Ethics and animal research

This lesson provides the opportunity to further explore the ethical issues relating to the use of animals in science. It also looks at how the public can have input into discussion and debate and the ways students can contribute within their own lives. It builds on the lessons Passion or compassion?, What are the issues? and Animal engineering. The activities introduced here may extend over a series of lessons.

Curriculum objectives

Students should learn:
to understand the ethical implications of using animals in science and how these are dealt with by the law and through ethical review.

Animal welfare objectives

Students should learn:

  • to understand what 'ethics' are about and why ethical principles are important
  • to understand the ethical implications of using animals in science and how these are dealt with by the law and through 'ethical review'.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this lesson:

  • most students will: be able to explain the ethical dilemmas of using animals in science and how these are dealt with by the law. They will be able to explain their own views about different types of research that use animals with reference to the ethical dilemmas these present, and know that other people have different views
  • some students have not made so much progress and will: know that research involving animals may be of benefit to humans and sometimes other animals, but it can be harmful to animals. They are able to express an opinion on different types of research that use animals
  • some students have progressed further and will: be able to explain how different types of research involving animals can present a range of ethical dilemmas.