The use of live animals in controlled laboratory testing is commonplace. Worldwide estimates of the number of vertebrate animals used in testing range from the tens of millions to more than 100 million annually. Much more commonly used, invertebrates make up about 90% of research animals. Supporters of animal testing argue that virtually every medical achievement in the 20th century relied on the use of animals in some way. However, animals can suffer unimaginable distress in laboratories, and animal rights activists argue that these creatures have the right not to be used in experimentation. There is general agreement that animal life should not be taken wantonly; however, regulations on this practice vary worldwide. For example, animal testing for cosmetics is banned across the European Union, but ingredients can still be tested on animals in other countries, such as Brazil, China and the United States.

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