The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986
- Animal research must only take place in licensed labs, with licensed researches and projects.
- Researchers must consider whether knowledge gained from research justifies any harm or distress to animals.
- No research containing non-human animals can take place unless a lincence has been granted by the Home Office.
- The Home Office is committed to following the 3R's:
1: Refine the experimental procedures to minimise suffering.
2: Reduce the number of animals to a minimum.
3: Replace animal research with alternatives when possible.
The British Psychological Society (BPS)
The BPS produces a code of conduct for psychologists using non-human animals. The main points are:
- Psychologists must conform to current legislation.
- Species must be suited to research purposes.
- Psychologists must be aware of the animals' previous experience.
- Smallest number of animals must be used.
- Any procedure that may cause pain should be evaluated and replaced if possible.
- Regulation of food intake may be considered harmful and researchers must consider an animal's normal food intake and metabolic requirements.
The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour
Developed Bateson's decision cube to evaluate research using animals. It is based on three criteria:
- Quality of the research: research funding should only be given to animal research of the highest quality.
- Degree of animal suffering: it is difficult to empathise with animals and assess their suffering. We need to become more aware of a species by increasing knowledge of how animals behave.
- Certainty of benefit: do the ends justify the means? It is difficult to predict exactly what the benefits are to the lives of animals.