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AGU hosts lecture on ethics for dealing with laboratory animals

February 23, 2021

A scientific lecture on the ethics of dealing with laboratory animals was recently concluded at the Arabian Gulf University. Delivered by Laboratory Experimental Animals Unit Head Dr Khaled Gerish, the lecture was attended by 25 members of the faculty and discussed several topics, such as the Islamic teachings for animal welfare and the main principles for dealing with experimental animals.

Dr Gerish highlighted the necessity of avoiding the use of experimental animals if an appropriate scientific alternative is available, reducing the number of animals to the minimum to provide the answer to the research question, and using experimental animals with the utmost care for animal rights, which include food, drink, appropriate environment and elimination of pain.

Speaking in the lecture, Dr Gerish also mentioned that the ethical requirements include the possibility of replacing animals with computerised mathematical models, the use of live cells rather than whole animals, and reducing the number of experimental animals so that the same animal is used in research with a common purpose, in addition to reaching the results using modern diagnostic methods without endangering the animal’s life and performing euthanasia for animals.

Additionally, the lecture discussed Law No. 52 of 2014 approving the Animal Welfare Act of the GCC states, which requires researchers to monitor the animal’s condition twice a day, in addition to the abovementioned points and ethics.

The lecture shed light on the regulations of AGU’s College of Medicine and Medical Science, which define humane interaction with experimental animals. Dr Gerish explained that the regulations include filling out an application specifying all animal welfare methods and that the application is submitted to the Scientific Research Ethics Committee and the Laboratory Research Committee for the Use of Experimental Animals for approval before commencing the experiment.

“AGU prohibits any researcher from conducting laboratory research on experimental animals unless the researcher undergoes a training programme supervised by the Laboratory Research Committee on Experimental Animals, which is based on human interaction with experimental animals,” Dr Gerish added.


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