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Animal Subjects

Use of Animals in Biomedical Research 

For more publications on this topic please visit the Ethics Education Library, or the IIT Library Guide- Animals in Research

Web Sites

Use of Animals in Biomedical Research 

For more publications on this topic please visit the Ethics Education Library, or the IIT Library Guide- Animals in Research

Web Sites

Contemporary Science, Values and Animal Subjects in Research 

This online tutorial consists of a series of essays and bibliographies looking at the use of animals in clinical research. It includes a brief history on the use of animals in research, a discussion about different stances on the ethics of the use of animals in research, the use of animals as models in biomedical research, and separate sections talking about the use of rodents, rabbits, pigs, dogs, cats, and primates in research, as well as mini-lessons about animal research subjects in engineering, biomedical research, and Institutional Animal Care and use Committees. This tutorial is also an extremely good place to look for further resources and case studies on this topic.

Guide for the Care and Use of Labratory Animals


Published by the National Research Council, this is the basic guide for the proper care of animals used in research in the U.S. Can be read online through the National Academies Press web site.


Developed by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, this web site describes the role IACUCs play in approving research using animal subjects, and guidelines for IACUC committee members.


Animal Welfare Information Center - Research Animals


Collection of resources and links to federal regulations and guidelines relating to the use of animals in research. Compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agriculture Library.


Altweb: Alternatives to Animal Testing


This is a web clearinghouse of news, projects, and other resources on efforts to develop alternatives to the use of animals in research. Includes fulltext of articles, news feeds, and an introduction to the humane use of animals in research.


National Institutes of Health Office of Animal Laboratory Welfare


A collection of policies, guidance documents and laws governing the use of animals in research. Includes the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Guidebook and the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.


Using Animals in Intramural Research: Guidelines for Principal Investigators


This manual (also available as an online tutorial) presents relevant animal research laws and regulations, and provides an overview of how to prepare an NIH Animal Study Proposal.


Akins, Chana K. Sangeeta Panicker, and Christopher L. Cunningham. 2005. Laboratory animals in research and teaching, ethics, care, and methods. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
Armstrong, S.J. and R.G. Botzler. 2003. The animal ethics reader. New York: Routledge.
This large anthology seeks to bring together a number of key essays on the moral status of animals. The book is divided into ten distinct sections, and the essays cover such issues as theories of animal ethics, animal capacities (such as pain, emotion, consciousness), animals for food, animal experimentation, zoos and aquariums, and animal law and animal activism.
Carbone, Larry. 2004. What animals want: Expertise and advocacy in laboratory animal welfare policy. New York: Oxford University Press.
Clune, Alan C. 1996. Taking animals seriously: Mental life and moral status. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cohen C. and T. Regan. 2001. The animal rights debate. Lanham: Rowan and Littlefield Publishers.
This unique volume follows a point/counterpoint layout, with the two philosophers authoring this volume arguing about the moral status of animals, and the ethics of using animal subjects for research purposes
Cothran, Helen. 2002. Animal Experimentation: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven Press.
Dolan, Kevin. 1999. Ethics, animals, and science. Oxford: Blackwell Science.
Gluck, John P., Tony DiPasquale, and F. Barbara Orlans.2002. Applied ethics in animal research. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press.
Seven essays, developed from presentations in the series of conferences organized over several years by Barbara Orlans, consider issues of what is called the Troubled Middle—between the idea that research animals are just supplies like glassware, and the idea that no life should be sacrificed for another. Scientists and ethicists strive to avoid sheer rhetoric and attempts to manipulate as they look at philosophy, statutory regulation, and the laboratory application of ethics.
Guerrini, Anita. 2003. Experimenting with humans and animals: From Galen to animal rights. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Hart, Lynette 1998. Responsible conduct with animals in research. New York: Oxford University Press.
Haugen, David M. 2007. Animal Experimentation. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.
Monamy, Vaughan. 2009. Animal experimentation: A guide to the issues. New York: Cambridge University Press.
This book covers the history and ethics of experimentation; discusses the moral status of animals and the obligations of researchers; and introduces alternatives to animal research.
Orlans, F. Barbara.1993. In the name of science: Issues in responsible animal experimentation. New York: Oxford University Press.
---. 1998. The human use of animals: Case studies in ethical choice. New York: Oxford University Press.
This book begins with a brief introduction with a chapter explaining the main types of ethical theory as distinguished by philosophers and how they have been applied to the issue of the moral status of animals. The following sixteen chapters discuss different controversies that emerge over the use of animals in scientific research and case studies that have brought these controversies into public discourse. The driving question asked when looking at each case study is, how far is it morally justifiable to harm animals for the benefit of mankind.
Rudacille, Deborah. 2000. The scalpel and the butterfly: The war between animal research and animal protection. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Silverman, J., Suckow, M.A., Murthy, S. 2007. The IACUC Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
This handbook focuses on basic and advanced concerns of Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUC) and addresses questions and problems with IACUC committees.

