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Analysis and Comment (10)

Brazil’s cattle herd is the world’s second-biggest - and welfare standards are on the up. Brazil’s cattle herd is the world’s second-biggest - and welfare standards are on the up. Zeloneto/Wikimedia Commons

Tighter rules mean Brazil is now kicking goals on animal welfare

While Brazil’s footballers have failed spectacularly to live up to expectations, there are other areas where the country is quietly exceeding them. Perhaps surprisingly, Brazil’s rapidly improving animal…
Australia uses over seven million of the around 115 million animals used for scientific research each year worldwide. Australia uses over seven million of the around 115 million animals used for scientific research each year worldwide. Ikayama/Flickr

Why Australia needs to catch up on animal research transparency

The UK government recently concluded a six-week consultation on discarding a section of its law on animal experimentation in the interest of openness. Australia doesn’t have such restrictive laws but we’re…
Octopuses are the only non-vertebrates granted ‘animal’ status in the area of animal research ethics. Is this an arbitrary distinction? Octopuses are the only non-vertebrates granted ‘animal’ status in the area of animal research ethics. Is this an arbitrary distinction? Saspotato

When is an animal not an ‘animal’? Research ethics draws the line

Many people are surprised to find that insects, jellyfish and sea urchins are animals. Animals are generally thought of as medium-sized four-legged creatures with two sets of eyes and ears — those with…
Better than the garden pond? Better than the garden pond? www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk

Animal-based research is vital for advancing biomedical science

In his recent article on The Conversation, Andrew Knight argues that “the overwhelming majority of invasive animal experiments do not pass the cost-benefit test required by regulations and expected by…
Measuring animal intelligence is extremely complex, yet some animals may be smarter than we think. Measuring animal intelligence is extremely complex, yet some animals may be smarter than we think. Rader of Gin

Are animals as smart, or as dumb, as we think they are?

Does my dog only think of eating, sleeping and chasing squirrels? Does my girlfriend’s cat really have the capacity to plot my accidental death? Are cows just walking hamburgers and pigeons intent on world…
Bigger male purple-crowned fairy-wrens can sing their ‘trill song’ at a lower pitch than smaller males. Bigger male purple-crowned fairy-wrens can sing their ‘trill song’ at a lower pitch than smaller males. Michelle Hall

How deep is your cheep? Why songbirds sing their size

The melodious beauty and elaborate complexity of birdsong has long inspired poets, writers, and musicians – as well as behavioural ecologists! But besides appreciating the aesthetics of birdsong, we are…
That’s me: Scientists agree animals are conscious, but public attitudes still lag behind. That’s me: Scientists agree animals are conscious, but public attitudes still lag behind. flickmor/Flickr

About time: science and a declaration of animal consciousness

Are animals conscious? Notoriously, the famous 17th century philosopher René Descartes thought they were not. He believed that possession of a soul was necessary for rational thought and for consciousness…
Does Australia experiment on primates? It’s harder to find out than you might think. Does Australia experiment on primates? It’s harder to find out than you might think. PETA/Wikimedia

Nothing to hide: opening the files on animal research

While most people are aware that animals are used in biomedical research, few have any idea about the numbers of animals or the physiological and psychological “challenges” they endure. Ask yourself how…
Animals are not just an incidental first choice of research method. Animals are not just an incidental first choice of research method. usda/Wikimedia Commons

Animal-based research is still relevant and necessary

Drug development is a slow process involving years, even decades, of research and animal models have always been integral to this work. But progress in translating animal work into human benefits has been…

Research Briefs (2)