non-human primates

/Tag:non-human primates

Comment: Every Silver Lining has a Cloud

Robert D. Combes and Michael Balls

The Scientific and Animal Welfare Issues Surrounding a New Approach to the Production of Transgenic Animals

The scientific basis and advantages of using recently developed CRISPR/Cas-9 technology for transgenesis have been assessed with respect to other production methods, laboratory animal welfare, and the scientific relevance of transgenic models of human diseases in general. As the new technology is straightforward, causes targeted DNA double strand breaks and can result in homozygous changes in a single step, it is more accurate and more efficient  than other production methods and speeds up transgenesis. CRISPR/Cas-9 also obviates the use of embryonic stem cells, and is being used to generate transgenic non-human primates (NHPs). While the use of this method reduces the level of animal wastage resulting from the production of each new strain, any long-term contribution to reduction will be offset by the overall increase in the numbers of transgenic animals likely to result from its widespread usage. Likewise, the contribution to refinement of using a more-precise technique, thereby minimising the occurrence  of unwanted genetic effects, will be countered by a probable substantial increase in the production of transgenic strains of increasingly sentient species. For ethical and welfare reasons, we believe that the generation of transgenic NHPs should be allowed only in extremely exceptional circumstances. In addition, we present information, which, on both welfare and scientific grounds, leads us to question the current policy of generating ever-more new transgenic models in light of the general failure of many of them, after over two decades of ubiquitous use, to result in significant advances in the understanding and treatment of many key human diseases. Because this unsatisfactory situation is likely to be due to inherent, as well as possibly avoidable, limitations in the transgenic approach to studying disease, which are briefly reviewed, it is  concluded that a thorough reappraisal of the rationale for using genetically-altered animals in fundamental research and by the pharmaceutical industry, and for its support by funding bodies, should be undertaken. In the meantime, the use of CRISPR/Cas-9 to generate new transgenic cells in culture is to be guardedly encouraged.

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

An Analysis of the Home Office Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Great Britain 2004

Michelle Hudson and Nirmala Bhogal

The 2004 Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals were released by the Home Office in December 2005. They indicate that, for the third year running, there has been a significant increase in the number of laboratory animal procedures undertaken in Great Britain, and that increasing numbers of animals are involved. The overall trends in the use of toxicological and non-toxicological procedures involving animals are described. Particular emphasis is placed on the production and use of genetically modified animals, the production of biological materials, and acute toxicity testing. The use of non-human primates and dogs is also discussed. The implications of these latest statistics are consider
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.

The SCHER Report on Non-human Primate Research — Biased and Deeply Flawed

Jarrod Bailey and Katy Taylor

The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) recently issued an Opinion on the need for non-human primate (NHP) use in biomedical research, and the possibilities of replacing NHP use with alternatives, as part of the Directive 86/609/EEC revision process. Here, we summarise our recent complaint to the European Ombudsman about SCHER’s Opinion and the entire consultation process. It is our opinion that the Working Group almost entirely failed to address its remit, and that the Group was unbalanced and contained insufficient expertise. The Opinion presumed the validity of NHP research with inadequate supporting evidence, and ignored substantial evidence against the need for NHP research and examples of valid alternatives that could replace the use of NHPs. Because the European Commission and others might base their approach to NHP research directly on the inquiry’s findings
during the revision of Directive 86/609/EEC, the implications of a flawed analysis of the efficacy of NHP research are extremely serious, both for animal welfare and for human health and safety. The conduct of the SCHER inquiry, and its published Opinion, should therefore be of major and widespread concern, and should not be given any political, scientific or legislative credibility.
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.
2017-01-09T06:37:47+00:00 Tags: , , |

The Institute for Laboratory Animal Research — An International Resource for Promoting the Three Rs

Joanne Zurloa

In 1995, an international group of scientists met in Sheringham, Norfolk, UK, for a workshop entitled The Three Rs: The Way Forward. There, with the participation of William Russell and Rex Burch, the group discussed each of the Three Rs in detail, and made specific recommendations on how to promote them within the scientific community. The Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR) was established as part of the US National Academy of Sciences, to develop and disseminate information and guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals. Over the years, the focus of ILAR has been to improve the health, welfare, and psychological well-being of the research animal, using the Three Rs as a foundation. ILAR’s programmes include an international component, through which it reaches out to other countries via translations of its report; the ILAR Journal, a quarterly publication that focuses on animal models, animal welfare and protocol review; communications and outreach through the ILAR website and presence at scientific meetings; and special reports in which expert committees make recommendations to improve science nd animal welfare. Through the efforts of ILAR and similar organisations, it is now recognised that high standards of humane care lead to better science. However, continued effort is needed to promote the Three Rs in developing countries.
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.

Editorial: Transparency and Public Accountability on the Use of Non-Human Primates as Laboratory Animals Needs Actions, as Well as Words

Michael Balls

Living up to the promise of greater openness in the application of Directive 2010/63/EU will be very demanding, given the conclusions of an analysis of publicly-available information on NHP use in EU FP7-funded projects.
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.

Ethical Review of Projects Involving Non-human Primates Funded Under the European Union’s 7th Research Framework Programme

Ursula G. Sauer, Barry Phillips, Kirsty Reid, Véronique Schmit and Maggy Jennings

Internet searches were performed on projects involving non-human primates (‘primates’) funded under the European Union (EU) 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7), to determine how project proposals are assessed from an ethical point of view. Due to the incompleteness of the information publicly available, the types and severity of the experiments could not be determined with certainty, although in some projects the level of harm was considered to be ‘severe’. Information was scarce regarding the numbers of primates, their sourcing, housing, care and fate, or the application of the Three Rs within projects. Project grant holders and the relevant Commission officer were consulted about their experiences with the FP7 ethics review process. Overall, it was seen as meaningful and beneficial, but some concerns were also noted. Ethical follow-up during project performance and upon completion was recognised as a valuable tool in ensuring that animal welfare requirements were adequately addressed. Based upon the outcome of the survey, recommendations are presented on how to strengthen the ethical review process under the upcoming Framework Programme ‘Horizon 2020’, while adequately taking into account the specific requirements of Directive 2010/63/EU, with the aim of limiting the harms inflicted on the animals and the numbers used, and ultimately, replacing the use of primates altogether.

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