Transparency And Animal Research Regulation: An Australian Case Study
This case study examines transparency in the animal experimentation industry in Australia. Five separate groups–animal researchers, staff providing support to animal researchers, members of a moderate animal protection group, members of an anti-vivisection group, and a control group of unaffiliated individuals–were surveyed about their behaviors and concerns regarding animals used for experiments. These surveys were placed within the historical and current context of the animal experimentation industry in Australia. The author found that transparency in the industry was lacking despite claims by all groups that they desired and supported more transparency.
“This paper seeks to examine the extent to which the research sector has addressed transparency concerns. I argue that the animal research community has not adequately increased its level of public accountability, nor have policy makers imposed legislative changes upon the research community that achieve that end. At the same time, public concern over the use of animals in research is significant.”
“Using original survey data, this paper contends that although the majority of those surveyed stated they are either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about animal research, community understanding of animal-based research is poor. These findings suggest that the animal research community has failed to “open the laboratory door” in a meaningful way. However, it is also argued that it is not self-evident that enhanced transparency is in the best interest of any particular stakeholder. The animal rights claim that animal research should be abolished, not made transparent aside, this paper addresses the debate on its own terms and as it unfolds within many sectors of the research, animal advocacy, and policy making communities.”