Animals in Research | General Considerations

The ASPCA strongly supports the development and validation of alternative methods to the use of animals in biomedical research and testing. Animals should be used only when there are no alternatives and the research is likely to produce new and substantive information that will benefit human and animal health. Whenever possible, an effort should be made to find adoptive homes for animals used in experiments. The ASPCA believes that the 3 R’s (Reduction, Refinement and Replacement) are fundamental and should be applied to the use of animals in all aspects of biomedical research, as follows:

  • Reduction Experiments should be carefully designed to use the smallest number of the most suitable species.

  • Refinement Research animals should be maintained in an enriched, sanitary environment and humanely cared for before, during and after procedures. Every effort should be made to eliminate pain and distress. Animals should be provided with adequate opportunities for regular social interactions considered normal for their species.

  • Replacement  Animal-based research methods should be replaced when possible with mathematical or computer modeling, molecular modeling, epidemiologic data, surveys or in vitro tests such as tissue or cell culture, organ perfusion or other methods that achieve objectives without the use of animals.