scholarly journals Varying Degrees of Animal Reification by Stakeholders in Experimental Research

Animals ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (2) ◽  
pp. 190
Jacques Cabaret ◽  
Ludivine Fortin

The attitude towards animals in research depends on both the role of the stakeholder and their personal characteristics. Most studies on the subject have been carried out on stakeholders from biomedical research institutes with comparatively few sociological studies on stakeholders from agricultural research centers. Previous findings suggest that animal caretakers at agricultural research centers felt undervalued by the hierarchy, and that animal reification was present in the sector. This may indicate that a lack of consideration for the animal subjects correlates with an inadequate sensitivity towards humans. Since these findings were published twenty years ago, there has been an increasing emphasis on the importance and actions of ethics committees in research, animal welfare bodies, and public concern for animals, which may have impacted the current perspective. To better understand current degrees of animal reification amongst stakeholders of agricultural research, we conducted semi-directive interviews at a leading agricultural research institute in France (INRAE). The interviews targeted both animal caretakers and researchers who were involved in the study of infectious diseases in livestock, or the behavior of horses and quails. After having transcribed the recorded interviews into text, semi-automatized analyses were carried out to categorize them into distinct groups, from which the most characteristic words and sentences were extracted. Three groups of stakeholders were identified: (i) animal caretakers involved in invasive infectious disease research; (ii) animal caretakers involved in behavioral research; and (iii) researchers. The findings show that animal caretakers felt acknowledged by their hierarchy. It is possible the increased skill criteria for people recruited into this position over the years, combined with greater prospects for continuous learning and development in the profession, may have fostered a more respectful regard across the hierarchy. The animal caretakers clearly expressed that their primary objective was to successfully execute the research protocols and that the animals were viewed as prototypes for research, with which they could, on occasion, develop a bond with. The bond was more important for animal caretakers involved in behavioral studies than for those involved in the study of infectious diseases, where invasive biological sampling and restraining of the animals is required. Researchers prioritized the procurement of robust data to test hypotheses, analyze phenomena, and publish their results. Their concern for the animals rather reflected the views of the general public opposed to thought-out personal opinions on the matter; this is possibly due to their comparatively limited interaction with the animals. They considered the animals in abstract terms that were indicative of reification. This study concludes that animal reification is still present, albeit to varying degrees amongst the stakeholders.

2020 ◽  
Vol 26 (1) ◽  
pp. 167-171
Mihai Velicof

AbstractBiosecurity is a term who was brought more into our attention after the events of September 11, 2010 who have been followed by the most famous bioterrorist attack with the anthrax letters. Defining biosecurity is not as easy how it looks at first side because this term it has a lot of interpretations according to various disciplines where it is used. At the beginning biosecurity was introduced as a set of measures with the purpose to reduce the risk of transmission of the infectious diseases in living modified organism, quarantined pests and infectious diseases in livestock and crops. Nowadays the term includes also the biological threats to environment, industries and to people and brings into our attention terms like bioterrorism, bioattack, bioweapons, biodefense, biosafety, biohazard, biorisk, biocontainment and biosurety. This article has one primary objective and that is to assess the roots and etymology of the term biosecurity by presenting a short historical perspective which will lead to a better delimitation of the concept, and to define some key concepts related to this area. The result of this conceptual delimitation of the biosecurity is to bring into attention the importance of this area which before COVID-19 events wasn’t took into consideration at the level it should be.

2021 ◽  
Vol 5 (1) ◽  
pp. e001034
Kyohei Iio ◽  
Kousaku Matsubara ◽  
Chisato Miyakoshi ◽  
Kunitaka Ota ◽  
Rika Yamaoka ◽  

BackgroundEpidemiological studies in Kawasaki disease (KD) have suggested infectious aetiology. During the COVID-19 pandemic, measures for mitigating SARS-CoV-2 transmission also suppress the circulation of other contagious microorganisms. The primary objective is to compare the number and incidence of KD before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan, and the secondary objective is to investigate temporal association between the KD epidemiology and activities of SARS-CoV-2 and other viral and bacterial infections.MethodsA retrospective cohort study was conducted between 2016 and 2020 in Kobe, Japan. We collected information of hospitalised KD children in Kobe. Child population was identified through the resident registry system. Activity of COVID-19 and 11 other infectious diseases was derived from a public health monitoring system. Monthly change of KD incidence was analysed using a difference-in-difference regression model.ResultsThroughout the study period, 1027 KD children were identified. KD had begun to decline in April 2020, coinciding with the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of KD cases (n=66) between April and December 2020 was 40% of the average in the same period in 2016–2019 (165/year). Annual KD incidence was 315, 300, 353, 347 and 188/100 000 children aged 0–4 years in 2016–2020, respectively. The difference-in-difference value of KD incidence was significantly reduced in the fourth quarter in 2020 (−15.8, 95% CI −28.0 to −3.5), compared with that in 2016–2019. Sentinel surveillance showed a marked decrease of all infectious diseases except exanthema subitum after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. There were 86 COVID-19 cases aged <10 years and no KD children associated with COVID-19.ConclusionThis study showed that the number and incidence of KD was dramatically reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. This change was temporally associated with decreased activities of various infectious diseases other than COVID-19, supporting the hypothesis of infection-triggered pathogenesis in KD.

Weed Science ◽  
1980 ◽  
Vol 28 (4) ◽  
pp. 439-439
R. L. Zimdahl

The first WSSA international session was organized by the society's International Affairs Committee with approval of the Board of Directors. The committee's objective was to present a broad view of weed research in the world. To do this, we invited participants who were presently, or who had been, on the staff of one of the international agricultural research centers. We also invited Dr. M. Horowitz, the WSSA Honorary Member for 1979, to present information on his work in Israel.

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