Public Consultation on Animal Research | Your Views

Public Consultation on Animal Research

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Should we use animals in research? If so, under what conditions? We need your views on these important issues.

This project has the general aim of informing the development of policy on the use of animals in research.

Current procedure in Canada is that any proposed animal use in research must first be approved by the university’s Animal Care Committee. However, membership on this committee is limited, studies are not made available to the public, and committee members are not allowed to discuss details of studies with non-members. These limitations have led to criticisms about a lack of transparency, and a call for more opportunity for public input.

The specific aim of this project is to provide members of the public with similar information as that provided to the Animal Care Committee, and allow people to signal their approval or disapproval of proposed research. Respondents can also offer comments on the proposed research and are able to see and ‘vote’ on other participants’ responses. Current policy does not require researchers to share details of their studies in this way, but a few researchers at the University of British Columbia have kindly agreed to provide their studies as examples for this project. We welcome other animal researchers to provide us with detailed information of their research if they too would like to open these up to public input.

The University of British Columbia currently has no mechanism to incorporate this input into the formal decision of the Animal Care Committee, but we commit to sharing the votes and all comments with the animal researchers who proposed the animal use. We hope that the researchers will use this input to improve their research, and (if votes are negative) consider whether the research should go ahead. More broadly we hope that this project can provide a model for improved transparency and public accountability in the use of animals in research at UBC and around the world.

If you agree to participate you will have the chance to read a series of studies, each proposing the use of animals. After each question you will see a list of the responses provided so far. Responses are displayed according recency and the number of individuals who have voted for them. We encourage you to vote for an existing response if one is reasonably close to your own thinking, and/or add a new response if you need to. Later participants will be able to see any responses you provide, followed by the pseudonym you choose. Pseudonyms are not linked to authors' account details or email. Unless participants choose to reveal his/her identity through the pseudonym, all participants are ensured of full anonymity.

For further information regarding this specific project, please contact Dr. Daniel Weary, University of British Columbia

Below are links to general guidelines provided by the Canadian Council on Animal Care, which all animal research in Canada adheres to. You may choose to consult these prior to reviewing the studies.

CCAC Guidelines: http://ccac.ca/en_/standards/guidelines

CCAC Policy Statements: http://ccac.ca/en_/standards/policies

CCAC 3Rs: http://threers.ccac.ca/en/alternatives/

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