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July 10, 1996

Conference Explores Ethics of Animal Research With Critical Thinking and Balanced Argument

Author Affiliations

JAMA contributor

JAMA. 1996;276(2):87-88. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540020009004

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THE CONFRONTATION last month in Prince Georges County, Maryland, between AIDS activists and animal rights activists—resulting in the arrest of several of the former and reiterated demands for an end to biomedical research that involves animals by the latter—is a recent skirmish in an ongoing battle.

The use of animals in research, testing, and teaching in the United States has increased greatly since it began in the late 1800s. Although such practices peaked in the 1970s and have been gradually decreasing in the United States, they are seen by many people as another example of technology-dependent science that has turned a deaf ear toward ethical and environmental concerns.

At issue are such concerns as the degree of pain and suffering felt by non-human experimental subjects, the ecological consequences of removing higher-order animals from their communities, and the increasing use of genetic engineering without due consideration for the welfare of