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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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A Proposal for a New Ethical Scheme Addressing the Use of Laboratory Animals for Biomedical Purposes

Véronique C. Delpire, T. Ben Mepham and Michael Balls

Current European Union legislation relating to the use of laboratory animals, such as Directive 86/609/EEC, was implemented before the full implications of transgenesis were recognised. An analysis of selected existing cost-benefit guidelines has shown that they do not provide for an adequate evaluation of the use of transgenic animals. In this paper, a proposal is made for a new ethical scheme, comprising a specific cluster of questions dealing with transgenic animals and the wider implications of their use. It is suggested that this scheme could be used at the European level in reviewing project proposals involving animal experimentation.