Animal Research

Position Statements

Animal studies are crucial to medical, veterinary, and scientific discovery

Animal studies continue to play a crucial part in medical, veterinary and scientific research that benefits both animals and humans. Americans for Medical Progress supports research involving animals when it is necessary to advance our understanding of biological processes. Because animals are living creatures that deserve respect, care and compassion, such research should always be conducted in an ethical, judicious, and responsible manner and in compliance with laws and guidelines that govern the care and treatment of laboratory animals. Access to rapid, safe, and reliable modes of transportation also contributes to the welfare of animals needed to study specific diseases.

See our FAQ for answers to these and other questions:
  • How do we learn from biomedical research using animals?
  • Who cares for animals in research?
  • Why can’t alternatives like computers replace research animals?

We salute organizations that have published their own statements explaining the importance of animal research. Excerpts of these statement are included below.

AbbVie. “AbbVie is committed to ensuring the humane care and use of laboratory animals in the company’s research and development programs. We recognize that high quality science and humane animal care are inseparable.” More

Allergan. “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other worldwide health regulatory agencies currently require all pharmaceutical manufacturers to protect patients and consumers by establishing product quality, safety and effectiveness through approved and validated testing methods, which include animal testing in some instances.” More

American Heart Association. “The American Heart Association supports using animals in biomedical research — because it helps us improve heart health and save lives. In fact, the decline in U.S. death rates from heart disease and stroke since the 1960s is due in part to discoveries from research using animals.” More

American Lung Association. “The American Lung Association recognizes the critical role animal research has played in making medical advances. The American Lung Association strongly supports full compliance with the existing rules and regulations that assure the humane and compassionate management of laboratory animals.” More

American Physiological Society. “Humane research involving animals provides unique insights into biological structure and function.” More

American University.  “American University adheres to the principle that scientific knowledge developed through animal research helps to improve the understanding of human behavior and pathology. The use of animal models provides a way to gain insight into the etiology and possible treatment of the human condition, alleviating pain and suffering, improving human and animal health and saving countless lives.” More

American Veterinary Medical Association. “The AVMA recognizes that animals have an important role in research, testing, and education for continued improvement of human and animal health and welfare.” More

Amgen. “Animal research continues to play a vital role in the search for novel and improved medicines to treat human diseases. We recognize that animal research is a subject of ethical concern for the public and we take our responsibility extremely seriously.” More

Arizona State University. “ASU supports the responsible study and humane care and treatment of laboratory animals in research for the purpose of advancing knowledge and education. This position recognizes that, at this point in time, critical advances in human health and conservation of nature depend, at least in part, on the study of whole, living organisms” More

Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. “Because so much of vision research is aimed at understanding the structure and function of complex and intricately connected biological systems, work with living animals is vital to continued progress in many areas of clinical and basic research on vision. The proper use of animals in research is an honorable and essential contribution to the improvement of human and animal lives. More

AstraZeneca. “We are committed to helping the public understand our use of animals and our methods for Replacing, Reducing and Refining the study of animals in research (the 3Rs). While we focus on replacing animal studies with better, more accurate models, we know that in the interim it is essential to provide the best possible animal care and welfare standards available, while using the minimum number of animals required to achieve the benefits.” More

Baxter. “Baxter produces vital medical products that are used in the treatment of patients with chronic or critical illnesses throughout the world. Patients, their families and health care professionals rely on the safety and efficacy of our products—which are overseen by government health authorities and proven through clinical trials and the use of animals.” More

Boston University. “Boston University is a major academic research institution conducting high-quality research as part of its mission of advancing human health. Animal research has been, and continues to be, a critical component of the efforts in advancing our understanding of cancer, heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to name a few.” More

Bristol-Meyers Squibb. “Regulatory agencies around the world require that investigational medicines be thoroughly evaluated before approving them for use in human clinical trials. To fulfill these obligations, research or testing methods that include the use of animals are sometimes required, and will continue to be a component of our efforts to help patients prevail over serious diseases.” More

Brookhaven National Laboratory. “Public support for animal research comes as a privilege and imparts great responsibility on the part of institutions, researchers, and animal caretakers. Brookhaven National Laboratory’s (BNL) policy on the care and use of animals in research is to carefully consider all proposed animal experimentation and to ensure the ethical treatment of animals used in research.” More

California Institute of Technology. “Caltech is committed to ensuring that animals involved in research and teaching receive humane care and treatment.” More

