The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experiments


Few ethical issues create as much controversy as invasive experiments on animals. Some scientists claim they are essential for combating major human disease, or detecting human toxins. Others claim the contrary, backed by thousands of patients harmed by pharmaceuticals developed using animal tests. Some claim all experiments are conducted humanely, to high scientific standards. Yet, a wealth of studies have recently revealed that laboratory animals suffer significant stress, which may distort experimental ...

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The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experiments

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Few ethical issues create as much controversy as invasive experiments on animals. Some scientists claim they are essential for combating major human disease, or detecting human toxins. Others claim the contrary, backed by thousands of patients harmed by pharmaceuticals developed using animal tests. Some claim all experiments are conducted humanely, to high scientific standards. Yet, a wealth of studies have recently revealed that laboratory animals suffer significant stress, which may distort experimental results.

-Where, then, does the truth lie?
-How useful are such experiments in advancing human healthcare?
-How much do animals suffer as a result?
-And do students really need to dissect or experiment on animals?
-What are the effects on their attitudes towards them?
Bioethicist and veterinarian Andrew Knight presents more than a decade of ground-breaking scientific research, analysis and experience to provide evidence-based answers to a key question: is animal experimentation ethically justifiable?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
 '[Knight] draws on more than a decade of research and over 500 scientific publications to rigorously test common assumptions about animal experimentation. He offers revealing insights into the true contributions of such research to human healthcare, as well as the nature, severity and prevalence of the impacts experienced by laboratory animals. He comprehensively reviews animal use within life and health sciences education, as well as alternative research and educational strategies.

This has allowed him to provide, in polished style, one of the most definitive answers yet published to a question with implications for animal ethics, biomedical research, and society at large, namely, "Is animal experimentation ethically justifiable?'

His highly readable book is destined to remain an essential text for all who are interested in the ethical issues raised by animal experimentation, including scientists, philosophers, policy-makers, students, and educators.'

Marc Bekoff
Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder
Fellow, Animal Behavior Society
Author of 200 papers and 22 books, and recipient of numerous awards, including the Exemplar Award from the Animal Behavior Society for major long-term contributions to the field.
Psychology Today, 2012

'Animal experimentation is invariably given a utilitarian justification: the overall good outweighs the overall evil. Knight's work is the definitive reply to such reasoning. He clearly demonstrates that rigorous examination and analysis of the data simply do not support such traditional, untested assumptions. Deftly written, the book is highly recommended to scientists, philosophers, veterinarians, students, and indeed any layperson with concerns regarding the morality of experimenting on nonhuman animals.'

Professor Mark H. Bernstein PhD
Joyce & Edward E. Brewer Chair in Applied Ethics, Purdue University College of Liberal Arts
Books include Fatalism (University of Nebraska Press, 1992), On Moral Considerability (Oxford University Press, 1998), and Without A Tear (University of Illinois Press, 2004).

'A timely and valuable contribution to the debate surrounding the use of animals in research. What makes this book stand apart from other similar works is its focus on evidence-based science. This book makes this important information easily accessible to both regulators and researchers.

The wide range of topics covered in the book will also provide animal ethics committees with valuable new insights into cost-benefit assessments. This book should be required reading for undergraduate students intending to use animals as part of their course work. It should also serve as required reading for members of animal ethics committees whose remit is to review animal research proposals.'

Andre Menache BSc(Hons), BVSc, MRCVS
Veterinarian & Director, Antidote Europe
Veterinary Practice, 2011

'Knight presents a wealth of data on the issue of costs and benefits associated with animal experiments and the book goes beyond its title: it also imparts some information on alternatives… The format is excellent for a reader that may not wish to peruse the book from cover to cover as it is very well structured with chapters, each containing introductions, descriptive/informative sub-headings and useful summaries, making navigation through the book very easy. Some information is repeated, which means that chapters can be read stand-alone… The book is a good starting point for a critical reader looking for an introduction to the subject area.'

Susanne Prankel equiv BSc (Hons), CertFET, PGCert Higher Educ Learning & Teaching, MPhil, PhD, MRCVS
Veterinarian & Senior Lecturer (Biology), Institute of Science and the Environment, University of Worcester
Animals, 2012. See also in Animals.

"Using a wealth of scientific information, Dr. Knights' book provides a critical and thorough examination of the topic of animal experimentation. The book is excellently organized and easy to follow. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in medical research and human health."

Aysha Akhtar MD, MPH
Neurologist and Public Health specialist, Food and Drug Administration
Fellow, Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics

'An excellent critical review that boosts further discussions on the cost and benefits of animal experimentation. A 'must' for members of animal ethics committees'.

Jan van der Valk, PhD
Toxicologist, 3Rs-Centre, Utrecht Life Sciences, Netherlands Knowledge Centre on alternatives to animal experiments, Fac. Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

'Provides excellent background reading on the subject.'

Pete Wedderburn MRCVS
The Telegraph, 2011

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Product Details

Meet the Author

ANDREW KNIGHT is an Australian Bioethicist and Veterinarian and Fellow of the Oxford Center for Animal Ethics. He has published a suite of studies examining the contribution of animal experiments to human healthcare, which have attracted a series of awards at international scientific conferences. He practices veterinary medicine in the UK.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Figures
List of Abbreviations
Series Preface
Global Laboratory Animal Use
Types of Laboratory Animal Use
Impacts on Laboratory Animals
Human Clinical Utility of Animal Models
Human Toxicological Utility of Animal Models
Factors Limiting the Human Utility of Animal Models
Non-Animal Research and Testing Methodologies
Reduction and Refinement of Laboratory Animal Use
Educational Animal Use
Effects of Harmful Animal Use on Students
The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experimentation
Regulatory Developments and Policy Recommendations

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