The ethical evaluation of research projects that involve the use of animals is imperative in the United States and in Europe. As part of the ethical evaluation, both the 8th edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and the European Directive 2010/63/EU require that the objectives and benefits of the studies against potential harm inflicted to animals be weighed, i.e. a “harm-benefit analysis”. The harm-benefit analysis is the cornerstone of ethical evaluation, as it will determine if the use of animals is justified … The overarching ethical principles that need to be considered when engaging in animal research are driven by the same doctrines of replacement, reduction, and refinement in both the United Stated and Europe.
A jointly produced document would therefore be applicable in both geographical areas, as well as serve as an important guideline which members of the scientific community could access when working towards harmonization of ethical review processes.