Singer, Peter, ed. 2006. In defense of animals, the second wave. New York: Blackwell.

This anthology, edited by Peter Singer, the author of the 1986 edition of the same name, discusses the moral status of animals, the animal movement, and issues such as the use of animals in research and in industrial farming. The volume addresses philosophical questions about humanity’s relationship with animals, questions of the treatment of animals in research, zoos, and agriculture, and strategies animal activists use in bringing attention to the mistreatment of animals.
Sapontzis, S. 1987. Morals, Reason and Animals. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Taylor, Angus. 2003. Animals and ethics: An overview of the philosophical debate. Ont: Broadview Press.
This book seeks to map the philosophical debate about the ethical status of animals, and humans’ relationship with different species. The author covers the moral status of animals both currently and from a historical perspective, practical issues such as the use of animals for scientific research and the impact of environmental concerns on animals, and the relationship between good individual animal lives and a flourishing ecosystem.
Journal Articles
Aaltola, Elisa. "The Politics and Ethics of Animal Experimentation." International Journal of Biotechnology 7.4 (2005): 234-49.
Anderson, Warwick. “A New Approach to Regulating the Use of Animals in Science.” Bioethics 4.1 (1990): 45-54.
---. “Animal Rights and Biomedical Research.” Journal of Value Inquiry 26.1 (1992): 73-86.
Balls, M. "Animal Experimentation: Should the Three Rs be Abandoned?" Alternatives to Laboratory Animals: ATLA 34.2 (2006): 139-41.
Beauchamp, Tom L. “Opposing Views on Animal Experimentation: Do Animals Have Rights?” Ethics and Behavior 7.2 (1997): 113-121.
Bishop, Laura Jane and Anita Lonnes Nolen. "Animals in Research and Education: Ethical Issues.” Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 11.1 (2001): 91-112.
Clune, Alan C. “Biomedical Testing on Nonhuman Animals: An Attempt at a ‘Rapprochement’ Between ‘Utilitarianism’ and Theories of Inherent Value.” Monist 79.2 (1996): 230-246.
Festing, S., and T. Patel. "The Ethics of Research Involving Animals: A Review of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics Report from a Research Perspective." ATLA Alternatives to Laboratory Animals 33.6 (2005): 654-8.

Francione, Gary L. “The Use of Nonhuman Animals in Biomedical Research: Necessity and Justification.” Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 35.2 (2007): 241-248.

Frey, R. G. "Animals, Science and Morality.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (1990): 22.
---. "The Ethics of the Search for Benefits: Animal Experimentation in Medicine.” Principles of Health Care Ethics Ed. R. Gillon. New York: Wiley, 1993. 335-344.
---. "Medicine, Animal Experimentation, and the Moral Problem of Unfortunate Humans.” Social Philosophy and Policy 13.2 (1996): 181-211.
Gagneux, P., J. J. Moore, and A. Varki. "The Ethics of Research on Great Apes." Nature 437.7055 (2005): 27-9.
Gluck, John P. and Jordan Bell. “Ethical Issues in the Use of Animals in Biomedical and Psychopharmacological Research.” Psychopharmacology. 171.1 (2003): 6-12.
Hendriksen, C. F. M. "The Ethics of Research Involving Animals: A Review of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics Report from Three Rs Perspective." ATLA Alternatives to Laboratory Animals 33.6 (2005): 659-62.
Kolar, R. “Animal Experimentation.” Science and Engineering Ethics 12.1 (Jan 2006): 111-22.
The author examines some of the problems that exist in the regulation of experiments involving animal subjects. Though the use of animals in scientific research usually requires an ethical evaluation by an ethics committee, the standards are often unclear, there is often insufficient management of experiments undertaken for specific (e.g., regulatory) purposes, and in some cases conflicts of interest of ethics committees' members. The author discusses these problems in depth and examines European legislation on animal experimentation for cosmetics testing as one area where clear standards have been set, and the need for further examination of other fields and aspects of animal experimentation.
Koppelman, Elysa. “Federal Regulation for Animal Research.” In Group Mentoring in Responsible Research Conduct: A Modular Sequence of Activities in the Responsible Conduct of Research for Faculty, Trainees, and Staff. Cambridge, MA: MIT. Undated. < >.
LaFollette, Hugh and Niall Shanks. “Animal Models in Biomedical Research: Some Epistemological Worries.” Public Affairs Quarterly 7.2 (1993): 113-130.

