Use of animals in medical research

March 2010

The UK is a world leader in pioneering medical research that has saved and improved the lives of millions, both human and animal. Current medicines and surgical techniques would not have been discovered without the work of basic science research programmes, involving research using animals.

The Society for Endocrinology considers that the benefits of utilising animals in research are justified for scientific purposes. The Society recognises the ethical considerations involved, and that animal research must only be undertaken with the highest consideration of animal health and welfare.

To this end, the Society recognises the importance of the 1986 Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act and endeavours that all Society published material; and data presented is in compliance with the Act. The approval process for the granting of licences to carry out research using animals under the 1986 Act requires that the possible benefits of the research are sufficient to justify their use. Additionally, researchers must give full consideration to the 3Rs, which require that every effort is made to refine procedures to keep animal suffering to a minimum, to reduce the number of animals used, and to replace the use of animals with non-animal alternatives wherever possible.

The Society for Endocrinology is a member of Understanding Animal Research (Understanding Animal Research), The Society for Biology (The Society of Biology) and the AMRC (Association of Medical Research Charities), who support and promote UK science and facilitate animal welfare and implementation of the 3Rs.