understands the importance of animal models?
Harden: What should be done to change that?
Gay: Something should be done to change the public's view on the use of animals in all
types of biomedical research. Look at the work [Dr. Thomas] Tom Starzl has
done on organ transplantation… But all of this research has been extremely
important for successful organ transplantation, even the
techniques needed by surgeons in order to do it.”