The ethics of research involving animals


Published 24/05/2005

Animal research report cover hugh res
Mouse cages from Understanding Animal Research library

Despite the range of ethical views that exist among members of the Working Party, the report includes a ‘Consensus Statement’ that identifies agreement on several important issues.

Download the consensus statement

For example, members of the Working Party agreed that, historically, animals have been used in many types of scientific research that have provided benefits to society. They also agreed that a world in which the important benefits of such research could be achieved without causing pain and suffering to animals must be the ultimate goal.

All members of the Working Party acknowledge that, as with other areas of ethically contentious issues, such as abortion or euthanasia, any society needs to settle on a single policy for animal research. Steps therefore need to be taken to reduce as far as possible existing disagreement within society, and the Working Party sought to make unambiguous recommendations in specific areas of policy and practice in order to help to achieve this.