Case demonstrating that current scientific culture can lead to damage for animals
The urge to produce many publications fast, as this is considered favourable to researchers and institutions coincides with harm being done to animals. Yauw et al. (Yauw, Wever, Hoesseini, Ritskes‐Hoitinga, & van Goor, 2015) performed a systematic review on animal models used in intestinal anastomosis research. The authors identified 1342 animal studies in 350 publications, and 298 publications (85%) reported a positive effect on anastomotic healing, which indicates that probably negative results have not been published. There was considerable experimental repetition for certain topics: 88 studies on adverse effects of chemotherapy, 42 studies on fibrin glue and 18 studies on the use of growth hormone. A total of 73304 animals were used (mean of 55 animals per study). 83.4 % did not report whether surgery was performed sterile, and 91.4% did not report whether postoperative analgesia had been given. When this is not reported, you don’t know whether it has been done or not. In case not, this causes serious concern for animal welfare and is also considered illegal in relation to our European legislation. The unnecessary repetition, e.g. to prove that chemotherapy has an adverse effect on wound healing, highlights the importance of properly reviewing animal studies before commencing new projects in order to use resources in a good and ethical and effective way.