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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE, PAIN AND SUFFERING Marilyn Keaney, DVM, PhD, LLB, LLM University Veterinarian and Director, Animal Care, Veterinary Services and Ethics ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE PAIN & SUFFERING

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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS

UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE, PAIN AND SUFFERING

Marilyn Keaney, DVM, PhD, LLB, LLM

University Veterinarian and Director,

Animal Care, Veterinary Services and Ethics


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE PAIN & SUFFERING

  • The human-animal association is an ancient one:

    • food, fibre, conveyance, protection, companionship, aesthetic pleasure.

    • Animals are chronicled in great religious works and in mythologies

  • The human-animal relation is characterized bycelebration, care, solicitousness and love, but also by

  • mistreatment, cruelty, neglect and/or indifference.


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE, PAIN & SUFFERING

  • Animals may be mistreated because of:

    • ignorance and neglect;

    • anger and frustration;

    • economics (corner cutting to secure profit margins) or other pressures (research productivity);

    • psychopathology: Histories of animal abuse form part of the larger pattern of human: human abuse, e.g. spousal and child abuse.

    • Animal abuse may also herald other socio-pathic behaviours


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE PAIN & SUFFERING

  • Egregious conduct towards animals may give rise to:

    • public opprobrium, i.e. moral outrage, in turn leading to public action in the form of

      • prosecution for “animal cruelty” under humane statutes and/or Canada’s Criminal Code.

  • It is important to distinguish between ‘individual actsof cruelty’ and ‘systemic cruelty’.

  • Systemic cruelty is conduct which is legitimized by its social institutionalization:

    • e.g.: agricultural practices such as intensive livestock rearing where livestock are deprived of opportunity to engage in conduct particular to their nature (e.g. nesting);

    • e.g.: historical customary practices of experimental medicine and science


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE, PAIN & SUFFERING

  • What is the nature of the relationship between animals and humans such that animal harm can compromise human moral welfare?

  • In a Preface to a Recommended Code of Practicefor the Care and Handling of Horses in PMU Operations(1990: Manitoba Agriculture, at 1) the Minister of Agriculture stated:

    • “ A feature and a measure of the moral conduct of a progressive society is the extent to which it is concerned with the welfare of animals with which it shares the earth.”

  • This echoes the words of Mohandis Gandhi:

    • The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.3

    • Gandhi was a follower of Henry Salt who was the first person to articulate the notion of the ‘liberation of animals’ [as well as the liberation of downtrodden humans] in the late nineteenth century.

      _____

  • 3 http://www.ivu.org/history/gandhi/experiment (date accessed: 7 May 2001)


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE PAIN & SUFFERING

  • Cruel:indifferent to or gratified by another’s suffering; causing pain or suffering.1

  • Aims and objects of laws especially of the Criminal Law:

    • maintenance of a just and peaceful society through

    • the prohibition of behaviour that causes or threatens

    • the moral welfare of individuals or society-at-large1

  • There is a convertibility between secular morality and the law.

    _________

    1 Hakings, J., The Oxford Reference Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Printing House, 1986) at 202.

    2 J.D.Morton, “The Function of Criminal Law” in D. Stuart & R.J. Delisle, Learning Canadian Criminal Law, 4th ed. (Scarborough: Carswell, 1993) at 140.


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE, PAIN & SUFFERING

  • Numerous animal protection schemes exist in Canada some of which implicate animal use in experimental science and medicine.

  • Notwithstanding such schemes, there is a range of views in Canadian society about animal use and the legitimacy of animal protection:

    • Impermissibility of animal use for any reason because animals are sentient beings worthy of the same treatment as humans.

      • This viewpoint is at odds with Western societies as they are presently constructed and operated especially 9n regard to the institution of property: in law, animals are chattel, that is personal property.

    • The permissibility of use in some circumstancesand for some reasons where substitutes are unavailable and the use is humane.

    • The permissibility of unrestricted animal use regardless of actual or potential pain, suffering or social utility.

      _____

    • Canada, Department of Justice, Crimes Against Animals: A Consultation Paper (Ottawa: Criminal Law Policy Section, at 3.


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE, PAIN & SUFFERING

  • Bentham:

    Is it the faculty of reason, or, perhaps the faculty of discourse?

    But a full-grown horse or dog, is beyond comparison, a more rational, as well as a more conversible animal, than an infant of a day, or a week, or even a month, old.

    But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail?the question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? But, Can they suffer?


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE, PAIN & SUFFERING

  • At issue for animals are basic fundamental entitlements, notably

    • the entitlements to life and liberty, that is “to live the kind of life the animal’s nature dictates” and the entitlement “to well-being”.

