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The fact that countries all over the world continue to develop new regulations for experimentation on non-human animals testament that this practice raises many doubts. Our aim in this chapter is to show that one important type of doubt should receive more attention: a particular type of moral doubt that could play a pivotal role in the ethical review of animal experiments. We assume that there are a range of emotions that indicate morally complex or problematic situations. When one or all of these emotions are experienced, we say that someone is experiencing moral doubt. To illustrate this point, we introduce the concept of moral doubt in the context of review processes, as they are legally required in the European Union (eu). Independent evaluation committees review animal research proposals to advise competent authorities whether applications for animal experiments comply with the legal standards. We chose the case of Germany as an example to explain what these committees decide upon and the degree to which their decisions may be influenced by emotions. We develop the argument that acknowledging emotional moral doubt throughout the review process, in specific ways, may have the positive effect of fostering paradigm change in animal experimentation, as envisioned in Directive 2010/63/EU (European Parliament, 2010).


open access book chapter