Animal Research, Accountability, Openness and Public Engagement: Report from an International Expert Forum Ormandy, Elisabeth H.; Weary, Daniel M.; Cvek, Katarina; Fisher, Mark; Herrmann, Kathrin; Hobson-West, Pru; McDonald, Michael; Milsom, William; Rose, Margaret; Rowan, Andrew; Zurlo, Joanne; von Keyserlingk, Marina A.G.
In November 2013, a group of international experts in animal research policy (n = 11) gathered in Vancouver, Canada, to discuss openness and accountability in animal research. The primary objective was to bring together participants from various jurisdictions (United States, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom) to share practices regarding the governance of animals used in research, testing and education, with emphasis on the governance process followed, the methods of community engagement, and the balance of openness versus confidentiality. During the forum, participants came to a broad consensus on the need for: (a) evidence-based metrics to allow a “virtuous feedback” system for evaluation and quality assurance of animal research, (b) the need for increased public access to information, together with opportunities for stakeholder dialogue about animal research, (c) a greater diversity of views to be represented on decision-making committees to allow for greater balance and (d) a standardized and robust ethical decision-making process that incorporates some sort of societal input. These recommendations encourage aspirations beyond merely imparting information and towards a genuine dialogue that represents a shared agenda surrounding laboratory animal use.
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