Ethical Challenges for Animals from Traditional and Complementary Medicine

  • Kate ChatfieldEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Philosophy book series (BRIEFSPHILOSOPH)


Humans use and abuse animals for many purposes, including the production and testing of traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM) products. While some animals may benefit from T&CM interventions, many more suffer harm. In both animal experimentation and for the production of T&CM products, animals can be exposed to stress, pain, artificially induced diseases and/or ultimately killed. However, the use of animals in T&CM products (for example, oil extracted from the blubber of the River Dolphin or the intestines of a porcupine) is more ethically challenging than the use of animals in T&CM research. First, research is better regulated. Second, animals used in research are often bred for purpose whereas most of the animals used for T&CM products are taken from the wild in an unregulated manner and many are endangered species such as rhinos, and tigers. Ethical challenges for the use of animals in T&CM products are analysed together with potential for adoption of the same ethical principles that govern animal experimentation (replacement, reduction, refinement).


Traditional medicine Animals Animal welfare Animal ethics Three R’s Zootherapy 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Professional EthicsUniversity of Central LancashirePrestonUK

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