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

Essential Contribution of Animals in Research

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. At the same time, members of FASEB’s constituent societies believe that the use of animals in research and education, while essential, is a privilege that imposes responsibilities to make appropriate provisions for their proper care and humane treatment. We also recognize that good animal care is essential to good science.

Therefore, the following Statement of Principles for the Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research & Education has been adopted by the FASEB Board:

  • All work with animals shall be designed and performed in consideration of its relevance to the improvement of human or animal health or 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.
  • A review procedure must be in place to ensure that the use of animals in research and education conforms to high ethical, humane, and scientific standards.
  • The 3Rs Principle – replacement, reduction, refinement – should be incorporated into the design and conduct of educational activities and research studies involving animals.
  • Animals must be housed and maintained under conditions appropriate to their species. Veterinary medical care must be available.
  • Provisions 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 any animals exposed to experimental procedures that cause pain or distress receive sedation, analgesia, and/or anesthesia except in rare instances when doing so would negate the research itself.  Humane endpoints should be identified preferably prior to an experimental procedure to prevent or minimize any unintentional pain and/or distress.

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