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Animals in Research

Countless health advances that exist today, including medications, flu shots, veterinary interventions, and minimally invasive surgery, have been made possible through decades of responsible animal research.

SfN engages in advocacy efforts in support of animal research while also implementing strong programs to educate the public on the importance of animal research, helping researchers who experience animal rights extremism, and providing other support to members conducting animal research.


The Society partners with other organizations that recognize the vital role that animals play in biomedical research and share the common goal of educating and advocating about the importance of humane, well-regulated animal research. Some of these are listed below.

Animals in Research News

Communicating Your Science to the Non-Expert: An Online Workshop

Jul 07, 2014

Participate in SfN's first interactive webinar and learn how to develop a short but informative way to communicate your research to a non-scientific audience.

Biased Commentary on Animal Studies Examined

Jun 30, 2014

A blog post responding to an opinion piece in the British Medical Journal discusses the biases around animal studies.

Basic Neuroscience Research with Nonhuman Primates

Jun 23, 2014

Read the recently published journal article by Stefan Treue on the necessity of primates for neuroscience research.

Medical Research Defender Colin Blakemore Knighted

Jun 16, 2014

An influential scientist who defended medical research on animals, despite threats to his life, has been knighted.

Rats Show Regret After Wrong Choices, Scientists Say

Jun 16, 2014

Researchers studied brain areas involved in decision making, evaluating outcomes.

Contact SfN

If you have questions, email advocacy@sfn.org or
call 202-962-4000.

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FAST FACTS

  • Nearly all research animals are rodents—mice and rats—bred specifically for research. Dogs, cats, and non-human primates together account for less than one percent of the total.
  • Animal research for animal health has resulted in many life-saving and life-extending treatments for cats, dogs, farm animals, wildlife, and endangered species.
  • 55 percent of all research procedures with animals involved no more than slight or momentary pain or distress (i.e. an injection).
  • Some achievements of animal research:

    Smallpox has been eradicated from the face of the earth.

    More than 553,000 men and women undergo, and survive, coronary bypass surgery each year.

    The 420,000 patients who receive hip and knee replacements each year no longer face confinement in wheelchairs or great difficulty and pain when walking.

    More than 1,200 leukemia patients, many of them children, receive life-saving bone marrow transplants each year.