The MSPCA-Angell recognizes that scientific progress and product safety has resulted from animal experiments and testing. However, we believe that continued advances in alternative research methods should strictly limit, and ultimately replace, the need for animal research and testing. Traditional animal testing is expensive, time-consuming, uses a lot of animals, and the results often do not translate to humans.
As long as animals continue to be used for research and testing purposes, the MSPCA-Angell urges the strictest accountability in research procedures and in the procurement, maintenance, and disposition of all species of animals used in laboratories.
The MSPCA-Angell believes that:
- animals used in research and testing are creatures of intrinsic value, complexity, and dignity. The researcher has an obligation to respect these qualities.
- non-animal methods should be preferentially used.
- when animals must be used, the researcher should employ the least traumatic approach, the fewest number of animals possible, and the most appropriate species.
- the justification for using animals for research and testing should be based on preliminary or pre-existing data that scientifically suggests that the expected benefits will clearly outweigh any pain, stress, or suffering experienced by the animals.
- maintenance and care standards alone do not constitute adequate protection of animals used in research. Controls and protection must extend to judgments on the necessity of the experiment and the humaneness of its design, as well as to oversee the actual conduct of the experimental procedure.
- the burden for the justification of the use of animals, the experimental design, and follow-up care rests primarily with the chief investigator. However, individuals at all levels of the research institution itself are also responsible, legally and morally, for the animal experimentation conducted there.
- any published papers that result from research using animals should indicate whether or not animals were given pain-relieving medicine.
- more funding and resources should be invested into developing alternatives to animal research and testing.
Therefore, the MSPCA-Angell will:
- advocate for the “Three Rs” – Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement as they pertain to animals used in research.
- seek to influence public opinion concerning the need for scientific accountability for the use of laboratory animals.
- encourage the development, validation, acceptance, and utilization of alternative test methods.
- encourage research to be overseen by effective and transparent animal care and use committees even when not required by law.
- inform the public of inadequacies in the scope and enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, as well as advocate for revisions, including the expansion of species covered and additional enforcement funding.
- support efforts to influence the opinion of scientists, governmental bodies, institutions of higher education, and the public concerning the importance of substituting 3-D printing, artificial human tissue, organs-on-chips, sophisticated computer programs, and alternative methods whenever possible.