Fischer, B., Barrett, M., Adcock, S. et al. 2023. Guidelines for protecting and promoting insect welfare in research. Insect Welfare Research Society.

These guidelines were developed by the leadership of the Insect Welfare Research Society (IWRS). They are intended to provide guidance to individuals researching insects, in laboratory, field, education, and industry contexts. The guidelines are informed by standard principles of animal care and use: the 3Rs. These guidelines focus on research that requires the use of live insects, and therefore emphasize the practical implications of reduction and refinement. These guidelines provide principled suggestions about best practices, none of which are meant to replace the professional judgment of researchers about how to meet the needs and interests of individual animals. These guidelines focus on the welfare of individual insects. They are not, therefore, comprehensive guidelines for ethical research. For instance, they presuppose the importance of complying with applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, institutional policies, and international conventions. Likewise, they presuppose the importance of environmental responsibility, the integrity of scientific results, non-discrimination, and managing conflicts of interest. While such ethical issues are significant, they have been addressed capably elsewhere.