Articles on Animal ethics

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The NHMRC code on animal use requires researchers to minimise harm, pain and distress but doesn’t provide guidance on how to do it. International Fund for Animal Welfare Animal Rescue Blog/Flickr

Australia failing to protect non-human primates in research

Draft guildelines for the use of non-human primates in research will dilute what protections these animals have, despite numerous reasons to stop the practice entirely.
Zoos provide succor for species having a tough time of it in the wild. B. A. Minteer

Can zoos save the world?

Today, many zoos promote the protection of biodiversity as a significant part of their mission. As conservation “arks” for endangered species and, increasingly, as leaders in field conservation projects…
YouTube footage of a man kicking a squirrel off a cliff has prompted outrage, yet we all need to stop and think about how we treat animals. YouTube

Outcry over squirrel kicker, yet disrespecting animals is the norm

An online video apparently showing a French tourist kicking a squirrel off a cliff in Grand Canyon National Park was greeted with horror and incredulity after being posted (and since removed) on YouTube…
Animals in circuses are kept in anything but natural surroundings. DirkJan Ranzijn

Runaway camels? It’s time to rethink animals as entertainment

The idea of animals as spectacle – in zoos, circuses, aquaria, tests of strength and even criminal proceedings – is an old one, dating back to at least ancient Greece and Rome. Similarly, the use of animals…
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…
Feeding starving wild animals could lead to domestication: is that adding insult to the injury of taking their habitat? EPA/Jenny E. Ross

Wild animals are starving, and it’s our fault, so should we feed them?

As polar bears begin to die of starvation in a warming Arctic, should we be feeding them? What are the ethical implications of feeding wild animals brought to this point by human actions? A polar bear…
Some value may accrue from animal research – but is it enough?

Animals in research: do the costs outweigh the benefits?

Studies in non-human animals have led to “countless” treatments for various diseases, according to a recent article on The Conversation. But the author, Gavan McNally, provided no scientific references…
Breakthroughs such as the development of penicillin – first tested in mice – may not have occurred without animal testing. Novartis AG

Animals in research: benefits, ethics and assessment

“AUSTRALIANS SAY NO TO ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS,” rang the headline of a recent media release by the activist group Humane Research Australia, referring to an opinion poll it commissioned in May that found…
Is photographing dogs dressed in suspenders and stockings just another internet fad or a strange reflection on human sexuality? Sharp Daily

Dogs in suspenders. Yep, it’s a thing. And here’s why.

When I was little, maybe five or six, I got the idea to slip my spaniel’s feet into freezer bags and watch her slide around on the kitchen floor. Sure, this episode could have sparked in me a yen for further…
The authors say their findings raise important questions about the central role of animal models in biomedical research. Understanding Animal Research

Of mice and men: role of mice in biomedical research questioned

A study recently published in the peer-reviewed journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National of Academy Sciences) shows that mice are poor models for human inflammatory diseases. The paper, which focused…
Non-human primates, like these macaques, are the animals with the closest resemblance to humans. Moyan Brenn

Scientific research on primates: what do we owe animals like us?

The documentary Maximum Tolerated Dose (showing in Melbourne tonight and Sydney on February 12) offers a “look inside modern animal experimentation with the animals who lived through it and the people…
What are our ethical responsibilities for racing greyhounds? Jo Anne McArthur

The unbearable lightness of being a greyhound

Background Briefing’s program The Quick and the Dead exposed one of the key animal welfare issues facing the greyhound racing industry: the high rates of euthanasia of healthy dogs. During an interview…
A rat used for cancer research in the United States. Janet Stephens

The elusive ethics of animal ethics committees

More than six million animals are used in experiments in Australia each year. Many endure pain and distress, and most are killed after their use. The research community claims that our regulatory framework…
Ban Live Exports: Melbourne Rally, Saturday, 6 October 2012. Gonzalo Villaneuva

Mainstream crusade – how the animal rights movement boomed

More than a year has passed since Animals Australia and the RSPCA, in conjunction with ABC’s Four Corners revealed that Australian cattle were being routinely slaughtered in Indonesian abattoirs while…
Healthy animals, perhaps, but is it ethical to confine large wild mammals to a tank for the purposes of profit and education? Greg Lilly

Not all fun and games: the missing ethics of animals in tourism

Animals are a mainstay of global tourism development. They’re consumed in fishing and hunting, and used as part of “experiences” - horses in trail rides, marine mammals in theme parks, whale sharks for…
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…
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…

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