Ethique en expérimentation animale
Bulletin de l'Académie nationale de médecine 2009 Nov ; 193(8): 1737-45; discussion 1746
In the 1970s, under pressure from certain sections of society and thanks to initiatives by several scientific research teams, committees charged with improving the conditions of laboratory animals started to be created, first in the United States and subsequently in Europe. This led to the development of an ethical approach to animal experimentation, taking into account new scientific advances. In addition to the legislation designed to provide a legal framework for animal experimentation and to avoid abuses, this ethical approach, based on the concept that animals are sentient beings, encourages greater respect of laboratory animals and the implementation of measures designed to reduce their suffering. Now, all animal experiments must first receive ethical approval--from in-house committees in the private sector and from regional committees for public institutions. Very recently, under the impetus of the French ministries of research and agriculture, the National committee for ethical animal experimentation published a national ethical charter on animal experimentation, setting the basis for responsible use of animals for scientific research and providing guidelines for the composition and functioning of ethics committees. Inspired by the scientific community itself this ethical standardization should help to assuage--but not eliminate--the reticence and hostility expressed by several sections of society.
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