Statement From Bernard E. Rollin on Surveys on Public Support for
Statement From Bernard E. Rollin on Surveys on Public Support for Biomedical Research
To Whomever it may Concern:
Surveys indicate that public support for biomedical research on animals is inversely proportional to the amount of pain, suffering, and distress the animals undergo. As the groundswell of public, bipartisan support for the creation of laws requiring the control of pain and distress attests, the public has a serious interest in such control.
In the event that control of pain and distress is deemed uncontrollable by researchers, and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee concurs, there is a legal and moral obligation to the public to report such uses, given the aforementioned societal concern that research animals not suffer. These uses must be reported to USDA as falling under pain category E. In many cases at my own institution, the Committee has worked diligently to modify such protocols so as to limit pain. In some cases this is done through early endpoints; in other cases analgesic regimens not affecting relevant variables can be found.) Failure to report protocols involving extended and unmitigated pain and distress, as occurs in prolonged restraint, food and water deprivation, carrying disease research to death as an endpoint, is legally and morally reprehensible. The public must be permitted to know what harm is inflicted on animals in its name, and to judge the acceptability of such projects.
Bernard E. Rollin PhD
Department of Philosophy
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