For research purposes, is it legal to use animals as flight test subjects? Like using crickets and mouse as subjects to be sent near space (Upper Stratosphere) High Altitude Balloon

  • To my knowledge everything is legal on invertebrates in almost all countries (exception of cephalopods). So that includes sending crickets to the upper stratosphere. With mice, you'll probably need to submit a proposal to an ethic office and justify the importance of the research, the number of mice and the amount of suffering the mice will endure but all of that will depend on the country you're working in.
    – Remi.b
    Commented May 1, 2016 at 5:08
  • Welcome to Biology.SE. I don't think this is on-topic here. The question should rather be asked on academia.SE.
    – Remi.b
    Commented May 1, 2016 at 5:09
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about research law (and the user has not provided enough information to make it answerable).
    – rg255
    Commented May 1, 2016 at 6:27
  • @Remi.b This is not really suitable for Academia. This may be suitable for Law. In general I am doubtful about whether we should consider ethical, legal and social issues in biology as on-topic.
    Commented May 1, 2016 at 6:59
  • This question would be suitable for Law. However, you need to specify the jurisdiction i.e. what is the governing law in your place (or residence or interest). As you may be aware, law and legal practices vary across the world.
    Commented May 1, 2016 at 8:47

1 Answer 1


Questions like these are typically governed by the entities funding or sanctioning the research.

However, there are laws in many jurisdictions against cruelty to animals, including laws that classify some acts as crimes.

These laws vary so widely, and depend on so many variables (among them: the species of animal involved, the intent of the actor, and the care exercised) it would be wise to obtain a legal opinion from an expert in your jurisdiction.

A quick perusal does seem to suggest that most criminal laws are concerned with higher animals and malicious actors. So, for example, I would be surprised if there were laws covering the use of insects in legitimate research. (One could, of course, run afoul of other laws, like introducing an invasive species by taking a native species and transporting it to another ecosystem.)

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