Basic Ethical Principles for the Treatment of Experimental Animals - Bioethics

Basic ethical principles of handling experimental animals

To the basic ethical principles of handling experimental animals, in addition to the rule 3 R, include the following.

1. Experiments on animals are permissible only when they are necessary for obtaining new scientific knowledge (or qualitative training of specialists); Scientific experiments that do not create new knowledge or duplicate existing research are unacceptable.

2. When carrying out biomedical research on animals, strict legal and ethical standards must be strictly observed.

3. An animal experiment should be justified by an in-depth study of the scientific literature on this issue, the best experimental design should be chosen for the experiment, the choice of animals should be carefully justified.

4. Experiments on animals should be carried out only by qualified personnel who are familiar with the relevant legal and ethical standards, as well as possessing modern scientific and technical methods; the maintenance of animals and care of them should be provided by experts in veterinary medicine or biology scientists.

5. Experiments on animals that cause pain and suffering, performed without anesthesia, crippling animals, always require a special scientific and ethical justification in their necessity; if there is no urgent need to conduct them, then such studies should be abandoned.

6. When carrying out experiments on animals, it is necessary to show humanity, both during the experiment itself, and in relation to the care and maintenance of animals; measures must be taken to avoid unnecessary stress, pain, physical suffering, or damage to animals; you should always use anesthesia (except when this is not possible under the conditions of the experiment itself).

7. It is inadmissible to use the animal for experiments that cause pain and suffering more than once (except when a series of tests is necessary under the conditions of the experiment itself).

8. After completion of the research (in the postoperative period), animals should receive qualified treatment, palliative care (including anesthesia) and care.

9. After completing studies on the animal, which led to a violation of its viability or disability, the animal must be duly killed by the most painless method (euthanasia).

10. Laboratories, scientific and educational institutions in which experiments on animals are conducted should be certified by the competent authorities, including that they should be checked for compliance with the standards of good laboratory practice.

11. Laboratories, scientific and educational institutions in which experiments on animals are conducted, should be checked by ethical committees and other independent external observers; it is also recommended that representatives of the public, human rights organizations and animal movements be involved in the evaluation of the work of such institutions.

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