An Estimation of the Extent of Animal Use in Research in Brazil, as Determined by Bibliographic Sampling from Journals Published in the State of Paraná
Vanessa Carli Bones Silla, Elaine Cristina de Oliveira Sans and Carla Forte Maiolino Molento
Animal use in research is an issue of increasing ethical concern. The objective of this work was to investigate animal use in research described in the papers appearing in 18 journals published in the State of Paraná in 2006. The fields used in the bibliographic sampling were: agrarian science, biological science, biological and health science, environmental science, food technology, and health science. Of the 865 papers analysed, 41% involved the use of animals — a total of 3,497,653 animals, of which 216,223 were vertebrates. Procedures which were classified as A or B for degree of invasiveness were involved in 67% of the papers; 571 fish were employed in procedures classified as E. Only 11% of the journals required certificates from Animal Use Ethics Committees. These results suggest that Brazil is important in the context of worldwide animal use for research, in terms of both the total numbers of animals and the numbers of vertebrates used. Bibliographical sampling is a useful method for estimating the extent of animal use in experiments in Brazil. However, there are limitations to this approach, resulting from the geographical distribution of the authors, the existence of papers presenting insufficient information, and the exclusive inclusion of animal experimentation that actually reaches publication. Thus, the introduction of a formal system to record and control laboratory animal use in Brazil, is urgently required.