Carnegie Mellon University. “Maintaining humane animal care in research and teaching requires conscientious adherence to animal welfare regulations. Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) follows the Federal regulations and guidelines set forth in the PHS Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory and the Animal Welfare Act.” More

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “CDC has a legal and moral responsibility to ensure that the animals entrusted to our care are treated in accordance with the highest standards of animal welfare and care.” More

Charles River Laboratories. “The goal of the Charles River Humane Care Initiative is to ensure that Charles River continues as a worldwide leader in the humane care of laboratory animals. Laboratory animals are an important resource that furthers our knowledge of living systems and contributes to the discovery of life-saving drugs and procedures.” More

Colorado State University. “Colorado State University values the critical importance of the ethical use of animals in research, testing and educational programs for improving human and animal health. We are committed to maintaining a high quality animal care program.” More

Columbia University. “Animal-based medical research has been the foundation of countless critical health-related advances—saving millions of lives, both human and animal. Animals have played an essential role in the development of treatments that provide hope to patients with serious diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer, AIDS and heart disease.” More

Covance. “Many lifesaving advances in medicine and safety have been drawn from the scientific discoveries made through animal research. Examples include treatments for AIDS, cancer, diabetes, heart-related ailments, injury-induced trauma and other medical conditions.” More

Dartmouth. “Dartmouth College sometimes employs living animals in order to fulfill the College’s dual missions of teaching and research. The use of animals in teaching or research must be justified and clearly have an expected benefit either to human or animal health, the advancement of knowledge, or to society in general.” More

Dupont. “DuPont conducts laboratory animal testing and livestock feeding trials in order to bring beneficial products to consumers, to maintain our commitment to safety, health and the environment, and to comply with regulatory requirements. Our use of animals, in both product development and chemical safety assessment, consistently reflects our concern for the welfare and ethical treatment of these animals.” More

Duke University. “Duke University strongly affirms the essential role that research and education involving live animals has in the advancement of biological and medical knowledge. Further, Duke University acknowledges that animals used in biomedical research and education should receive the best possible care and be treated with respect.” More

DuMond Conservancy. “The mission of the DuMond Conservancy is to engage scientists, students, and the public in the understanding and stewardship of nonhuman primates and their tropical forest habitats. We provide opportunities for scientists and for students of varying ages and abilities to participate in creative science and educational programs and to experience unique encounters with nonhuman primates.” More

Emory University. “Emory University is firmly committed to discovering knowledge that will lead to the treatment and cure of disease and physical injury. Insofar as the discovery of knowledge through scientific research often involves animals, Emory is also committed to the highest ethical standards in the care of animal subjects.” More

Envigo. “Envigo is a global company that is committed to helping customers realize the full potential of their products and research which contribute to enhancing the lives of people and animals, as well as protecting the environment. The use of animals in this research remains essential for advancing our understanding of the body in health and disease and for developing new medicines and other compounds.” More

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. “The role of animals remains critical in understanding the fundamental processes of life and in developing treatments for injury and disease.” More

Franklin and Marshall College. “The College is committed to ensuring that the care and use of animals in teaching or research is consistent with sound ethical principles and that it is in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations.” More

Georgia Tech.  “Regardless of the cultural, ethical, and religious tradition that one embraces, there is widespread agreement that animals should not be caused to suffer needlessly. This notion undeniably applies to research contexts, implying that there is an obligation that researchers have to consider the potential impact which their work can and will have on animal subjects.” More

GlaxoSmithKline.  “At GSK we believe we have a moral responsibility to ensure good welfare and treatment of the animals in our care.”  More

Harvard. “Harvard’s animal care and use programs are based on the three “R”s as described by Russell and Burch in The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique. These principles advocate the need to reduce the number of animals used, refine experiments to minimize distress, or replace animals with non-animal models (e.g., in vitro experiments or computer simulations) whenever possible.” More

Illinois State University.  “The use of animals in research and teaching imposes grave obligations and responsibilities upon the users of those animals and upon the institution. Illinois State University is committed to the humane care and use of animals and accordingly adheres to the national standards for the care and use of animals.”  More

International Brain Research Organization.  “The undersigned neuroscience societies strongly advocate the responsible use of animals in biological and biomedical research. Animal models are vital and irreplaceable for scientific progress and in combating the devastation of human neurological and psychiatric diseases, which affect more than 1 billion people worldwide, and for improving veterinary health.” More

John Hopkins University.  “Animals that are used in research and teaching at the Johns Hopkins University are covered by our Animal Care and Use Program. The Johns Hopkins program is designed to assure that it is in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act regulations and Public Health Service (PHS) Policy.”  More

