Introduction to animal research for life Print

Animal studies are a small but essential part of biomedical research which results in modern vaccines, treatments and cures for patients, human or animal.

Today, Europe provides laboratory animals the best protection standards . in the world. The European Directive 86/609 on the protection of animals used in research is currently being reviewed to reflect scientific and technological developments occurred over the last 20 years.

This site was created to inform the European (public?) debate and provide a brief overview of:

  • When and why animals are used in biomedical research?
  • What does a typical animal facility look like?
  • What is considered state of art in relation to alternatives (the '3Rs': replacement, reduction and refinement of animal studies)?

This website, Animal Research for Life, will be regularly updated with real life examples of research outcomes, 3Rs measures and progress on the legislative initiatives.

This site is a collaborative project of the research-based pharmaceutical industry and partners from organisations promoting biomedical research.

Overview Print

Medical Progress

Every year, millions of patients across Europe benefit from modern healthcare. Thanks to research, we have access to much needed vaccines, treatments and cures in a wide array of diseases and ailments. Although animal use plays a vital part in the development of new medicines, it remains relatively small.

Facts and Figures

Modern day medicines would not exist without research in disease development. Nor without the necessary and complex testing processes involved in their bringing to market. Similarly, new medicines for conditions for which no effective treatment exists, cannot emerge without research and development. Some of this research involves testing on animals Virtually every medical advancement depends on animal studies, ranging from antibiotics, insulin, and blood transfusion to treatments for cancer and HIV.

Most of the animals used are rodents such as mice and rats..

Animal Welfare

Researches constantly search for alternative testing methods using the 3R’s principles towards the Replacement (replacing animal studies by non animal tests), Reduction (decreasing the number of animals in a study) or Refinement (reducing animal distress ) of animals used by investigators.

Law and Ethics

For scientific and legal reasons, animal use in the discovery of medicines remains essential if not unavoidable. European regulations on the use of animals and practices in research establishments developed across Europe, provide for the best protection standards in the world. Since animals remain indispensable to medical research for the foreseeable future, researchers commit to playing their part to ensure that research is conducted under the best conditions possible.