Medical and scientific experts agree that animal studies make essential contributions to medical progress.

Disease causes suffering for humans and other animals. Performing animal studies when it is necessary to do so is a compassionate response to that suffering. Furthermore, it would be unethical to give human patients—or our pets—drugs or other treatments that have not been tested for safety and effectiveness.

The American Physiological Society supports the necessary and humane use of animals in biomedical research. This research should be conducted humanely according to the highest legal and ethical standards.

When scientists confront a research problem, they begin by answering as many questions as they can by analyzing genes; studying cells, tissues and organs; or building computer models based upon what we already know. These approaches point to likely solutions. At the same time, because the body is complex, these systems cannot predict how disease or potential treatment will affect various parts of the body. To understand these effects, scientists must study comparable processes in animals.



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