Johnson & Johnson.  “At Johnson & Johnson, it is our policy is to minimize the use of animals in laboratory research when assessing the safety and efficacy of our products.”  More

Lilly.  “Regulations that cover the approval of new medicines-for use by people and animals alike-dictate that all potential be evaluated in animals prior to testing in humans.  The reason for this is that human and animal physiology is so complex, that to-date non-animal reserach models simply cannot all we need to know about how a potential new treatment functions in a living organism.” More

Lonza.  “In order to ensure the safe handling and use of products, regulatory authorities in many countries require various tests which, given the current state of scientific development, still require the use of animal testing.”  More

Louisana State University.  “The use of laboratory animals in teaching and research is a fundamental necessity of continued progress in the biomedical sciences. Such use of animals constitutes a special privilege to the scientific community.”  More

Marshall University.  “The use of animals for teaching and research is a fundamental part of biology and medicine. Suitable animals are required for investigative and teaching purposes. Proper care and management of these animals is both a scientific necessity and a legal requirement.”  More

Michigan State University.  “Michigan State University approaches animal care with the utmost seriousness. The safety, welfare and comfort of our animals—research and agricultural—is integral to our land-grant tradition and our research and testing missions.”  More

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.  “The Marine Biomedical Research Program focuses on basic and applied research using sharks, skates, and stingrays as laboratory animal models. Areas of interest include biochemistry, physiology, immunology, reproductive biology and embryonic development.” More

MPI Research. “Medical advances and therapies that change the lives of people and animals alike depend on animal research. We are committed to improving quality of life for all patients and our animal partners in research by ensuring the highest possible standards of animal welfare and care.” More

NASA. “Before humans actually went into space, one of the prevailing theories of the perils of space flight was that humans might not be able to survive long periods of weightlessness. …American and Russian scientists utilized animals – mainly monkeys, chimps and dogs – in order to test each country’s ability to launch a living organism into space and bring it back alive and unharmed.” More

National Institutes of Health. “All animals used in federally funded research are protected by laws, regulations, and policies to ensure the smallest possible number of subjects and the greatest commitment to their comfort. Fulfilling these protections is a collaborative effort between NIH, federally supported scientific investigators, and research institutions.” More

National Kidney Foundation.  “Virtually all of the recent improvements in the care of patients with kidney disease have resulted from the basic research involving the use of laboratory animals.” More

National Primate Research Centers.  “Anatomical, physiological and genetic similarities to human beings make nonhuman primates (NHPs) critically important as animal models of disease. The National Primate Research Centers (NPRCs) form a network of unique institutions that serve as a national scientific resource for research that advances human health through the use of NHPs.” More

Northern Illinois University.  “Northern Illinois University is committed to conducting quality animal research in an ethical and responsible manner to further science and improve the health of society.” More

Northwestern University.  “Northwestern University is committed to conducting exemplary and responsible research to further science and benefit society. We regard animal research as a privilege.” More

Novartis.  “Advances in medicine are responsible for saving and improving the lives of millions of people.  Animal research is key to many of the great medical advances that we take for granted today, including…”  More

Oregon National Primate Research Center.  “The Oregon National Primate Research Center’s (ONPRC’s) contributions to biomedical research rely on scientific integrity, a commitment to innovative research, and ultimately a fundamental respect for life. Our animals are crucial to discovering more effective and accessible vaccines, treatments, and cures for a myriad of devastating human diseases.” More

Pfizer. “Pfizer is dedicated to helping people live longer, healthier lives through the discovery and development of breakthrough medicines and therapies. Animal-based biomedical research in the pharmaceutical industry remains a vital component of the discovery, evaluation and regulatory processes, which lead to the development of products that save or improve human lives throughout the world.” More

Princeton University.  “Princeton University is deeply committed to the care and welfare of animals in research. The University recognizes that scientific and medical knowledge developed through animal research has the capacity to save lives, improve human and animal health, and alleviate pain and suffering.” More

Rockland Antibodies & Assays. “Rockland is committed to take actions to ensure that laboratory animals are treated according to high ethical and scientific standards.” More

Society for Neuroscience.  “Countless health advances that exist today, including medications, flu shots, veterinary interventions, and minimally invasive surgery, have been made possible through decades of responsible animal research.” More

Stanford University.  “Animal studies play a vital role in advancing science and finding new and improved ways of fighting serious diseases. Stanford University is committed to the responsible care and use of animals in research.” More

