Principles of Animal Research Ethics

Principles of Animal Research Ethics

Tom L. Beauchamp and David DeGrazia

Print publication date: Jan 2020

ISBN: 9780190939120

Publisher: Oxford University Press


This book is the first to present a framework of general principles for animal research ethics together with an analysis of the principles’ meaning and moral requirements. This new framework of six moral principles constitutes a more suitable set of moral guidelines than any currently available, including the influential framework presented in the Principles of Humane Experimental Technique published in 1959 by zoologist and psychologist William M. S. Russell and microbiologist Rex L. Burch. Their “principles”—commonly referred to as the Three Rs—are better described as specific directives than as general moral principles, and they are insufficient as a moral framework of basic values in the context of contemporary biomedical and behavioral research. The framework presented in Principles of Animal Research Ethics is more comprehensive in addressing ethical requirements pertaining to societal benefit (the most important consideration in justifying the harming of animals in research) and features a more thorough, ethically defensible program of animal welfare (the area on which Russell and Burch focus). The present framework is also more likely than the Three Rs to foster extensive agreement between the biomedical and animal protection communities—an agreement deeply needed at the present time. The book features commentaries on the framework of principles written by eminent figures in animal research ethics representing an array of relevant disciplines: veterinary medicine, biomedical research, biology, zoology, comparative psychology, primatology, law, and bioethics. The seven commentators on the authors’ Principles are Larry Carbone, Frans B. M. de Waal, Rebecca Dresser, Joseph P. Garner, Brian Hare, Margaret S. Landi, and Julian Savulescu.