  • The degree of respect owed to animals is determined on the one hand by:

    • reliance on animals’ attributes, phylogeny and sentience, and

    • the human significance of such attributes given:

      • a nature that is shared and

      • the human social and moral significanceof respect for animal life.

  • Notwithstanding this, the historicity of the Canadian animal protection legal regime is squarely rooted in classical deontological theories of moral rights which:

    • accord to animals the status of being objects of moral concern but not moral subjects or agents.

  • We turn therefore to a consideration of the institution of PROPERTY and the status of animals as personal property or chattel.


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE, PAIN & SUFFERING

  • If animals are property, what are the implications for animals, or

    conversely what are the rights of property ownership?

    • the right to the use of the property;

    • the right to its disposal, and

    • the right to benefit from the ‘fruits’ or productivity/bounty of the property.

  • Corollary right of property: non-interference with the property or privacy.

  • Where animal anti-cruelty legislation or other regulatory regimes exist, they act to limit property rights and lift the veil of privacy.

  • It is important to recognize that most anti-cruelty legislative schemes impose:

    • negative duties, that is the “thou shalt nots” and

    • generally do not impose positive duties of animal well-being enablement, that is the “thou shalts”.


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE, PAIN & SUFFERING

  • Regarding animal use in experimental science and medicine:

    • the regulatory schemes operating in Ontario obligate research institutions to open their doors to inspection in the name of the public and effectively lift the veilof non-interference or privacy:

      • Animals for Research Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. A 22 (the Act);

      • Tri-council (CIHR, NSERC and SSRC)Memorandum of Understanding through the Canadian Council on Animal Care - Guidelines for the Care and Use of Experimental Animals, 1993 as am., Canadian Council on Animal Care and Policies.

  • The Act and the Guidelines impose negative duties but interestingly and progressively also impose positive duties for animal well-being enablement:

    • e.g.: environmental and psycho-social improvement(enrichment)

    • determination of humane end-points as a necessary component of the submission to the Animal Care Committee.


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE, PAIN & SUFFERING

  • If indeed animals are property like any other property, are there any animal interests which cannot be overridden if the consequences of the overriding are sufficiently beneficial to human-being propertyowners?

    • At a theoretical level, the answer is NO, but the matter does not end here.

    • There is the not-so-little matter of proving benefit so as to justify the intended animal use.

    • Given that argumentation in favour of use is advanced on the basis of probability and not certainty, such proof is difficult to make.

    • It follows then, recognizing that in Canada animal sentience imposes a secular moral as well as legal obligation againstgratuitous or unnecessary animal use, another principle is engaged: the precautionary principle.

  • In the result, these (and other principles) combine to mitigate against unrestricted animal use notwithstanding potential benefits to human kind.


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE, PAIN & SUFFERING

  • How then is animal use practically restricted?

  • Much of the ethical discourse around intended animal use in experimental medicine and science turns on proportionality.

  • That is any harm which may accrue to an animal must be proportional to the benefit which may arise from the animal’s use.


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE, PAIN & SUFFERING

  • The harm to be experienced must be:

    • the necessary and unavoidable consequence of the experimental manipulation.

  • All avoidable harm must be avoided. In point of fact, the proposed Crimes Against Animals amendment of Criminal Code of Canada specifically addresses the issue of:

    • negligence, that is the non-avoidance of avoidable harms or wilful blindness to harms which may follow from the use.

  • The scientific or pedagogical pre-conditions for the determination of the ethical merit of the use of the animals are whether the intended use is:

    • scientifically (or pedagogically) meritorious, that is

    • not gratuitous or unnecessary;

    • the scientific question asked must be sound, and

    • the methodology proposed to answer the question must be:

      • sound, executable and appropriate


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE, PAIN & SUFFERING

  • Who makes the ethical merits determinations of the propriety of animal use in experimental medicine and science?

  • It is the Animal Care Committee (ACC) which reports to the Vice-President, Research, Dr. Mona Nemer.

    The Committee’s Chair is Dr. David Parry.

    Its Terms of Reference are posted on the University’s website (research> key services> Animal Care, Veterinary Services and Ethics> Animal Care Committee>Terms of Reference).

  • The Statutory member of the Committee (the Act) is the University Veterinarian (Dr. M. Keaney) who has a dual accountability through the Animals for Research Act and the Veterinarians’ Act.

    • Statutory Animal Care Committtee Member and

    • Membership in good standing of the College of Veterinarians of Ontario;


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE, PAIN & SUFFERING

  • There are also two community representatives who inform decision-making by articulating community standards and expectations.

