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

USDA to Offer Incentive for Self-Reporting Noncompliance

USDA is offering an incentive for facilities to proactively identify, report, and correct animal welfare issues. At the same time, USDA underscored that such self-reporting is voluntary.

Opposition to VA Research Restrictions Continues to Grow

On July 26, the House of Representatives approved a measure that would halt VA research with dogs even when the animals receive the same kind of anesthesia, analgesia, and post-operative care provided to pets and human patients undergoing surgery.

FACT Act Won’t Measure Progress on Alternatives

The Federal Accountability in Chemical Testing Act aims to encourage non-animal methods of testing and research; however, the purposed mechanism will not effectively result in improved animal welfare but will create an added burden to researchers.


Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Preclinical Animal Research Design

Effective animal research study design symposium with speakers James Fox, DVM from MIT, Valerie Hamilton, DVM, PhD from Merck, and Tom Cheever, PhD from NIAMS.

Regulatory Burden Symposium

Animal Care and Experimentation Committee's EB 2016 symposium on common concerns about local regulation of animal research activities

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.

Regulatory Burden


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.