Japanese Policy on Animal Welfare: An Instructive Example for Scientific Animal Experimentation.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5016/1806-8774.2008.v10pT63

Hiromi Takahashi-Omoe, Katsuhiko Omoe


Animal use for scientific purposes, 'animal experimentation', is conducible to scientific development, protecting human health, civilized way of life and so on; however, animal use for human advantage is controversial. Despite of the heated discussion on the rights and wrongs of animal experimentation, animals have been used for research, testing and education in many nations under management systems for the appropriate use of animals
from both scientific and ethical viewpoints. Previous efforts to achieve a delicate balance between the scientific rationale and animal protection involve the welfare of animals in scientific procedures. In Japan, each institution where animal experimentation is conducted independently regulates its use of animals under the Ministry's fundamental guidelines, without legal binding force. The management systems are so-called 'self-regulated' or 'self-motivated' management and they are unique, a departure from those in other nations, and fit Japanese religions, traditions and regulatory and administrative frameworks of science and technology. However, several tasks for the management systems for further animal
experimentation have become apparent, in response to the new mode of the experimentation developed by the progress of science, technology and animal welfare issues. Here, we describe the current management systems and the future tasks for animal experimentation in Japan. This attempt will provide material for further discussion about animal experimentation and contribute to build an international consensus about animal welfare in scientific procedures.


animal experimentation; Japan; management systems

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5016/1806-8774.2008.v10pT63