Animal Research
Mice are the most commonly used mammals in medical research. Image © Understanding Animal ResearchMedical research involving animals is beneficial to both humans and other animals. Certain kinds of questions can only be answered through animal studies. This section provides background and analysis of both animal research in general and specific animal research issues.

Current Issues

APS Urges OLAW to Revise “Significant Changes” Guidance

On March 11, 2014, OLAW published a request for comments on proposed guidance about what constitute “significant” changes to ongoing animal research activities. APS urged that a proposed revision to the guidance be revised to avoid “increas[ing] administrative burden rather than reduc[ing] it.”

APS Asks Wildlife Service to Continue Chimpanzee Research

Biomedical research with captive chimpanzees should be allowed to continue, the American Physiological Society said in comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This was the central tenet of the APS response to a proposal that would classify captive chimpanzees as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

Italian Scientists Urge Research Restrictions Be Rejected

A group of Italian scientists is seeking to draw attention to recently-approved legislation that could severely restrict animal research in that country.

ILAR Celebrates 60 Years with Symposium on Animals in Research

The Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR) will hold a symposium to celebrate its 60th anniversary. The event is free and will take place September 11, 2013 from 1pm–5pm in the Lecture Room at the National Academy of Sciences, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW in Washington, DC.


APS Condemns Threats Against Researchers

The American Physiological Society condemns all acts of violence or intimidation against individuals engaged in legitimate scientific inquiries intended to advance knowledge and improve health.

Statements Condemning Animal Rights Extremism

Statements from societies, universities, federal agencies, and others condemning attacks and harassment targeted at researchers.

NIH Preparedness Guide

Advice from NIH on how to mitigate the threat of animal rights extremists.


Animal Research: Finding Cures, Saving Lives

Check out for our updated FAQ on animal research, the free PDF, and other helpful resources.

Resource Book for the Design of Animal Exercise Protocols

APS’s Resource Book for the Design of Animal Exercise Protocols offers suggestions for how to design, review, and implement experimental paradigms involving animals and exercise.

Introduction: APS and Animal Research

The APS supports the humane use of animals in medical research. Medical research is beneficial to humans as well as other animals, and certain kinds of questions can only be answered through animal studies.

APS Position Statements on Animals in Research

The APS Guiding Principles for the Care and Use of Animals in Research and other official positions on matters related to animal research.

Regulation of Animal Research in the U.S.

Animal research is subject to a number of layers of regulation and oversight.

Government and Other Oversight Resources

Information on animal research oversight and regulation.

Who makes sure research animals are treated well?

A page from our animal research FAQ, "Animal Research: Finding Cures, Saving Lives," on animal research regulation in the United States.