The Perception of Animal Experimentation Ethics Among Indian Teenage School Pupils

Justin Namuk Kim, Eun Hee Choi and Soo-Ki Kim

To promote awareness of animal experimentation ethics among teenagers, we created an educational pamphlet and an accompanying questionnaire. One hundred Indian teenage school pupils were given the pamphlet and subsequently surveyed with the questionnaire, to evaluate: a) their perception of animal experimentation ethics; and b) their opinion on the effectiveness of the pamphlet, according to gender and school grade/age. There was a significant correlation between grade/age and support for animal experimentation, i.e. senior students were more inclined to show support for animal experimentation. There was also a significant correlation between gender and perception of the need to learn about animal experimentation ethics, with girls more likely to feel the need to learn about ethics than boys. In addition, the four questions relating to the usefulness of the pamphlet, and student satisfaction with its content, received positive responses from the majority of the students. Even though the pamphlet was concise, it was apparent that three quarters of the students were satisfied with its content. Gender and age did not influence this level of satisfaction. Overall, our study shows that there is a significant correlation between a pupil’s school grade/age and their support for animal experimentation, and that there is also a significant correlation between gender and the perceived need to learn about animal experimentation ethics. This pilot scheme involving an educational pamphlet and questionnaire could be beneficial in helping to formulate basic strategies for educating teenage school pupils about animal ethics.

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An Estimation of the Extent of Animal Use in Research in Brazil, as Determined by Bibliographic Sampling from Journals Published in the State of Paraná

Vanessa Carli Bones Silla, Elaine Cristina de Oliveira Sans and Carla Forte Maiolino Molento

Animal use in research is an issue of increasing ethical concern. The objective of this work was to investigate animal use in research described in the papers appearing in 18 journals published in the State of Paraná in 2006. The fields used in the bibliographic sampling were: agrarian science, biological science, biological and health science, environmental science, food technology, and health science. Of the 865 papers analysed, 41% involved the use of animals — a total of 3,497,653 animals, of which 216,223 were vertebrates. Procedures which were classified as A or B for degree of invasiveness were involved in 67% of the papers; 571 fish were employed in procedures classified as E. Only 11% of the journals required certificates from Animal Use Ethics Committees. These results suggest that Brazil is important in the context of worldwide animal use for research, in terms of both the total numbers of animals and the numbers of vertebrates used. Bibliographical sampling is a useful method for estimating the extent of animal use in experiments in Brazil. However, there are limitations to this approach, resulting from the geographical distribution of the authors, the existence of papers presenting insufficient information, and the exclusive inclusion of animal experimentation that actually reaches publication. Thus, the introduction of a formal system to record and control laboratory animal use in Brazil, is urgently required.
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