Animal Defenders International

 

Animal Defenders International

New book explores animals in science and shift towards ending their use

Posted: 28 November 2018. Updated: 28 November 2018

Described as a “timely resource,” a new book coedited by Animal Defenders International’s Senior Science Researcher Dr Kimberley Jayne and Dr Kathrin Herrmann, critically evaluates the current use of animals in science and explores innovative non-animal approaches set to replace their use.

ADI President Jan Creamer said: “This timely resource will inform and encourage debate about the benefits of human relevant science and the misleading results from animal tests, due to species differences.”

Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change (Brill: Human-Animal Studies series, Volume 22) offers a roadmap for replacing the use of animals in science, the extensive volume features 28 chapters from 51 authors including scientists, academics, medics, veterinarians, ethicists, philosophers, and experts from the fields of law and policy making.

Increasingly aware of the lack of scientific justification for using animals in research, Drs Jayne and Hermann (Assistant Scientist and Veterinarian at the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT)) embarked on the project in 2015. Previously working in a laboratory environment, Jayne believed science could play a role in improving the lives of animals; through her personal experiences working in this environment, however, she realized the industry was scientifically and ethically flawed. ADI’s extensive studies of animal research has concluded that results of animal research are often misleading when applied to humans because of species differences, in addition to the suffering caused to the animals, which has also been shown to affect results. Replacing their use with more sophisticated human-based techniques provides results that are more relevant to people. ADI funds non-animal scientific and medical research through its research wing, the Lord Dowding Fund for Humane Research.

Dr Kimberley Jayne said: “Attitudes about animals in research are shifting, and with growing public support and indisputable scientific rationale, policy makers can act to phase out their use.”

Dr Kathrin Herrmann said: “To accelerate the shift away from animal use, it is crucial to appraise animal experimentation critically, from all angles, and to publically discuss the findings.”

From exploring the scientific and economic value of the animal model, to the ethics and philosophy of animal experimentation, the peer-reviewed book seeks to provide a critical evaluation of the scientific and ethical justifications of the continuing use of animals, and set out ways to transition from their use to human relevant science.

Jayne’s chapter ‘Behavioral research on captive animals: scientific and ethical concerns’ explores how the psychological suffering of animals used in behavioral experiments is often overlooked because the research is (mostly) not physically invasive. Countless non-human primates are used in cognition experiments simply for satisfying scientific curiosity; we know from studies of wild primates that these animals live complex emotional lives, which could never be adequately replicated in a laboratory environment. So, as well as causing psychological harms, laboratory behavioral research is not representative of natural animal behavior.

The cover of Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change features a beautiful illustration by artist Anwen Keeling of Boo, a long-tailed macaque who was used in neurology experiments at a laboratory in Europe. Due to be killed, Boo and her two siblings were rescued by ADI in 2009. Their parents captured from the wild, Boo, Betty and Baloo, were born at a breeding facility in Israel, since closed. ADI has exposed routine suffering at such facilities around the world.

The US is one of the world’s biggest users of primates - 75,825 individuals were used in research last year, mainly to test drugs. The side effects of compounds typically given to the animals through force-feeding or injection, or simply the stress of procedures, can cause rectal prolapse, vomiting, blocked lungs, collapse, self-mutilation, and death. Primates are also used in brain research, which can involve electrodes and bolts being screwed into their heads – despite the fact that non-invasive technology is already used with human patients and volunteers.

Annual figures on animal use are published by the USDA, with a reported 792,168 animals used in 2017. This number however does not include mice, rats, birds, and fish, all sentient species who are, incredibly, not protected by the Animal Welfare Act. The National Association for Biomedical Research estimates that 95% of animals used in research are mice and rats, putting conservative totals for their use into the tens of millions.

Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change will be freely available online via Open Access and to purchase in printed form in the New Year. A prelaunch event this Friday, November 30 will be hosted by CAAT at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, at which several of the authors will present talks. The event will be streamed live
here.

Media Contacts:

US: Lesley McCave, ADI Communications Director | (323) 935-2234 or (323) 804-9920 | mediadesk@ad-international.org

UK: Devon Prosser, Press Officer | 020 7630 3344 or 07785 552548 | prdesk@ad-international.org

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