---. “Utilizing Animals.” Journal of Applied Philosophy 12.1 (1995): 13-25.
Maloney, Dennis M. “Link Between Animal Studies and Risks for Human Subjects.” Human Research Report 17.7 (2002): 5.
“National Institutes of Health. Preparation and Maintenance of Higher Mammals During Neuroscience Experiments.” Report of a National Institutes of Health Workshop.
NIH Publication No. 91-3207. Bethesda, MD: NIH/National Eye Institute, 1991.
---. “Preparation and Maintenance of Higher Mammals During Neuroscience Experiments.” NIH Publication No. 94-3207. Bethesda, MD: NIH/National Eye Institute, 1994.
National Research Council (U.S.). “Science, Medicine, and Animals: A Circle of Discovery.” Washington, DC: National Research Council, National Academies Press, 2004.
National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. “Use of Laboratory Animals in Biomedical and Behavioral Research.” Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1988.
Norcross, Alastair. “Three Approaches to the Ethical Status of Animals.” Occasional Paper #9. Dallas, TX: Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, 2000.
Nuffield Council on Bioethics. The Ethics of Research Involving Animals. London: Nuffield Council on Bioethics, 2005.
Nussbaum, M. C. "The Moral Status of Animals." Chronicle of Higher Education 52.22 (2006): B6-8.
---. “On Justifying the Exploitation of Animals in Research.” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 13 (1988): 177-196.
"Opinion Interview: But is it Art?" New Scientist, January 6, 2001.
Discusses ethical concerns of the use of Alba, a transgenic rabbit that glows green in the dark, as an art object.
Perry, Baroness. "Animal Research: Unraveling the Ethical Debate." Chemical Engineer (London) 772 (2005): 39-41.
Radzikowski, C. "Protection of Animal Research Subjects." Science and Engineering Ethics 12.1 (2006): 103-10.
The use of experimental animals, mostly rodents, in biomedical research and especially in oncology and immunology should be acknowledged with respect, recognizing the contribution of animal experimentation in the fascinating scientific progress in these disciplines of research. It is an obligation of the investigator to justify the scientific and ethical aspects of each study requiring the use of animals. The international guiding principles for using animals in biomedical research are well defined and have been distributed worldwide by the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS) since 1956, when this organization was founded. In Poland, the ICLAS philosophy and principles are highly respected and were implemented.
Rennie, AE., and H.M. Buchanan-Smith. “Refinement of the Use of Non-Human Primates in Scientific Research. Part I: The Influence of Humans.” Animal Welfare 15.3 (2006): 203-213.
--. “Refinement of the Use of Non-Human Primates in Scientific Research. Part III: Refinement of Procedures.” Animal Welfare 15.3 (2006): 239-261.
Rollin, B.E. “The Regulation of Animal Research and the Emergence of Animal Ethics: A Conceptual History.” Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 27.4 (2006): 285-304.
Rollin, Bernard E. “Reasonable Partiality and Animal Ethics.” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice: An International Forum 8.1-2 (2005): 105-21.
Saha, Pamela and Subrata Saha. “Ethical Issues on the Use of Animals in the Testing of Medical Implants.” Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants 1.2 (1991): 127-134.
Sapontzis, Steve F. “Some Reflections on Animal Research.” Between the Species 1 (1985): 18-24.
Saha, S. and Saha P.S. "Ethical Issues of Animal and Human Experimentation in the Development of Medical Devices." The Biomedical Engineering Handbook, ed., J.
D. Bronzino, 2nd edition. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 1999.
A general review of concerns for the use of animals and humans in biomedical device applications. See especially pages 191-198.
Saucier, Donald A. and Mary E. Cain. “ The Foundations of Attitudes about Animal Research.” Ethics & Behavior 16.2 (2006): 117-133.
Schuppi, C.A., Fraser D., and McDonald. M. “Expanding the Three R’s to Meet New Challenges in Humane Animal Experimentation.” ATLA Alternatives to Laboratory Animals 32.5 (2004): 525-32.
Shanks, Niall and Keith Green. “Evolution and the Ethics of Animal Research.” Essays in Philosophy 5.2 (2004): 1-12.
Steinmetz, Peter N. and Stephen I. Helms Tillery. “Animal Models: Some Empirical Worries.” Public Affairs Quarterly 8.3 (1994): 287-298.
Theune, E. et al. “A Comparison of Three Models for Ethical Evaluation of Proposed Animal Experiments.” Animal Welfare 3.2 (1994): 107-129.
Thomas, D. "The Ethics of Research Involving Animals: A Review of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics Report from an Antivivisectionist Perspective." ATLA Alternatives to Laboratory Animals 33.6 (2005): 663-7.
Zamir, T. “Killing for Knowledge.” Journal of Applied Philosophy 21.1 (2006): 17-40.
Discusses the validity of four commonly used arguments to justify the use of animals in scientific experimentation.
Developed for the National Academy of Engineering, Online Ethics Center. Last updated 5/4/2010