Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Successful conference about animal welfare legislation and the new EU Directive relating to animal use in research was jointly held by JMICAWE and Northumbria University Law Faculty last week

Prof Nat Waran chaired an extremely informative conference held in Newcastle on the 14/15th June hosted by the Northumbria University Law faculty, co-organised by Kathryn Hunter and Debbie Rook and the JMICAWE and kindly sponsored by UFAW (Universities Federation for Animal Welfare).
The two day conference brought together ethicists, scientists, veterinarians, NGOs and lawyers to consider the new Directive and its transposition into UK law – with speakers reflecting upon concerns as well as opportunities for animal welfare and the use of alternatives to animals in research.
The opening speaker, Professor Kenneth Boyd, challenged the audience by posing questions about the moral justification for the use of animals in research, followed by the first speaker, Dr Duncan Wilson, a Wellcome Trust research fellow from the University of Manchester who described the history of the use of alternatives to animals in research (Tissue culture in science and society). Various excellent talks followed exploring issues such as the use of animals in teaching, the conundrums presented by application of the 3Rs framework, the importance of ethical review panels and the importance of transparency and accountability in science. Finally, Dr Judy McArthur Clark (CBE) Head of the Animals in Science Regulation Unit at the Home Office, discussed the way in which the new Directive promotes transparency, sharing of best practice in animal welfare and most importantly the objective of full replacement through the advancement of alternative approaches to the use of animals in research and how this goal was fundamental to the Directive and its transposition into UK law and practice.

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