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date: 03 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article takes the central issue concerning the ethics of animal experimentation to be the moral status of animals. Since most animal experimentation involves treating experimental subjects in ways that would clearly not be morally acceptable if the subjects were human, and since no animal experimentation involves the informed consent of the experimental subject(s), any attempt to justify such experimentation must include a defense of the claim that the moral status of animals differs significantly from that of humans. The influence of animal welfare advocates, in particular Peter Singer, Tom Regan, and their followers, but certainly dating back to Bentham and Mill, seems to have resulted in at least the grudging acceptance by the research community that animals have some moral status. That is, that the interests of animals should be taken into account when designing and justifying experiments involving them.

Keywords: animal experimentation, moral status, experimental subjects, informed consent, animal welfare, utilitarianism

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