Statement on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes

The Academy has signed a pan-European statement supporting the European Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, along with over 180 other national and international organisations. 

The use of animals in research has facilitated major breakthroughs in medicine, which have transformed human and animal health. We fully support the use of alternative methods, such as cellular assays and computer modelling, where viable options exist. However, at this time, such alternative methods are unable to fully replace the use of animals, particularly for the study of complex diseases which rely on understanding how the whole organism interacts. Therefore, ethical research using animals under high welfare standards continues to be essential.    

Under the Directive, animals can only be used in research when there is no viable alternative method and if the potential medical, veterinary and scientific benefits are compelling. The Directive ensures that high standards of welfare are achieved consistently across the EU and embeds the concepts of refinement, replacement and reduction (the '3Rs') within EU legislation. As such, the Directive has enhanced animal welfare standards, while ensuring the EU remains a world leader in biomedical research.

The Academy considers the use of animals to be essential in biomedical research in order to better understand the living body and what goes wrong in disease, and to develop safe and effective ways of preventing or treating those diseases. Further information on the Academy’s position on the use of animals in research is available on our website.

The statement is available to download on the right-hand side of this page.

Further information on all of the Academy’s ‘Animals in research’ projects.

Image courtesy of Understanding Animal Research.

Key contacts

Mentoring masterclass - April 2023

Book Now

How digital applications can help bring care closer to home - Cross-Sector Programme

Book Now
View more
FB Twitter Instagram Youtube