The most important principle underpinning animal experimentation regulation and policy internationally is that the likely benefits of such research must outweigh its expected costs. The intended beneficiaries are usually human patients or consumers, while the animal subjects bear the main harms, or costs.
It is therefore surprising that human benefits are usually uncritically assumed, rather than critically assessed on the basis of reliable evidence. This site provides peer-reviewed scientific studies and governmental reports which deliver accurate information about the impacts laboratory animals experience, the human benefits accruing from invasive animal research, and the potential offered by alternative research, testing and educational strategies.
A vast body of scientific literature exists in several of these fields. The most evidence-based overall examination of these issues is provided by my recent book, The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experiments. The published articles in this website summarise key areas or describe particularly important findings. Short overall summaries are also provided. Biomedical bibliographic databases such as Pubmed may also be searched to locate scientific publications relevant to specific research questions.
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Jun. 2013: A 2011 review by Bateson and colleagues was the first major systematic assessment of the ethics of UK primate experimentation. It concluded that 91% of studies were ethically justifiable. My detailed critique of that review was recently published... more