This meeting is being organised by Dr. Alan McElligott (City University of Hong Kong), Dr Elodie Briefer (University of Copenhagen), Dr. Kate Flay (City University of Hong Kong), Dr. Xin Huo (Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University), Dr. Hannah Mumby (University of Hong Kong), Dr. Matthew Parker (University of Portsmouth), and Dr. Tamara Tadich (Universidad Austral de Chile).

This two-day workshop will be held online on the 21st and 22nd June 2022. All times are Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

The workshop will feature examples from across various fields that reflect upon the ethical and animal welfare dimensions of research. We also aim to examine some examples from animal and veterinary sciences that use human data (e.g. surveys of human attitudes, or human-animal interactions), in which human ethical oversight is a key concern. 

 

This workshop will be of interest to animal behaviour, conservation, and welfare scientists (at all career stages) as well as any researchers working with animals or collecting data related to animals. Whilst held online, there will be plenty of opportunities to network with speakers and other delegates.

If you feel that your interests lie in this area then please put the date in your diary. 

As with all ASAB meetings, researchers of any aspect of animal behaviour are very welcome to attend.

Guidelines for the treatment of animals in behavioural research and teaching. 2021. Animal Behaviour 171, Pages I-XI.

Key dates for your diary:

  • Registration opens – 10th January 2022

  • Extended deadline for submission of abstracts for talks and posters – now Friday 25th March 2022

  • Notification of abstract acceptance for talks and posters – by 28th April 2022

  • Registration deadline - 17th June 2022 

Registration is now closed

Special Issue on the Ethics of animal behaviour and welfare research.

As an addition to the Workshop, we are preparing a Special Collection for the journal "Research Ethics", entitled: "Special Issue on the Ethics of animal behaviour and welfare research”. Research Ethics is focused on “ethical issues in the conduct of research, the regulation of research, the procedures and process of ethical review as well as broader ethical issues related to research such as scientific integrity and the end uses of research”. The aim of this Special Collection is to educate and raise awareness of the need for minimum ethical standards for animal research, research on animal-human interactions, and reporting of these considerations in published papers, ultimately improving animal behaviour and welfare research standards across the world. The journal’s publisher, SAGE partners with ‘Knowledge Unlatched’ to enable all articles in Research Ethics to be published open access with no submission charges and no article processing charges (APCSs). Both theoretical and empirical papers focusing on ethical practices in animal behaviour and welfare research are welcome. This may include (for example) scholarly reviews (theoretical), systematic review/meta-analyses, or empirical papers, in any relevant areas of interest for this topic. 

 

If you would be interested in taking part, please see here (https://journals.sagepub.com/page/rea/collections/open) for more information about the special issue, and the instructions for authors and submission guidelines.

Plenary Speakers

The event will include four main sessions and four plenary speakers:

June 21st (am)    Introduction to Animal Ethics and Welfare       

Plenary: Prof. Peter Sandøe, University of Copenhagen

"Ethical perspectives on the use of animals in behavioural and welfare research"

June 21st (pm) Laboratory Animal Ethics and Welfare             

Plenary: Dr Esther Pearl, NC3Rs

"Key considerations and resources for designing rigorous animal experiments"

June 22nd (am)   Wildlife and Fieldwork Ethics and Welfare       

Plenary: Dr Mucha Mkono, University of Queensland

"Navigating the North-South geopolitics of conservation and animal-based recreation: some personal reflections"

June 22nd (pm) Farm Animal Ethics and Welfare                       

Plenary: Prof. María José Hötzel, Federal University of Santa Caterina, Brazil

"Reporting on the ethics of research on farm animals: current challenges"

Dr Esther Pearl

NC3Rs, United Kingdom

"Key considerations and resources for designing rigorous animal experiments"

