Guidelines and Codes

Many countries have national, legally enforceable guidelines, for the protection of animals in research. Among the more advanced are those developed by the Australian National

Health and Medical Research Council and the Swedish regulations. Both require experiments to be approved by ethics committees. In Australia the ethics committee must include a lay member and, in addition, a person from an animal welfare organization (National Health and Medical Research Council). In Sweden the ethics committees consist of six scientists and six lay members and are chaired by a judge (European Science Foundation). Both the European Union and the Council of Europe have their own codes, dating from the mid-1980s. From the same period comes the most frequently cited international code, the International Guiding Principles for Biomedical Research Involving Animals developed by the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS). The CIOMS code is, however, much weaker than the relatively more advanced codes in specific countries, such as the European nations and Australia. Instead of mandatory review by committees that include lay members, for example, the CIOMS code allows "voluntary self-regulation by the biomedical community."

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