Animal research is as carefully regulated as human research, but for
different reasons. With humans, regulation stems from the need to assure
that the benefits all humans gain from human research do not impose
unacceptable burdens on some research participants. Animals may benefit
from the information gained through animal experimentation and some
research with animals is conducted specifically for the purpose of improving
animal health (veterinary medicine and animal husbandry research). But
most animal research is conducted primarily for the benefit of humans,
not animals. Moreover, unlike humans, animals cannot consent to participate
in experiments or comment on their treatment, creating special needs
that should be taken into consideration in their care and use.
The special needs of animals have evolved over timeinto policies for
the appropriate care and use of all animals involved in research, research
training, and biological testing activities. Researchers can meet their
- knowing what activities are subject to regulation,
- understanding and following the rules for project approval,
- obtaining appropriate training, and
- accepting continuing responsibility for compliance through all stages
of a project.
If you expect to use or study living animals in your research, regardless
of the level of invasiveness, familiarize yourself with your responsibilities
and check with someone in a position of authority before making any
plans orundertaking any work.