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(vĭv'ĭsĕk`shən), dissection of living animals for experimental purposes. The use of the term in recent years has been expanded to include all experimentation on living animals, rather than just dissection alone. The practice contributed to the outstanding progress that was made in the 17th cent. by William Harvey in understanding the circulation of the blood. However, the use of research animals in the laboratory did not become widespread in Europe until the 19th cent. In 1896, when the National Institute of Health originated in the United States, it began to take an active role in encouraging proper care and use of laboratory animals. Since 1945, the National Society for Medical Research has tried to explain to the public the nature and necessity of experimental procedures on animals. During the 1980s, the incidence of vandalism, harassment, and theft in research centers using animals for testing increased greatly. Most nations have government agencies that assume advisory or regulatory roles in the practice of vivisection. Private organizations in the United States concerned with vivisection include the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS), and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). In the United States today, strict rules and procedures, laid down by the National Institutes of Health and a number of other public and private organizations, ensure ethical and sensitive use of animals for research. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Animal Welfare Regulations are among the most important documents setting forth requirements for animal care and use by institutions using animals in research, testing, and education. Regulations have been effective since 1985. Members of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees observe and enforce compliance to these rulings on institutional levels. The USDA regularly inspects all institutions that use animals for experimental purposes. Animals most frequently used in the laboratory include rats, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, and monkeys. When animals more closely resembling humans in size and structure are needed, dogs and chimpanzees may be utilized. Animal experimentation is especially advantageous if offspring of several generations are to be observed: for instance, about 5 generations of mice can be observed in a year, whereas in humans the same experiment would require over 100 years.


See studies by T. Regan (1988), S. Sperling (1988), and B. Rollin (1989).



the performance of operations on live animals for the purpose of studying the functions of the body, the effect of medicinal substances, methods of surgical treatment, and so forth. In vivisection the research is conducted at the time of the operation itself—for example, in an acute experiment through irritation, transplantation, or removal of an organ. On the other hand, in a chronic experiment (originated by I. P. Pavlov), the operation merely serves as a preparation for subsequent research (for example, the creation of a fistula of the salivary gland or stomach). Vivisection is an extremely valuable method in medical and physiological research. Experiments are conducted in such a way that animal suffering during operations is minimized by the use of narcosis and so forth. Accusations from antivivi-section societies (in Great Britain and the USA) of the torture of animals by physiologists or medical experimenters are therefore without foundation. In the USSR vivisection is permitted only for scientific purposes.


the act or practice of performing experiments on living animals, involving cutting into or dissecting the body
References in periodicals archive ?
Despite positive reviews and a reissue of the book, Trixy never garnered the public support needed to mount an effective challenge to the vivisectionists.
Here Prendick betrays, in Moreau's terms, both his link to animality through his empathy with pain, and also, in contemporary vivisectionist discourse, his link to female sentimentality.
This question is tackled in detail in the second part of the book, and it turns out that alternatives have been there all along, but most researchers have opted to remain stuck in the vivisectionist mode of thought due to intellectual inertia and cognitive complacency.
Dana expressed his opposition to regulation at a time when vivisectionists had cause for concern.
In The Fortnightly Review, John Bridges described the vivisectionist as a kind of "scientific geographer at home" obtaining "precise knowledge of the geographical structure of a country, of the elevation of its plateaux and mountain ranges, of the geological features, and of the average rainfall in different latitudes and longitudes.
He is known for his views against animal cruelty and reportedly said millions of animal lives could be saved if a handful of vivisectionists were killed.
The Green Party MEP claimed when the animals can not race any more they are even fed to sharks or sold to vivisectionists.
This is because 28 days before, vivisectionists had burst into a lab and let loose a chimp infected with a Rage virus.
Local residents were alarmed yesterday to discover that the pigs bred at the farm were not destined for the butchers, but were specially bred for vivisectionists.
Vivisectionists, zookeepers, slave-owners, colonizers of one sort or another, have all been concerned with the manipulation (whether that means to preserve, kill, use, instruct, or in some other way to socialize the unsocialized) of the other than the manipulator.
NewsStand: CNN & TIME (CNN): The news report "Animal Rights" gave a forum to vivisectionists who seemingly equate those concerned with the humane treatment of animals with animal terrorists.
People are angry that he tried to save animals from suffering and was locked up, while people who carry out animal abuse, such as factory farmers, vivisectionists and hunters, are free to walk the streets.