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The Welfare of Animals Used in Research: Practice and Ethics



The Welfare of Animals Used in Research: Practice and Ethics

Robert C. Hubrecht

ISBN: 978-1-119-96707-1 May 2014 Wiley-Blackwell 284 Pages


The Welfare of Animals used in Research: Practice and Ethics gives a complete and balanced overview of the issues surrounding the use of animals in scientific research.  The focus of the book is on the animal welfare implications and ethics of animals in research. It covers the topics with sufficient depth to show a real understanding of varied and complex subjects, but conveys the information in a beautifully reader-friendly manner.

Key features:

  • Provides those who are not working in the field with a reasonable understanding as to why and how animals are used in research.
  • Gives an introduction to the ethical issues involved in using animals, and explains how these are addressed in practice.
  • Details the advances in animal welfare and the use and development of the 3Rs principles, and how these have become fundamental to the everyday use and regulation of animals used in research.
  • The focus is on principles making it suitable for an international audience.

This book is a useful introduction to the issues involved in laboratory animal welfare for those who intend to work in research involving animals. It is also useful to prospective animal care staff and animal welfare scientists, and to those involved in ethical review. It will help inform debate amongst those who are not involved in experimentation but who are interested in the issues.

Published as a part of the prestigious Wiley-Blackwell – UFAW Animal Welfare series.  UFAW, founded 1926, is an internationally recognised, independent, scientific and educational animal welfare charity.

For full details of all titles available in the series, please visit the UFAW Animal Welfare series website.

Foreword vii

Preface ix

Dedication and Acknowledgements xi

1 Introduction 1

1.1 Reasons for Using Animals in Research 1

1.2 Where Animal Research is Carried Out 3

1.3 Numbers of Animals Used 4

1.4 Harmful and Harmless Research 6

1.5 How Much Suffering is Caused by Research? 7

1.6 Attitudes to Animal Experimentation 9

1.7 The Moral Imperative 18

1.8 Trust in the System 22

2 The Use of Legislative and Other Controls on Animal Research to Meet Public Expectations and Improve Animal Welfare 26

2.1 Introduction 26

2.2 Levels of Control 29

2.3 Scope of Controls 37

2.4 Systems for Ethical Review and Authorisation 42

2.5 Performance and Engineering Standards 45

2.6 Roles and Responsibility 50

2.7 Legislation and Licences 51

2.8 Enforcement and Failure to Comply 52

3 Animal Rights and Animal Welfare: Philosophy and Science 58

3.1 Introduction 58

3.2 Animal Rights and Animal Welfare: Making a Distinction 59

3.3 Animal Welfare Science 63

3.4 Funding and Promoting Animal Welfare Research 85

3.5 The Benefits of Animal Welfare Science 86

4 Species Choice and Animal Welfare 88

4.1 Introduction 88

4.2 Consciousness/Sentience: Evidence for Protecting Particular Taxa 89

4.3 Are Some Species Capable of Suffering More Than Others? Neurological Complexity and Capacity to Suffer 104

4.4 Beastly Bias in Practice 108

4.5 An Evolutionary Approach to Assessing Suffering 120

5 The Harm–Benefit Judgement 123

5.1 Introduction 123

5.2 Who Should Be Involved? 126

5.3 Factors To Be Considered in Harm–Benefit Decisions 129

5.4 Decision Tools 154

5.5 The Requirement for Ethical Review 157

6 Improving the Welfare of Animals Used in Research: The 3Rs 159

6.1 Introduction: The Origins of the 3Rs 159

6.2 Replacement 163

6.3 Reduction 169

6.4 Refinement 175

6.5 Conflicts Between the 3Rs 201

6.6 Training 202

6.7 Sources of Information on the 3Rs 203

7 Science and Animal Welfare: A Partnership 205

7.1 Replacement Methods: Scientific and Other Advantages 205

7.2 Reduction: Scientific and Other Advantages 209

7.3 Refinement: Scientific and Other Advantages 210

7.4 Changes in Laboratory Animal Science and Challenges for the Future? 219

7.5 Maintaining the Momentum 223

7.6 Conclusion 224

References 226

Glossary 259

Index 262

“To me, overall this is a very good book that provides a balanced view of the issues around animal welfare.  It is a good read.”  (Laboratory Animal Practitioner, 1 May 2015)

“This book is geared toward members of institutional animal care and use committees, researchers, and veterinarians and is a practical guide for discussions pertaining to the welfare of animals used in research.”  (JAVMA, 15 December 2014)

“To me, overall this is a very good book that provides a balanced view of the issues around animal welfare.  It is a good read.”  (Laboratory Animal Practitioner, 1 October 2014)

“Overall, the factual description of how animals are used in research balanced by the author’s personal experiences and perspective makes this book highly readable.  ‘The Welfare of Animals used in Research’ is a great addition, which will be essential reading for those working with laboratory animals and of general interest to those new to the field.”  (Veterinary Record, 12 July 2014)

"Overall, this book is a welcome arrival to a debate that is too often split between misrepresentative arguments recycled from activist websites on one side and defensive responses dumbing down the  complexity of scientific discovery on the other. I recommend it to anyone who believes the debate over animal research is of sufficient importance to be worth being well-informed." (Australian Veterinary Journal, 7 July 2016)