Article ID: CBB092303708

Edge cases in animal research law: Constituting the regulatory borderlands of the UK's Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act (2021)


This paper explores how the boundaries of the UK's Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act (A(SP)A) are constituted, as illustrative of the rising importance of legal procedures around animal research and how these are continuously being challenged and questioned. Drawing on empirical work in animal research communities, we consider how it is decided whether activities are undertaken for an “experimental or other scientific purpose”. We do this by focusing on “edge cases”, where debates occur about whether to include an activity within A(SP)A's remit. We demonstrate that the boundaries of animal research regulation in the UK are products of past and present decisions, dependencies, and social relationships. Boundaries are therefore not clear-cut and fixed, but rather flexible and changing borderlands. We particularly highlight the roles of: historical precedent; the management of risk, workload, and cost; institutional and professional identities; and research design in constituting A(SP)A's edges. In doing so, we demonstrate the importance of paying attention to how, in practice, animal law requires a careful balance between adhering to legal paragraphs and allowing for discretion. This in turn has real-world implications for what and how science is done, who does it, and how animals are used in its service.

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Authors & Contributors
Jasanoff, Sheila
Ingrid Metzler
Ahuja, Neel
Benson, Etienne Samuel
Bragesjö, Fredrik
Daitch, Vicki McKinney
Science, Technology, and Human Values
American Quarterly
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
Minerva: A Review of Science, Learning and Policy
Science as Culture
Science in Context
Harvard University Press
University of Chicago Press
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers
Animal rights
Science and law
Human-animal relationships
Science and ethics
Science and politics
Palmieri, Paolo
Paolucci, Luigi
William Crawford Williamson
Time Periods
21st century
20th century, late
20th century
19th century
20th century, early
United Kingdom
United States
Great Britain
European Union
Manchester. University

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