Stanford University School of Medicine.  “The Stanford University School of Medicine supports the conduct of biomedical research to further the understanding of the world in which we live and to apply this knowledge for the benefit of humans and animals.” More

State University of New York at Buffalo.  “Animal research is changing, in part because of newer computer modeling techniques and cell tissue / organ culture methodologies that have reduced the need for animals to be used in research and teaching.”  More

Summit Ridge Farms.  “All animals cared for by Summit Ridge Farms live in a loving, safe, playful and clean environment.” More

Texas Biomedical Institute-Southwest National Primate Research Center. “While some research questions may adequately be addressed using cell cultures, tissue studies or computer models, which we also employ at Texas Biomed and the SNPRC, research with animals continues to be critical for the advancement of human health.” More

Thomas Jefferson University.  “The mission of the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC). is to assist investigators and staff of the University, helping them to plan and conduct research that uses animals in accord with the highest ethical, humane, and scientific principles and in compliance with federal laws and regulations.” More

Toxikon. “A humane and high-quality animal research program is crucial to successful preclinical development. At Toxikon, our experienced scientists and veterinarians, and talented animal husbandry staff, assure humane animal care and use as well as regulatory compliance.” More

Tulane University. “The mission of Tulane University is to create and communicate knowledge that enriches and sustains individuals, organizations, and communities. Scientific and biomedical investigations, which often involve animals, are a core part of the research portfolio of the university.” More

Tulane National Primate Center.  “Animal Research Helps People and Animals.  Virtually everyone alive today has benefited from the medical advances made possible through animal research. Polio, smallpox, diphtheria, cholera and measles are no longer major threats to public health in the United States.” More

U.S. Department of Defense. “DoD sponsored research using animals is of the highest standard in the world, providing research animals with humane care and treatment to the greatest practical extent.” More

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. “The use of animals in VA research is a privilege granted to those investigators and programs that commit to meeting the highest ethical and regulatory standards.” More

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “Animals are sometimes used in the testing of drugs, vaccines and other biologics, and medical devices, mainly to determine the safety of the medical product.” More

University of Alaska, Fairbanks.  “The merits of animal research are widely accepted by scientists and largely appreciated by the general public. Major biomedical research institutions, professional societies, and research scientists have a shared understanding of the tremendous value gained from studies using animal subjects” More

University of California, Berkeley. “All institutions using vertebrate animals for research or instruction must establish an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to oversee and evaluate the institution’s animal care and use program. This committee at UC Berkeley, the Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC), falls under the purview of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.” More

University of California, Los Angeles.  “World-class scientists at UCLA utilize laboratory animals in research in an ongoing quest for knowledge that benefits society. This research has enhanced our understanding of how the human body functions and led to the development of lifesaving procedures and medicines — among them radiation therapy and other cancer treatments, open-heart surgery, fetal circulatory health treatments, organ transplantation, mental health treatments and vaccines.” More

University of California, San Francisco. “Conducting high-quality research is essential to the University’s mission of advancing health worldwide. Animal research has paved the way for many medical breakthroughs during the last century and continues to be a key component in furthering our understanding of diseases like cancer, chronic pain, diabetes, heart disease, inflammatory diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.” More

University of Delaware. “Federal regulations require that all use of non-human vertebrate animals in research, teaching, and testing follow established guidelines and be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), which is constituted according to the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.” More

University of Michigan. “Research studies involving animals have made critical contributions to the treatment of a wide variety of diseases – as well as joint replacement procedures, organ transplantations, and heart bypass operations – and are responsible for countless drug therapy discoveries and enhancements.” More

University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine. “‘Animal Resources’ mission, as a part of the College of Veterinary Medicine’s research and instruction teams, is to provide and promote optimal laboratory animal care and use as well as high-quality support services through professional management, education, and training.” More

University of Iowa. “University of Iowa Principles for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (adapted from the U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research, and Training.)”  More

University of Maryland. “The IACUC adheres to the belief that the development of knowledge necessary for the improvement of the health and well-being of humans as well as other animals requires in vivo experimentation with a wide variety of animal species.” More

University of Michigan. “Laboratory animals have been central to the advancement of knowledge that has led to a vast array of benefits to both human and animal health. This site highlights the importance of this work, and how the University ensures the humane and ethical treatment of all animals used in research and training.” More

University of Minnesota. “The use of animals in research, teaching and testing is an important ethical and political issue. Much of the discussion about this issue revolves around the relative value, often referred to as ‘moral value’, of humans and animals.” More