There is increasing concern that biomedical animal studies are not always reliable or predictive. Contributing factors to inconsistent results include poor experimental design, inappropriate analysis methods and incomplete reporting. The NC3Rs Experimental Design Assistant (EDA, https://eda.nc3rs.org.uk) is free-to-use online software that helps researchers design more rigorous animal experiments by providing bespoke feedback on experimental designs. This feedback highlights the implications of particular design decisions and enables users to make informed choices, tailored to their experimental objectives. The EDA is endorsed by major biomedical research funders worldwide as a tool to help researchers design experiments that are more likely to yield robust and reproducible data, while using the minimum number of animals consistent with scientific objectives. Detailed experimental reporting is key to reducing irreproducible results. The ARRIVE guidelines (www.ARRIVEguidelines.org) can help researchers ensure they are reporting experiments comprehensively and transparently. Recently revised, the ARRIVE guidelines are accompanied by an explanation and elaboration document providing more information about each item in the guidelines, and examples of good reporting from the scientific literature. This talk will discuss main causes of reliability issues in animal experiments and how the EDA and ARRIVE guidelines can help address these.

Prof. María José Hötzel

Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil

"Reporting on the ethics of research on farm animals: current challenges"

Farm animal welfare studies involve two types of subjects: animals reared in many different housing and production systems (either in laboratories or in commercial conditions), and humans involved directly or indirectly in the use of these animals. The ethical standards of research are expressed in the way the animals are reared, the choice of research procedures, the analysis of results, and the reporting of the methodology and the data. Poor ethical standards of research may have repercussions on the reproducibility of results, public support for research involving animals and humans, and even the trust in scientists and in science. To ensure high ethical standards, research involving humans and animals is often reviewed by third parties: before the research starts, by institutional boards, and during the publication process, by editors and reviewers. The quality of these assessments and of the guidelines followed by these parties can be influenced by the views and the formal training of researchers and local and national committees or regulatory agencies on the issue. Problems may arise when researchers have no access to ethics committees, or journals fail to guide or enforce ethical standards. There is a need for a shift in culture, where the ethical standards of research are considered a key component of “research quality”.

Prof. Peter Sandøe

University of Copenhagen, Denmark

"Ethical perspectives on the use of animals in behavioural and welfare reserach"

The use of animals in behavioural and welfare research may appear to differ from mainstream use of animals in biomedical research in one of two ways. Firstly, it may be seen as mostly not invasive, and mild in terms of its welfare impact (this is primarily the case with behavioural research). Secondly it may be seen as being conducted in the interest of animals rather than in the interest of humans (this is primarily the case with welfare research). For these reasons, many of those who use animals in behavioural and welfare research typically consider themselves to be in a different ethical situation compared to those who use animals in studying human diseases, for safety testing and the like.
However, there is a growing awareness that using animals in behavioural and welfare research in fact presents ethical concerns like those arising from other forms of animal use. Furthermore, behavioural and welfare research must comply with the same regulatory requirements as other forms of animal research – even though there are large regional and national differences between these requirements. Behavioural research, in addition, may involve human owners and other human research subjects, giving rise to a separate category of regulatory requirements.
In this introductory talk I aim to: 1) discuss to what extent the use of animals in behavioural and welfare research differs from other forms of animal use; 2) introduce the main ethical principles relating to the use of animals for research and testing, notably the 3Rs and the requirement of a positive harm-benefit assessment; 3) highlight some of the regional and national differences in regulatory requirements and the problems this gives rise to when collaborating and publishing internationally; and 4) introduce the specific requirements arising when behavioural and welfare research involves human research subjects.

Dr Mucha Mkono

University of Queensland, Australia

"Navigating the North-South geopolitics of conservation and animal-based recreation: some personal reflections"

In this talk I will consider the question of why the geopolitics of trophy hunting are so fraught. In particular, I will break down the various tensions and domains that make the trophy hunting debate so complex: (i) Agency: Who has the say? Who is the ‘local’? (ii) Power: Who has the power to make decisions that matter? How has this become a political football? (iii) Morality/ethicality: Who is ‘right’? Who is ‘wrong’? and (iv) Academy/research institutions: What constitutes ‘evidence’? What role do conflicts of interest play in the associated knowledge production? Most importantly, how can all the different actors find common ground to achieve their common interest, that is, conservation of megafauna?