Inderscience Publishers

The politics and ethics of animal experimentation

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Animal experimentation has provoked debate since its establishment, in the modern sense. Recent years have seen a culmination of the debate. Animal rights campaigners have used direct action in order to stop experimentation, and both the industry and the government have replied through toughening security and implementing legislative changes. The main issue is ethics: can we, and on what grounds, use animals in experimentation? Unfortunately, the analyses of this question often remain fragmented, as only one aspect (such as gained benefits) is taken into account. Moreover, the politics of experimentation affect and obscure the ethical issues. The motive of this paper is to both analyse the ethics of experimentation through different perspectives, and to take into account the political elements that have affected the ethical debate.

Keywords: activism, animal ethics, animal experimentation, animal research, animal rights, animal welfare, bioethics, bio-industry, pharmaceuticals, vivisection, politics

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