Use of Animals in Research, Testing, and Education

Comment on this policy

The AVMA recognizes that animals have an important role in research, testing, and education for continued improvement of human and animal health and welfare. The use of animals in research, testing, and education is a privilege carrying with it unique professional, scientific, and moral obligations, and ethical responsibilities. The AVMA encourages proper care of all animals, and supports the judicious use of animals in meaningful research, testing, and education programs.

The AVMA recognizes that humane care of animals used in research, testing, and education is an integral part of those activities. In keeping with these values, the AVMA endorses the principles embodied in the "3 Rs" tenet of Russell and Burch (1959). These principles are: replacement of animals with non-animal methods wherever feasible; reduction of the number of animals consistent with sound experimental design; and refinement of experimental methods to eliminate or reduce animal pain and distress.

The use of animals for research, testing, and education should adhere to sound ethical and animal welfare principles, including compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations; contemporary standards of veterinary care; and peer review of animal welfare by an oversight body (e.g., IACUCs). External, third- party assurance of animal welfare should also be used to provide additional review and transparency. 

The AVMA condemns all acts of violence, vandalism, or intimidation directed toward individuals, facilities, institutions, or tertiary organizations affiliated with the use of animals in research, testing, or education.