National Anti-vivisection Society


National Antivisection Society

Differences between rats and humans


Sociable, inquisitive and playful, rats fare no better in the laboratory than mice. They are kept in small boxes stacked on racks with nothing to amuse the animals. At St Mary’s Medical School, London, the NAVS filmed a rat with a large electrode permanently implanted in its head. The animal constantly squinted and clutched at the implant. At St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School, the NAVS filmed rats in arthritis experiments, painfully dragging their swollen limbs. Scientists admitted that these ‘models’ of the disease were not the same as the disease in humans.

What a Waste

  • Rats and people differ right down to the pH value (acidity) of saliva.
  • Rats cannot vomit.
  • Rats have no gall bladder.
  • The drug tamoxifen was patented as a contraceptive, which it is in rats; but in women it has the opposite effect.
  • A man-sized rat could consume 12 bottles of Scotch whisky a day with no more liver damage than that caused by half a bottle to the human liver.

© National Anti-Vivisection Society