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Statement of Principles for the Use of Animals in Research & Education

On June 9 and 10, 1994, Representatives from FASEB's Constituent Societies convened the FASEB Consensus Conference on Animals in Biomedical Research. Conferees developed the following Statement of Principles, which has been adopted by the FASEB Board:

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) affirms the essential contribution of animals in research and education aimed at improving the health of both humans and animals. The role of animals remains critical in understanding the fundamental processes of life, and in developing treatments for injury and disease. Members of the Constituent Societies of FASEB believe that the use of animals in research and education is a privilege. This imposes a major responsibility to provide for their proper care and humane treatment. Good animal care and good science go hand-in-hand.

Therefore, the members of the Constituent Societies of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology support the following principles:

  • 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.
  • The acquisition, care and use of animals must be in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.
  • Each institution is responsible for providing a review procedure to insure that the use of animals in research and education conforms to the highest ethical, humane and scientific standards.
  • The minimum number of appropriate animals required to obtain valid results should be used. Good science demands judicious choices of appropriate methods, such as animals, computer simulations, or tissue and cell cultures.
  • Animals shall be housed and maintained under conditions appropriate to their species. Veterinary medical care shall be available.
  • Provision shall be made for the training and education of all personnel involved in the care and use of animals.
  • Sound scientific practice and humane considerations require that animals receive sedation, analgesia or anesthesia when appropriate. Animals should not be permitted to suffer severe or chronic pain or distress unnecessarily; such animals should be euthanized.  

In supporting these principles, it becomes the responsibility of the members of the Constituent Societies of FASEB to educate the public about the role of animals in understanding life processes and disease, and their vital contribution to human and animal health.

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