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Comment: The Ethics of Research Involving Animals: A Review of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics Report from a Research Perspective


Simon Festing and Tarah Patel

The use of animals in scientific and medical research has been a topic of much debate for many years in the UK. Those opposing animal research, such as the animal rights extremists and anti-vivisectionist groups, believe that animal experimentation is cruel and unnecessary. There is no middle-ground for these groups — they want only the immediate abolition of animal research. However, we only need to look back in history to realise that animal research has played a vital role in most of the scientific and medical advances of the last century. It has provided enormous benefits to all, and is continuing to aid our understanding of a variety of medical conditions. Throughout the world, people are able to enjoy a better quality of life because of these advances and the consequent development of new medicines and treatments, made possible by animal research.