Science Express: Animals and Drug Testing
Thu 3 Jul 2014,
Level 4 Espresso
Toxicologist Ian Shaw discusses the hotly debated issue of using animals in drug testing.
Debate about the ethics of testing drugs on animals has heated up in New Zealand with recent worries about the safety of ‘legal highs’.
Should we use animals to test the safety of recreational drugs? Is animal use justified only when the drugs are beneficial – or also when they make users feel good on a Saturday night? What constitutes benefit when we are justifying animal use?
Canterbury University’s Professor Shaw explores these issues from the point of view of a toxicologist who does not use animals in his work and who strongly believes in the risk/benefit approach for assessing safety. He shares his home with a hotchpotch of rescued animals.
Science Express is supported by GNS Science and the Wellington Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand.