Elif Akkaya1, Harun Reşit Güngör2

1Uskudar American Academy, High School, Istanbul, Türkiye
2Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Pamukkale University Faculty of Medicine, Denizli, Türkiye

Keywords: Animal ethics committee, animal research, animal welfare, welfare certificate, 3Rs.


The use of animals in research has increasingly continued, although there are serious concerns about appropriate methodology, moral issues and translation to clinical practice. The aim of the present article is to review the insufficiency of statements in ethical approvals to obtain animal welfare in real life practices and to draw attention to the need for an additional evidence-based audit system. In many countries, local Animal Ethics Committees are established to ensure that animals are treated in accordance with 3Rs (Replace, Reduce, Refine) principles. Although the ethical approval certificate which is taken before the start of research is considered as the proof of animal welfare, footages released from all over the world reveal the maltreatment. However, due to the scientific resource provided by animal models, it does not seem possible to expect animal experiments to be terminated in the near future. Addition of previously suggested welfare section to methods of study or including the ethical approval certificate does not seem to be sufficient practices to guarantee the animal welfare, since they are not based on audited evidence. The welfare certificate, in which the welfare is supervised by independent auditors, would serve as a proof of both the wellbeing of subjects and consequently the scientific reliability of data. Application of review and publication priority for the animal researches which have the welfare certificate in addition to the ethical approval would encourage the researchers to obtain this certificate. The achievement of worldwide consensus about content, requirements, and application methods of the welfare certificate should be in the scope of scientists in the near future to reach the more humane and more qualified animal experiments.

Citation: Akkaya E, Güngör HR. The dark side of the animal experiments. Jt Dis Relat Surg 2022;33(2):479-483.

Data Sharing Statement: The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Author Contributions

Devised the project, the main conceptual ideas and proof outline: E.E.; Interpreted the data, revised critically for the intellectual content: H.R.G.; Both authors approved the final version to be published.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.