International primate neuroscience research regulation, public engagement and transparency opportunities.
Mitchell AS., Hartig R., Basso MA., Jarrett W., Kastner S., Poirier C.
Scientific excellence is a necessity for progress in biomedical research. As research becomes ever more international, establishing international collaborations will be key to advancing our scientific knowledge. Understanding the similarities in standards applied by different nations to animal research, and where the differences might lie, is crucial. Cultural differences and societal values will also contribute to these similarities and differences between countries and continents. Our overview is not comprehensive for all species, but rather focuses on non-human primate (NHP) research, involving New World marmosets and Old World macaques, conducted in countries where NHPs are involved in neuroimaging research. Here, an overview of the ethics and regulations is provided to help assess welfare standards amongst primate research institutions. A comparative examination of these standards was conducted to provide a basis for establishing a common set of standards for animal welfare. These criteria may serve to develop international guidelines, which can be managed by an International Animal Welfare and Use Committee (IAWUC). Internationally, scientists have a moral responsibility to ensure excellent care and welfare of their animals, which in turn, influences the quality of their research. When working with animal models, maintaining a high quality of care ("culture of care") and welfare is essential. The transparent promotion of this level of care and welfare, along with the results of the research and its impact, may reduce public concerns associated with animal experiments in neuroscience research.