Publication Details

Russell, D. (2013). Animal ethics committees: reassurances rejected. Between the Species: an online journal for the study of philosophy and animals, 16 (1), 1-7.

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Between The Species

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Between the Species is a peer-reviewed electronic journal devoted to the philosophical examination of the relationship between human beings and other animals. While most articles are ethical inquiries, others raise issues involving metaphysics, epistemology and other areas of philosophical investigation. Between the Species is an open access journal: users have the right to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles.


The ethical and legal framework governing animal experimentation in Australia has changed little since 1990 despite the publication of new editions of the Code of Practice. The latest Code was published in 2012, again with minimal change. The problems which I outline apply to all editions of the Code from 1990 to the present. Allen and Halligan pick up on the framework for the 2004 Code suggesting that my criticisms relate to the period before 2004. My acquaintance with the workings of Animal Ethics Committees (AECs) and the various codes spans a long period pre-dating 2004 and extending to the present. I chose to direct my article to the 2004 Code given that it was current at the time of writing. I note that Allen and Halligan do likewise. There are in fact no changes affecting our points of disagreement in the 2012 edition.