The sentience shift in animal research

The New Bioethics 28 (4):299-314 (2022)
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One of the primary concerns in animal research is ensuring the welfare of laboratory animals. Modern views on animal welfare emphasize the role of animal sentience, i.e. the capacity to experience subjective states such as pleasure or suffering, as a central component of welfare. The increasing official recognition of animal sentience has had large effects on laboratory animal research. The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness (Low et al., University of Cambridge, 2012) marked an official scientific recognition of the presence of sentience in mammals, birds, and cephalopods. Animal sentience has furthermore been recognized in legislation in the European Union, UK, New Zealand and parts of Australia, with discussions underway in other parts of the world to follow suit. In this paper, we analyze this shift towards recognition of sentience in the regulation and practice in the treatment of laboratory animals and its effects on animal welfare and use.

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Author Profiles

Heather Browning
University of Southampton
Walter Veit
University of Reading

Citations of this work

Towards a Comparative Study of Animal Consciousness.Walter Veit - 2022 - Biological Theory 17 (4):292-303.
Preserving the Normative Significance of Sentience.Leonard Dung - 2024 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 31 (1):8-30.
Better to be a Pig Dissatisfied than a Plant Satisfied.Ethan C. Terrill & Walter Veit - 2024 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 37 (4):1-17.

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References found in this work

Perspectival pluralism for animal welfare.Walter Veit & Heather Browning - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-14.
The Measurement Problem of Consciousness.Heather Browning & Walter Veit - 2020 - Philosophical Topics 48 (1):85-108.
Animal Sentience.Heather Browning & Jonathan Birch - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (5):e12822.
Neural Organoids and the Precautionary Principle.Jonathan Birch & Heather Browning - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics 21 (1):56-58.

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