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Animals in Research: Ethics

4th term
Environmental Health and Engineering
1 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Asynchronous Online
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
  • Kathrin Herrmann
Kathrin Herrmann

Introduction to Online Learning.


Introduces students to the principles of bioethics when using animals in biomedical research and testing. Discusses the most common ethical theories such as contractarianism, Kantianism and utilitarianism. Addresses ethical issues arising from the use of animals in biomedical research and emphasizes on the role the three Rs of animal experimentation (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) play when conducting animal experiments. Explores the harms involved in animal studies and assesses these against the benefits (harm-benefit analysis, HBA). The HBA is considered to be a key ethical safeguard for animals and, thus, is discussed in detail. Prepares students for real-world problems they may face in the laboratory.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the principles of animal research ethics
  2. Recognize moral considerations inherent to research and testing on animals
  3. Identify ethics requirements when planning, conducting, analyzing, and reporting animal experiments in the United States and in the European Union
  4. Apply the 3Rs and the harm-benefit to ethically safeguard laboratory animals
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 30% Participation
  • 30% Midterm
  • 40% Final Exam

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

This course focuses on animal use ethics in science and is required for students wanting to complete the Humane Sciences and Toxicology Policy Certificate online.