Module 9: Ethics, animal welfare and the Three Rs (level 2)
[Function Specific for Function B] This module provides guidance and information to enable individuals designing procedures and projects (Function B of Article 23) to look, in detail, at different aspects of ethics and the Three Rs and to apply the principles learned to the ethical and welfare issues raised by the use of animals in scientific procedures within their own programme of work. The purpose of this module is to address the fact that those designing procedures should command a deeper and broader understanding of the general issues. Thus, the main difference between level 1 and level 2 Modules on "Ethics, animal welfare that the Three Rs" is not necessarily the topics to be covered (which have not been repeated here) but rather that some of them are addressed in more detail and with a greater expectation for the Learning Outcome itself. For example at level 1 there are elements the trainee should know and be able to describe, which at level 2 the trainee should have a more detailed understanding and be able to discuss. This module also prepares individuals so that they are able to keep themselves informed in order to continuously apply the Three Rs to their work as new methods and approaches evolve.
Trainees should be able to:
9.1. Understand that there is a broad range of ethical, welfare and scientific perspectives on the use of animals in scientific procedures, and that thinking on all of these matters evolves over time and is influenced by culture and context.
9.2. Understand that this means there is need for on-going critical evaluation of the justification for using animals and of implementation of the Three Rs at all stages of the life of a project.
9.3. Recognise that there are ethical limits to what it is considered permissible to do under the Directive and that even within these legal constraints, there are also likely to be national and institutional differences in this respect.
9.4. Explain that legislation requires that the justification for programmes of work is assessed by weighing potential adverse effects on the animals against the likely benefits; that harms to animals must be minimised, and benefits maximised.
9.5. Understand and provide the information necessary to enable a robust harm/benefit assessment to be performed; and explain why they personally consider that the potential benefits outweigh the likely adverse effects.
9.6. Understand the need to communicate appropriate information to a wider public audience, and be able to prepare an appropriate non-technical project summary to facilitate this.
9.7. Describe the importance of disseminating information that will promote understanding of ethical issues, good animal welfare, good science and application of the Three Rs. 53