University of South Florida. “The University of South Florida affirms that respect for all forms of life is an inherent characteristic of scientists who conduct research involving animals, that the respectful treatment, care and use of animals involved in research is an ethical and scientific necessity, and that the use of animals in research and teaching contributes to the advancement of knowledge and the acquisition of understanding.” More

University of Southern California. “Research and teaching programs using animals are an important component of biomedical activities on both USC campuses. As these programs continue to grow, it is important that we use all of the available tools to communicate to investigators their responsibilities and requirements for the appropriate use of animals.” More

University of Tennessee Chattanooga. “The university regards the use of animals in research and teaching to be an essential component for continued progress in the field of science. It is committed to the highest ethical standard of animal care.” More

University of Texas at Austin. “It is the policy of The University of Texas at Austin (“University”) to assure the care and use of animals for University research, teaching, and testing activities is done in accordance with applicable federal and state laws or regulations.”  More

University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio. “The Health Science Center program for the humane care and use of laboratory animals involves four entities working together to ensure that the University remains in compliance with federal and institutional guidelines and regulations and remains accredited by the regulatory agencies.” More

University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston. “The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) recognizes the importance of animals in research and the scientific and ethical responsibility for their humane care and use. All those involved with the use of laboratory animals are responsible for insuring the health and well-being of the animals used in research and education at UTHealth.” More

University of Texas MD Anderson Keeling Center. “We will continually set, refine and advance the world’s standards for the humane care and management of laboratory animals in cancer and allied disease research. Our standard will be defined by quality of care and research service as well as compassion and respect for the needs of research animals.” More

University of the Sciences. “University of the Sciences in Philadelphia endorses and supports the appropriate and responsible use of animals as experimental subjects. All work with animals shall be designed and performed in consideration of its relevance to the improvement of human or animal health and the advancement of knowledge for the good of society.” More

University of Utah. “Like other major research universities, the University of Utah uses animals in research projects and specialized training applications aimed at furthering human and animal health. Animal research is conducted only when the project has a valuable scientific purpose and is aimed at combating disease and relieving human or animal suffering.” More

University of Washington. “The University of Washington (UW) is committed to conducting quality animal research in an ethical and responsible manner to further science and to improve the health of society. The UW’s Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) provides support to the UW Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), as well as, to researchers utilizing live vertebrate animals for teaching and research.” More

University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Animal research is an indispensable tool for understanding complex living organisms, and many University of Wisconsin–Madison research programs study animals as models of human disease and to explore basic biological processes.” More

University of Wyoming. “The University of Wyoming (University) recognizes that scientific and medical knowledge developed through animal research has alleviated pain, improved human and animal health, and has saved countless lives. The University supports the use of animals in research, education, and testing, in the interests of human health and animal welfare.” More

Virginia Commonwealth University.  “Public support for animal research comes as a privilege and imparts great responsibility on the part of institutions, researchers, and animal caretakers. Virginia Commonwealth University places the ethical treatment of animals as a primary responsibility and the founding principal of our animal care and use program.” More

Wake Forest School of Medicine.  “The goal of the Animal Welfare Program is to ensure that animals at Wake Forest are always treated ethically and humanely. It is comprised of several components: the Institutional Official, the Attending Veterinarian and care program, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, training in the care of laboratory animals, and the Animal Research Oversight unit.” More

Washington University. “Washington University is committed to the judicious, humane use of animals in research and education. The Washington University Division of Comparative Medicine (DCM) provides professional and technical service for laboratory animal care, veterinary medical services, and animal research project support for faculty, students and employees of Washington University.” More

Weber State University. “Weber State University is committed to the proper treatment of animal research subjects. Unnecessary pain to any creature is to be avoided.” More

West Virginia University. “The West Virginia University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) oversees the entire animal care program at WVU, insuring the health and well-being of all animals being used for research, testing, and education. The IACUC serves as a resource to investigators, technicians, students, staff and administrators, providing guidance in fulfilling the obligation to plan and conduct all animal use procedures with the highest scientific, humane, and ethical principles.” More

World Medical Association. “Biomedical research is essential to the health and well-being of our society. Advances in biomedical research have dramatically improved the quality and prolonged the duration of life throughout the world.” More

Yale University. “Yale University is committed to conducting quality animal research in an ethical and responsible manner to further science and to improve the health of society.” More

Yerkes National Primate Center. “The Yerkes National Primate Research Center conducts diverse animal-based research programs and provides specialized scientific resources, expertise and training opportunities for work with nonhuman primates (NHPs).” More

Please contact us if you wish to add your own organization’s position statement, or you would like our assistance in developing one.