Ethics and Animals

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All material published in [ journal name ] must adhere to high ethical standards concerning animal welfare. Prior to acceptance of a manuscript, to verify compliance with the above policies, the authors must: [journals may opt for one or more of the following]. While animal welfare and ethical considerations are important aspects of biomedical research and its regulation, their influence on the publication of scientific material appears to be highly variable.

The Ethics of Using Animals in Research

In addition, such guidelines often fail to address consideration of veterinary subjects vs experimental animals , or may not reflect current best practice and knowledge in veterinary medicine. In addition, the ICJME recommendation assumes all institutes and countries have established guidelines on laboratory animal care and fails to recognize that authors, editors, and publishers may originate from different countries, which complicates advice on national guidelines.

Importantly, the ICJME fails to indicate how their guidelines are to be enforced, and does not describe the consequences of failing to meet them, in essence, making the recommendations voluntary. At the meeting of the International Association of Veterinary Editors IAVE , held 23 September at the British Veterinary Association headquarters in London, evidence was presented that papers describing the unethical treatment of animals were published regularly in the biomedical literature.

A more consistent and stringent Consensus Guidelines for Authors was proposed with respect to best practices for animal treatment and to improve the consistency and transparency of reporting. In creating the draft, current Author Guidelines in several veterinary journals were considered. Some journals may not require ethical guidelines for animals because the studies published do not involve living vertebrates or higher invertebrates.

We have the facilities and the expertise to house and breed mice in a humane environment. Perhaps the most important factor is the sizeable body of knowledge scientists have already collected for mice. Since the entire mouse genome was sequenced in — and subsequently compared and contrasted with the human genome — the lab mouse has become the most important animal model by far, widely used in the study of human diseases.

Reeves has spent decades researching the genetics of Down syndrome, and his research team have supplemented their genetic analyses in humans with the development of mouse models and molecular approaches to understand the why and how of gene dosage imbalance and how it disrupts development in Down syndrome.


In order to understand this, we have to have a system to study with its own biology. Perhaps the most controversial reason why the use of mice is commonplace in modern experimentation relates to the various techniques that are now available for modifying their genome. There are about inbred strains of mice.

These strains offer a host of different genotypes and phenotypes for genetic and other studies. Not only that but thousands of radiation-induced and chemically induced mutants provide valuable insight into the study of human diseases.

Animal-based research is heavily regulated. Scientists wishing to conduct experiments, for whatever reason, must go before an ethics committee to justify their actions through a discussion and debate about the potential benefits of any new treatment. The benefits must be seen to be equal to or greater than the level of harm that might occur to the animals being tested.

Driving the pursuit of life-changing treatments

Survival procedures are then reviewed, and an evaluation of whether the amount of harm — be it pain, distress or isolation — has been reduced to the lowest level possible must be undertaken. Some scientists are pushing to reduce the use of animals of any kind in experimentation but not necessarily at the expense of progress. Every day, about 25 million mice are used globally in research into and development of treatments for diseases including malaria, heart disease, cancer and Aids. Such research has helped scientists answer many of the most significant biological questions of our time, demonstrated by the many Nobel prizes won by researchers who made their discoveries through mouse-based experimentation.

Mice first became central to scientific research at the beginning of the 20th century. In , scientist Clarence Cook Little mated closely related mice for several generations, creating the first inbred strain.

Animal Rights and the Implications for Business – Business Ethics

Inbred mice are perfect for the study of the biological effects of genetic mutations or environmental factors such as diet, as the animals are almost like a blank canvas to work from. Rodents are particularly prized because they share about 80 percent of our genes. They have also been crucial to development of disease-fighting molecules, known as antibodies. Humanised monoclonal antibodies are used to fight breast cancer, leukaemia and arthritis. The outstanding mathematician switched his focus to higher matters and devoted his last 40 years to theology.

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For more information see our Cookie Policy. Of mice and medicine: the ethics of animal research Lab work that involves animals is controversial but such research is heavily regulated Thu, Feb 18, , John Holden.

Ethics of Animal Use

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