Understanding Animal Research

Expert and independent opinion

There have been four major enquiries in the UK on the contribution of animal research to science and medicine since 2002. All have agreed that animal research is scientifically valid and has made contributions to medical progress.

 


House of Lords Select Committee on Animals in Scientific Procedures,
Volume I, 2002

House of Lords Select Committee on Animals in Scientific Procedures Report"On balance, we are convinced that experiments on animals have contributed greatly to scientific advances, both for human medicine and for animal health. Animal experimentation is a valuable research method which has proved itself over time.... Toxicological testing in animals is at present essential for medical practice and the protection of consumers and the environment, as it often provides information that is not currently available from any other source."

The Ethics of Research Involving Animals, Nuffield Council on Bioethics, 2005

The Ethics of Research Involving Animals

'Animal research has been, and can potentially be, scientifically valid, in that it is possible to extrapolate from animal models to humans (or other animals) in specific cases... [and] certain animal models have played significant roles in the study of particular diseases and ... led to the discovery of treatments for human diseases"
"Producing a new medicine is a lengthy and complex process, and that decisions on the compounds that should proceed to the next stage are taken using a wide range of information. Tests on animals play a vital role, but they are not the only source of information that is used to determine safety and efficacy."
"... research and testing involving both genetically normal and GM animals has proved relevant to humans and, in combination with other methods such asin vitroand clinical studies, has contributed significantly to biomedical understanding."

Review of cost-benefit assessment in the use of animals in research, Animal Procedures Committee, June 2003

Review of cost-benefit assessment in the use of animals in research

"An absolute position that all animal experiments are scientifically invalid is untenable.... examples of scientifically dubious or invalid animal experiments ... do not add up to a general proof that animal experimentation as a whole is flawed science."



The use of non-human primates in research, Weatherall, 2006

The use of non-human primates in research"There is a strong scientific case for the carefully regulated use of non-human primates where there are no other means to address clearly defined questions of particular biological or medical importance. In the fields of research considered in this study, namely communicable disease, neuroscience and reproductive biology, there is a strong scientific case for maintaining the use of non-human primates in some aspects of this work, at least for the immediate future."


 

Last edited: 22 May 2012 09:15