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ACC&D’s 6th International Symposium: The ethics of using dogs and cats as research subjects - special considerations for owned and community animals

ACC&D’s 6th International Symposium: The ethics of using dogs and cats as research subjects - special considerations for owned and community animals

ACC&D’s 6th International Symposium: The ethics of using dogs and cats as research subjects - special considerations for owned and community animals

ACC&D
ACC&D

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Launch date: 03 Dec 2018
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Last updated: 17 Dec 2018

Reference: 192997

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Description

Dogs and cats, whether living with owners or free roaming community animals, merit special ethical consideration as research subjects. Although nominally covered under research protections in the US by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), many issues inherent in doing research on dogs and cats outside of a laboratory setting are not addressed by the AWA. Additionally, there is very little information and minimal guidelines governing such research outside of federal regulations. Because dogs and cats occupy a unique cultural position within both urban and rural human communities, the ethics of using them as research subjects must include protections for the animals as individuals and respect for the importance of the human-animal bond, while incorporating the realities of legal relationships between owners and animals. When designing research utilizing dogs and cats, we can take some cues from human subject research on children, but must also include considerations for the species specific emotional and physical needs of the dogs and cats. Examples of issues to take into account is how to we determine who “owns” community animals or who will advocate for them, who pays for and provides medical care for animals that may experience adverse effects from trials, and whether financial incentives for enrollment in trials represent a conflict of interest or even coercion. These issues can be systematically assessed and addressed as part of a well-designed protocol. Doing so as part of the design process will improve the likelihood of completing a trial with usable data and less disruptive and distressing ethical conflict.

Objectives

Dr. Lisa Moses, veterinarian and bioethicist at the MSPCA-Angell, and Valerie Benka, Director of Programs at ACC&D, discuss:
The ethics of using dogs and cats as research subjects
Two ethical dilemmas ACC&D faced in project work
Relevant resources ACC&D is working to create
ACC&D

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ACC&D

Our mission is to advance non-surgical fertility control so as to effectively and humanely reduce the number of unwanted cats and dogs.

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