Ethics, animal welfare and the Three Rs (level 1)
This module provides guidance and information to enable individuals working with animals to identify, understand and respond appropriately, to the ethical and welfare issues raised by the use of animals in scientific procedures generally and, where appropriate, within their own programme of work. It provides information to enable individuals to understand and to apply the basic principles of the Three Rs.
Trainees should be able to:
2.1. Describe the differing views, within society, relating to the scientific uses of animals and recognise the need to respect these.
2.2. Describe the responsibility of humans when working with research animals and recognise the importance of having a respectful and humane attitude towards working with animals in research.
2.3. Identify ethical and animal welfare issues in their own work and be aware and able to reflect on the consequences of their own actions.
2.4. Recognise that compliance with ethical principles may contribute to the long-term trust and acceptance in scientific research from the general public.
2.5. Describe how the law is based on an ethical framework which requires 1) weighing the harms and benefits of projects (the harm/benefit assessment) 2) applying the Three Rs to minimise the harm, maximise benefits and 3) promote good animal welfare practices.
2.6. Describe and discuss the importance of the Three Rs as a guiding principle in the use of animals in scientific procedures.
2.7. Explain the Five Freedoms and how these apply to laboratory species.
2.8. Describe the concept of harms to animals including avoidable and unavoidable suffering, direct, contingent and cumulative suffering.
2.9. Describe the severity classification system, and give examples of each category. Describe cumulative severity and the effect this may have on the severity classification.
2.10. Describe the regulations regarding re-use of animals.
2.11. Describe the importance of good animal welfare including its effect on scientific outcomes as well as for societal and moral reasons.
2.12. Describe the need for a culture of care and the individual’s role in contributing to this.
2.13. Describe relevant sources of information relating to ethics, animal welfare and the implementation of the Three Rs.
2.14. Be aware of different search tools (e.g. EURL ECVAM Search Guide, Go3Rs) and methods of search (e.g. Systematic reviews, meta-analysis).