NAIA policy statement: Animal-based research

Incredible advances in human and animal health have been made as a result of carefully designed and implemented research protocols. Vaccines, anesthetics, pain medications, surgical procedures, diagnostic tests, therapeutic drugs, treatment plans for diseases and injuries, and preventive practices have been developed through animal research. At the same time, scientists have improved the care of animals used in research, and they have developed techniques and technologies that led to a reduction in the number of animals needed for biomedical research, refined the techniques that involve animals, and replaced animals with alternatives when possible.

The well-being of animals in scientific facilities is of the utmost importance to those who conduct the research and those who oversee the protocols. Scientists are aided by Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees made up of colleagues and members of the community who review research plans to consider the scientific and ethical ramifications, determine that the proper number of an appropriate species is designated in the plan, and monitor the progress of the work.

"Research" covers a broad spectrum of psychological, medical, behavioral, physiological, and nutritional topics; provides opportunities for veterinarians, physicians, and other medical professionals to gain necessary experience; helps identify acceptable and unacceptable side effects of pharmaceuticals and procedures, and facilitates the development of products and processes that enhance human and animal life. NAIA supports the necessary use of animals for these purposes when conducted according to Federal Animal Welfare act regulations and the guidelines of the National Institutes of Health and the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care. NAIA also urges the continued development of alternatives that can effectively replace animals where possible and reduce the numbers of animals where it is practical without adverse impact on scientific progress.

((Links to the AWA and AWA regulations can be found at the APHIS publications page at

In addition, NAIA backs the responsible use of animals at all levels of education so that students can gain first-hand experience about animal behavior and physiology for increased awareness about the traits and needs of animals, the interaction between animals and their environment, and the importance of animal-based research to medical and environmental science and to society.

Suggested reading:

Be sure to see these additional NAIA policy statements
Pet Ownership / Dogs / Pets and the Community / Guardianship / Animals in Entertainment
Animal husbandry / Animal Careers / Agriculture / Research / Wildlife / Mandatory Spay/Neuter Legislation