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Abstract

The topic of this contribution is the moral justification of the use of non-human animals in scientific research. First, we will discuss the position of leading antispeciesist approaches of animal ethics, arguing that a radical position is not tenable and justification of some animal use in research can be given based on the importance of science for human civilization. Such use must be justified case by case. Therefore, the harm-benefit analysis will be introduced, as an example of a case-by-case scenario. We will describe the challenge encountered by the evaluators of project proposals, and possible ways of considering harms and benefits in basic, translational and regulatory research, minimizing harms and possible future scenarios. Our approach can be regarded as a virtue consequentialist view of the ethics of human/animal relationships in scientific use, where the development of a morally appreciable character is a key topic for the education of scientists.

In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research
In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research
In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research
Author: Dorothea Friz

Abstract

A stray dog problem is not necessarily due to animals not owned. In fact, it can be caused by owned dogs allowed to roam and reproduce freely around the whole territory. And if the authorities limit themselves to the policy of catching the dogs and keeping them in shelters, the problem will never be solved. Instead, the shelters will soon be very overcrowded, with tremendous animal welfare issues for the imprisoned animals and at a very high cost for the public. Spay/neuter and return projects will instead reduce the number of dogs in the territory and are an essential way of keeping constant control. This is what my experience in Southern Italy taught me.

In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research

Abstract

Breakthroughs in gene editing technologies have made it feasible to create genetically altered (GA) non-human primate (NHP) models of disease. This area of research is accelerating, particularly in China, Japan and the USA, and could lead to an increase in NHP use globally. The hope is that genetic models in animal species closely related to humans will significantly improve understanding of neurological diseases and validation of potential therapeutic interventions, for which there is a dire need. However, the creation and use of GA NHPs raises serious animal welfare and ethical issues, which are highlighted here. It represents a step change in how these highly sentient animals are used in biomedical research, because of the large numbers required, inherent wastage and the sum of the harms caused to the animals involved. There is little evidence of these important issues being addressed alongside the rapidly advancing science. We are still learning about how gene editing tools work in NHPs, and significant added scientific and medical benefit from GA NHP models has yet to be demonstrated. Together, this suggests that current regulatory and review frameworks, in some jurisdictions at least, are not adequately equipped to deal with this emerging, complex area of NHP use.

In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research
A Study of Morality In Nature
Can we discover morality in nature? Flowers and Honeybees extends the considerable scientific knowledge of flowers and honeybees through a philosophical discussion of the origins of morality in nature. Flowering plants and honeybees form a social group where each requires the other. They do not intentionally harm each other, both reason, and they do not compete for commonly required resources. They also could not be more different. Flowering plants are rooted in the ground and have no brains. Mobile honeybees can communicate the location of flower resources to other workers. We can learn from a million-year-old social relationship how morality can be constructed and maintained over time.
In: Flowers and Honeybees
In: Flowers and Honeybees
In: Flowers and Honeybees
In: Flowers and Honeybees