Use of animals in research

Gustav Björkstrand | 01/07/2001
Tipología Laboratorios (p) Servicios Hospitalarios Servicios Centrales Diagnóstico y Tratamiento Laboratorios Varios Documentación Bibliografias Use of animals in research

The use of animals has significantly contributed to the results obtained in scientific research, as well as to the safety and efficiency of biological, chemical or other innovative products. In recent years various changes have occurred such as the increased use of transgenic animals, the search for alternative methods to animal use, the effort where the use of animals is unavoidable to take every effort to prevent undue suffering and to implement measurements that may improve the animals’ well being.

In this context ESF saw as essential to set out its views on this issue and that ESF Membership Organisations adopt guidelines for the ethical use of animals in research:

1. Animals should be treated as sentient creatures.

2. ESF endorses the principle of the “three Rs”: replace, reduce, refine

3. Prior to the performance of a programme of research, animal use should be subjected to independent expert review for both scientific and animal welfare considerations.

4. Investigators should assume that procedures that would cause pain in humans also cause pains in other vertebrates, unless there is evidence to the contrary.

5. The best living conditions should be maintained for animals kept for research purposes.

6. National regulations concerning the use of animals in experiments need the involvements of science and research ministries.

7. ESF membership Organizations should develop policies to make sure that there are systems in place to ensure that European and national regulations are followed.

8. Investigators and other personnel involved in the design and performance of animal-based experiments should be adequately educated and trained.

9. ESF encourages the editorial board of journal publishing the results of animal based research to include in the “instructions to authors” a statement on the ethical use of animals.

10. ESF should encourage its Membership Organisations to ensure that the regulations for the control of animal experimentation and protection of animal welfare are published and the public reassured that the regulations are regularly reviewed and updated.

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