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

Fish & Wildlife Service Designate Captive Chimpanzees as Endangered

On June 16, 2015, the Fish and Wildlife Service (F&WS) published a final rule in the Federal Register designating captive chimpanzees as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act.

APS Advises APHIS on Alternatives Search Requirements

On March 30, 2015, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) asked for public comments on a petition asking the agency to issue new regulations on the consideration of alternatives to procedures that may cause pain or distress to laboratory animals.

OLAW and USDA Clarify Policies on Sharing Animal Welfare Concerns

OLAW and USDA issued statements to explain what types of incidents OLAW shares with USDA and which ones may result in a USDA citation and when complaints from a third party may be investigated.

Animal Labs

The Evolving Role of Animal Laboratories in Physiology Instruction

Published in Advances in Physiology Education, this article provides historical perspective review on animal teaching laboratories in medical education, including an evaluation of the methodologies and conclusions of several studies sometimes cited by those who oppose of live animal labs.

Physiologists Support Animal Labs

Many prominent educators in the field of physiology recognize the value of animal laboratories, praising the value of these exercises for “direct experience, insight, and learning” and their “enormous educational merit and benefit.”


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.

Animal Research Intro

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.


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.

Public Outreach Toolkit

Symposium Summary: Public Outreach—A Toolkit for Investigators

Highlights from the APS Animal Care and Experimentation Committee EB2012 symposium on Public Outreach.