Washington Update

FASEB Publishes New Animal Research Activism Report

By: Naomi Charalambakis
Thursday, April 13, 2023
Last month, FASEB issued a new report with the National Association for Biomedical Research, the Foundation for Biomedical Research, and Americans for Medical Progress that explores the evolving threat of animal rights activism on the biomedical research enterprise. By educating stakeholders about the ways animal rights groups discourage support for research, the report, Animal Research Activism: Update and Recommendations to Promote Communication, Transparency, and Public Outreach About Animal Research, shares how the community can work together to improve communication and openness about animal research. 

Increasing support for the humane and ethical use of animals in research remains one of FASEB’s key priorities. Over the last decade, animal rights groups have shifted their opposition strategies from extreme and violent to legislative, policy, and media campaigns. These efforts both hinder critical research progress and distress individual investigators and animal care staff, prompting many researchers to fear for their safety and leave the science field entirely. As part of FASEB’s continued commitment to raising awareness about the value of animal research and protecting the scientific workforce, the new report outlines best practices to mitigate activists’ growing influence. These recommendations are organized according to stakeholder type to enable greater flexibility, including:
  • Institutions/Organizations
  • Funding Agencies
  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees
  • Individual Investigators
In addition to sharing methods to mitigate targeted action, the final half of the report emphasizes the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to improving public education and communication about animal research. Legislative strategies, policy engagement, and targeted outreach with nonscientists represent a few proactive ways to foster a more open and inclusive research environment.

For more information about the role of animal research in biomedical progress, view FASEB’s resources.