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File:Frog vivisection.jpg

Prior to vivisection for educational purposes, chloroform was administered to this common sand frog to induce terminal anesthesia.

File:Activist against vivisection.JPG

Activist against vivisection

Vivisection (from Latin vivus ("alive") + sectio ("cutting")) is defined as surgery conducted for experimental purposes on a living organism, typically animals with a central nervous system, to view living internal structure. The term is sometimes more broadly defined as any experimentation on live animals; see animal testing.[1][2][3] The term is often used by organizations opposed to animal experimentation[4] and is no longer used by practicing scientists.[2][5]

Animal vivisection

Research requiring vivisection techniques that cannot be met through other means are often subject to an external ethics review in conception and implementation, and in many jurisdictions, use of anaesthesia is legally mandated for any surgery likely to cause pain to any vertebrate.[6] In the U.S., the Animal Welfare Act explicitly requires that any procedure that may cause pain utilize "tranquilizers, analgesics, and anesthetics",[7] with exceptions when "scientifically necessary".[8] The Act does not define "scientific necessity" or regulate specific scientific procedures;[9] instead, approval or rejection of individual techniques in each federally-funded lab is determined on a case-by-case basis by an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, which contains at least one veterinarian, one scientist, one non-scientist, and one individual from outside the university.[10]

In the U.K., any experiment involving vivisection must be granted a licence by the Secretary of State for Home Affairs. The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 "expressly directs that, in determining whether to grant a licence for an experimental project, 'the Secretary of State shall weigh the likely adverse effects on the animals concerned against the benefit likely to accrue.'" The Code of Practice in Australia "requires that all experiments must be approved by an Animal Experimentation Ethics Committee" that includes a "person with an interest in animal welfare who is not employed by the institution conducting the experiment, and an additional independent person not involved in animal experimentation."[11]

See also


  1. "Vivisection", Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2009: "Vivisection: operation on a living animal for experimental rather than healing purposes; more broadly, all experimentation on live animals."
  2. 2.0 2.1 Tansey, E.M. Review of Vivisection in Historical Perspective by Nicholaas A. Rupke, book reviews, National Center for Biotechnology Information, p. 226.
  3. Croce, Pietro. Vivisection or Science? An Investigation into Testing Drugs and Safeguarding Health. Zed Books, 1999, and "About Us", British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection.
  4. Yarri, Donna. The Ethics of Animal Experimentation: A Critical Analysis and Constructive Christian Proposal, Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 163.
  5. Paixao, RL; Schramm, FR. Ethics and animal experimentation: what is debated? Cad. Saúde Pública, Rio de Janeiro, 2007
  6. "National Academy of Sciences Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals
  7. Template:Uscsub
  8. Template:Uscsub
  10. [ "Official IACUC Page"]
  11. Singer, Peter. Animal Liberation. Avon: New York, 1990, p. 77

Further reading

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