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Author(s): Franco, NH
Title: Killing of animals in science – is it always inevitable?
Publisher: Wageningen Academic Publishers
Issue Date: 2016
Abstract: Within the ethical discussion of animal experimentation, the questions of why, how many, and under what circumstances animals are (or should be) used takes precedence over the fact that virtually all lab animals are killed after their scientific utility. When death is indeed an issue, the discussion often concerns the circumstances of death, from a welfare point-of view. This is a likely consequence of two factors: firstly, killing being seen as an inevitable consequence of animal use and, second, a predominantly “welfarist-utilitarian” influence in the ethical and legal framework on the acceptability of animal research. While the former leads to the killing of lab animals being implicitly accepted along with the acceptance of animal research itself, the latter makes death a lesser issue (provided it is carried out humanely), as “being dead” is not in itself seen as a welfare problem, and the early euthanasia of animal models of disease can moreover prevent avoidable suffering (i.e. by humane end-points). In this landscape, animal experimentation without the burden of killing animals seems unfeasible, if not undesirable. However, while acknowledging that most studies do require killing animals out of scientific (e.g. from the need to extract large-enough samples from small animals) or ethical (when animals would otherwise suffer needlessly) necessity, it remains to be ascertained whether a) this is true for all cases or b) that curtailing the life of laboratory animals is of little ethical importance. Accepting that – at least some – animal research is relevant, ethically acceptable and presently not replaceable, it should nevertheless be reflected upon whether there can be a scientific, ethical and legal framework within which a “no-kill” approach may be equated, for some cases. A few examples are herein presented to discuss current possibilities and constraints, and help identify under which circumstances can a new set of “3Rs” – Re-use, Rehabilitation and Rehoming – be applied as an alternative to the killing of animals when their scientific usefulness ends.
Description: Food futures: ethics, science and culture, p. 499 –504.
Subject: Animal research
Document Type: Artigo em Livro de Atas de Conferência Internacional
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I3S - Livro de Atas de Conferência Internacional

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