Animal Experiments and Alternatives: Time to Confront Truth and Uncertainty, and to Combine Idealism with Realism

Michael Balls


AATEX 14(1):821-827, 2009

It is argued that the time has come to face up to the truth about the relevance and reliability of animal procedures and alternative methods, fully taking into account the difference between risk (randomness with known probabilities) and uncertainty (randomness with unknowable probabilities). Then, combined with recognition of the dangers of ignorance and ideology, and of special interest versus the common good, an approach based on an intelligent combination of idealism and realism could accelerate progress toward the muchneeded reform of biomedical research and testing, by fully gaining the benefits promised by the Three Rs.

Key words: alternatives, animal experiments, replacement, risk, toxicity testing


(AATEX: Altern. Animal Test. EXperiment.: Alternatives to Animal Testing and EXperimentation)