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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

FENS and SfN Issue Joint Statement on Non-human Primate Research

Oct 11, 2014

Following recent attacks by extremists against scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tubingen, Germany, the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) have released a statement.

Animal Research Ethics Discussion to Focus on UW Anxiety Study

Oct 06, 2014

An open discussion of animal research ethics focusing on a particular program employing monkeys in the study of anxiety and depression will be held at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Air France's Continued Animal Transport Supports International Research

Sep 15, 2014

The Basel Declaration Society (BDS) condemns the mounting pressure on Air France from animal rights activists.

U.S. Requiring Airlines to Keep More Data on Incidents Involving Animals

Sep 15, 2014

Starting January 1, airlines must file reports for lost or hurt animals that are being shipped commercially.

How Much Does the Public Support Animal Research?

Sep 08, 2014

A new survey shows that a sizable majority of the public continues to support the use of animals in research.

Defending Basic Science

Aug 06, 2014

Resources and talking points scientists can use to convey the importance of basic science if they are the focus of unwarranted political or media attention.

Minister Norman Baker Wants End to UK Animal Tests

Aug 06, 2014

The minister in charge of regulating animal experiments in the UK told BBC News that he wants to see an end to all testing.

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.

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.