Animal experimentation

Science and Engineering Ethics 12 (1):111-122 (2006)
Abstract
Millions of animals are used every year in oftentimes extremely painful and distressing scientific procedures. Legislation of animal experimentation in modern societies is based on the supposition that this is ethically acceptable when certain more or less defined formal (e.g. logistical, technical) demands and ethical principles are met. The main parameters in this context correspond to the “3Rs” concept as defined by Russel and Burch in 1959, i.e. that all efforts to replace, reduce and refine experiments must be undertaken. The licensing of animal experiments normally requires an ethical evaluation process, oftentimes undertaken by ethics committees. The serious problems in putting this idea into practice include inter alia unclear conditions and standards for ethical decisions, insufficient management of experiments undertaken for specific (e.g. regulatory) purposes, and conflicts of interest of ethics committees’ members.
Keywords animal experimentation  animal welfare  ethics committees
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