A new review of the ethics of the use of animals in research is being pioneered by an international group of academics.
The rigorous academic document -- one of the first to address the ethics of animal testing at length -- will be produced by a Working Group of 18 international academics from six countries under the leadership of the Revd Professor Andrew Linzey, Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.
The Working Group includes ethicists, philosophers, scientists and lawyers.
Professor Linzey, said: "During the past thirty years, there has been a paradigm shift in ethical thinking about our treatment of animals. From being regarded as things, tools, machines or resources for us – animals are increasingly regarded as sentient beings with their own inherent value, dignity and rights. Given this paradigmatic change spurred on in no small part by academic ethicists, philosophers and theologians, we believe that the time is right for a new ethical assessment of our use of animals in research."
The project is the result of collaboration between the Oxford Centre and the animal protection society, the BUAV.
The BUAV’s CEO, Michelle Thew, said: “The BUAV is delighted to collaborate with the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics on this pioneering project. While the use of animals in experimentation is being increasingly questioned across the moral and ethical spectrum, it is fitting that a new review of our use of animals in research should be carried out.”
"It is much to the BUAV's credit that they are prepared to commission independent academic work in this controversial area" commented Professor Linzey.