terça-feira, 28 de julho de 2015

A Critical Review of Animal Research Applications

by Kathrin Herrmann

The current EU Directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes (Directive 2010/63/EU) claims to represent an important step towards achieving the final goal of full replacement of procedures on live animals for scientific and educational purposes (Recital 10 of Directive 2010/63/EU). When choosing methods, the principles of replacement, reduction and refinement should be implemented through a strict hierarchy of the requirement to use alternative methods (recital 11 of Directive 2010/63/EU).
Due to the general lack of transparency in animal research it has been impossible to identify if the legal obligations concerning the full implementation of the Directive are met by the researchers. For the first time ever - after intensive negotiations - access was granted to anonymized animal research proposals that were submitted all over Germany in 2010.
Over 500 animal research applications involving procedures in which mice and rats underwent recovery surgery procedures were analyzed. In this study, I specifically looked at the 3rd R, Refinement, and how scientists addressed this requirement in the context of Replacement and Reduction of animal experiments. The data gives an opportunity to assess actual practices in the light of legislation. In my paper, I will present my analysis of the research applications assessed, summarize and reflect on researchers judgments concerning the requirements of the legislation and its implications.

Kathrin Herrmann is a veterinary specialist in Animal Welfare Science and Ethics. During her veterinary degree, which involved studies in Berlin, Germany and Zürich, Switzerland, she was engaged in many animal protection issues. Vivisection has been a primary focus since she became a research fellow at the Animals Scientific Procedures Inspectorate in Berlin in 2007. In March 2012 she became a research fellow at the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the School of Veterinary Medicine, Free University Berlin, where she continues to work on her Ph.D. thesis. Her research involves reviewing German project license applications involving rodents to determine whether all refinement measures are employed to reduce animal suffering to the absolute minimum. Her other interests relate to advocating for openness and public engagement in animal experimentation and for humane education. In April 2013 she completed her 4-year residency in animal welfare science and ethics during which she scrutinized the various areas of animal exploitation. Kathrin is a founding member of Minding Animals Germany and has been active with ICAS Europe since 2011. She is chair of the newly-established Science, Veterinary and Medicine Intersectional Research Collaborative of ICAS.

Kathrin Herrmann
Veterinary specialist in Welfare Science & Ethics,
Ph.D. candidate at Dahlem Research School
Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Department of Veterinary Medicine
Freie Universität Berlin
Email: kathrin.herrmann@fu-berlin.de 

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