Ethical and humane
As the leading research university in Atlantic Canada, Dalhousie University recognizes the value and importance of scientific research. A portion of the research conducted here involves the use of animals. We believe that animal research is both necessary and ethical, since it advances our ability to improve human and animal well-being. Essentially all medical breakthroughs have depended upon the use of animals at some level, and animal-based research continues to be critical in the search for treatments and cures for many diseases including cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and infectious diseases.
Hand-in-hand with our research goals, one of Dalhousie’s highest priorities is the ethical and humane treatment of all research animals.
The University Committee on Laboratory Animals (UCLA) is Dalhousie’s animal ethics committee, responsible for overseeing the care and use of all vertebrate animals on campus. The UCLA is composed of scientists, technicians, veterinarians, students, and members of the public. The UCLA reviews each proposal to use animals, and decides whether the project has valid scientific goals and whether it is ethical and humane. One of the main ethical principles that we use in evaluating research projects is the principle of the 3 R’s:
- Replacement of animals whenever possible with alternatives such as computer models or cells
- Reduction in the number of animals used
- Refinement of techniques to make them as humane as possible