  • Academic faculty (by constituency) who are / are not animal users.

  • Students/post-doctoral fellows and technical personnel are represented on the Committee.

  • The Animal Care Committee not only is responsible for ethical merit determinations and protocol approvals but also for post-approval monitoring; the performance of all persons implicated in animal use and care at the University.

  • The Animal Care Committee is also responsible for educating the University community about animal use and care in experimental science and medicine.


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE, PAIN & SUFFERING

  • Guiding Principles for Animal Use and Care for Research and Educational Purposes

    • Document prepared and approved by the University’s Animal Care Management Committee

    • Articulates the shared responsibility: (management – academia - administration) for animal use and care and the obligation to develop partnerships.


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE, PAIN & SUFFERING

  • Policy 31: The Animal Use and Care Program at the University of Ottawa

    • Articulates the scope of responsibilities.

    • Articulates that animals are the property of the University (trust/trustee relationship between the University and Researchers).

      This is required to permit the University to execute its legal obligations regarding animal use and care and to avoid exposure to legal liability of trespass on property (animals).


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE, PAIN & SUFFERING

  • Application Forms for animal research subjects ethical merits review are available on-line.

  • Qualifications: All persons working with animals must be competent to perform required manipulations (avoidable harm).

    • National Institutional Animal User Training Program of the Canadian Council on Animal Care

    • Mandatory as of April 1, 2003 as per CIHR and NSERC and is a web-based program; Canadian Aquaculture Institute web-based program for aquatic species.

    • Hands-on training.


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE, PAIN & SUFFERING

  • Animal Care Committee Analysis

    • Scientific Merit Review

    • Refinement, Replacement, Reduction

    • Veterinary Review

    • Humane and Experimental End-points

    • Medical Management and Treatment

      • Pain and distress

      • Dehydration, nutrition

      • Other

    • Disputes and Conflict of Interest

      • Who has the last word

      • Past performance

    • The Public Interest and Institutional Accountability

    • Constraints on animal research subject use.


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE, PAIN & SUFFERING

  • Who’s Who:

  • Animal Care Committee: 562-5444

    • Dr. D. Parry Chair;

    • M. Keaney: University Veterinarian and Director, Animal Care, Veterinary Service and Ethics

    • Ms. M. Goodspeed, M.A. : Animal Care Committee Co-ordinator

    • Ms. C. Giguere: Education, Training and Post-Approval Monitoring Co-ordinator

  • Animal Care & Veterinary Service: 562-5412

    • J. Keyte, DVM, : Veterinary Officer

    • M. Groleau, DVM, CLAM: Clinical Veterinarian

    • M. Liepman, DVM: Clinical Veterinary (PT)

    • Ms. M. Tyssen, RMLAT, Manager, Animal Care Services

    • Ms. M. Brodeur, R.D.C. S.: Animal Procurement and Shipping

    • Ms. M.-L. McCormick, B.Sc.: Finance and Administration

    • Ms. S. Fyfe, RVT: Chief Technician: Roger Guindon Hall

    • Ms. C. Giguere, RVT,: Chief Technician: ACVS Barrier Facility, Roger Guindon Hall

    • Mr. D. DeVette, RVT: Chief Technician: University of Ottawa Heart Institute: 761-4211

    • Mr. Wm. Flectcher, B.Sc: Chief Technician: D’Iorio Hall

    • Ms. S. Emond, VT, B.Psy: Chief Technician: Vanier Hall


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE, PAIN & SUFFERING

  • CASE STUDY: Dr. Q

    • Purpose of the Experiment

      • This work will evaluate the efficacy of drug X as a treatment for inflammatory bowel disease further elucidating the biochemical pathways implicated in the disease and the pathophysiology of the disease.

      • It is hypothesized that drug X will block the biochemical pathway which triggers the pathophysiology.

    • Funding

      • While the work is funded by a granting agency through a program grant, funds are limited.

    • Publications

      • Dr. Jones has prior publications on this subject.

      • Historical animal-use conventions precluded pain management.


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ANIMAL RESEARCH SUBJECTS: UNNECESSARY ANIMAL USE, PAIN & SUFFERING

  • Animal Model

    • The model is an induced model of inflammatory bowel disease.

    • The time course for the onset of clinical signs is 2 days. The disease is fulminant at 2 weeks.

    • The time course for experiment is 3 weeks.

    • The therapeutic drug X will be used at 5 doses.

    • There are positive and negative controls: disease/no disease; drug/vehicle.

  • In vitro Analysis

    • Eighteen hours are required to prepare reagents for in vitro processing of the animals’ tissues.


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