legal requirements

/Tag:legal requirements

The application of humane endpoints and humane killing methods in animal research proposals: A retrospective review

Kathrin Herrmann and Paul Flecknell

Refinement refers to the use of methods that help to minimise animal suffering in the laboratory. Research in this area has increased significantly over the past two decades. However, the extent to which refinements are applied in practice is uncertain. To provide an indication of the implementation and awareness of refinements, we reviewed the experimental techniques for 684 surgical interventions described in 506 animal research applications sent to the German competent authorities for approval in 2010. In this paper, we describe and discuss the appropriateness of the proposed humane endpoints and killing methods. We found that, when the investigators included humane endpoints in their application, these were often lacking in detail and/or were to be implemented at a late stage of suffering. In addition, the choice of method to kill the animals could be improved in the majority of the applications. We provide recommendations for future improvements, based on the recent literature. To ensure scientific rigour, avoid needless animal suffering and enable an accurate harm–benefit analysis, animal researchers have to be knowledgeable about refinement methods and apply them effectively. To assess compliance and ensure that only those studies in which potential benefits outweigh the harms are carried out, reviews such as ours — as well as retrospective assessments of actual harms and benefits — should be conducted widely and regularly, and the findings should be published.

This article is currently only available in full to paid subscribers. Click here to subscribe, or you will need to log in/register to buy and download this article

Severity classification of surgical procedures and application of health monitoring strategies in animal research proposals: A retrospective review

Kathrin Herrmann and Paul Flecknell

Animal experimentation has been one of the most controversial areas of animal use, mainly due to the intentional harms inflicted upon the animals used. In an effort to reduce these harms, research on refinement has increased significantly over the past 20 years. However, the extent to which these efforts have helped to reduce the severity of the research procedures, and thus animal suffering, is uncertain. To provide an indication of the awareness and implementation of refinement methods, we reviewed the experimental techniques for 684 surgical interventions described in 506 animal research applications that had been sent to the German competent authorities for approval in 2010. In this paper, we describe and discuss the severity categorisation of the proposed surgeries and the planned health monitoring strategies. We found that the researchers frequently underestimated the levels of pain, suffering, distress and lasting harm that were to be inflicted on the animals. Furthermore, the planned health monitoring strategies were generally flawed. To ensure responsible treatment of animals and high-quality science, adequate training of research workers in recognising and alleviating animal suffering is essential.

This article is currently only available in full to paid subscribers. Click here to subscribe, or you will need to log in/register to buy and download this article