Animal Research


More than 2.5 million live animal experiments were authorised in Great Britain in 2000. This number has halved since the 1970s

Around the world, animals are used to test products ranging from shampoo to new cancer drugs. British law requires that any new drug must be tested on at least two different species of live mammal. One must be a large non-rodent. Almost every medical treatment you use has been tested on animals. Animals were also used to develop anesthetics to prevent human pain and suffering during surgery. Most subjects are rodents:

Arguments for animal research

Animal research works because:

Animal testing is morally right because:

Arguments against animal research

Animal research doesn't work because:

Animal testing is morally wrong because:

Christian responses to animal research

Some Christians support animal research because:

Some Christians oppose animal research because:

Church teaching about animal research

Church of England

“The fact that animals may be used in scientific procedures for the benefit of people shows that we believe that human beings have more value than animals. But the fact that we minimise the pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm that animals may have to undergo shows that we regard them as having intrinsic value.”

Our Responsibility for the Living Environment 1986

"The Church recognises the need for animals to be used in certain research to improve medical understanding, veterinary or behavioural knowledge, and to test for the safety of chemicals, and understands tat such testing is a requirement of law. It also, however, affirms that responsible stewardship of the natural world requires all animals to receive careful and sympathetic treatment, both during their lives and in the manner of their dying."

What the Churches say, CEM

The Baptist Church

“Most Baptists would be sympathetic to the use of animals in medical research, but less enthusiastic about their use in cosmetic products.”

Rev. Anne Wilkinson-Hayes, 1992

The Methodist Church

“It should be horrifying that millions of animals are killed every year in laboratory experiments, but most of them have been bred for the purpose and the outcome of the experimentation is valuable advance in both human and veterinary medicine."

“Unnecessary or unjustifiable experimentation, as on the effect of cosmetics; the use of numbers of animals in an experiment far in excess of a reasonable control and check number; excessive duplication of experiments in different laboratories; the use of animals when valid results could be secured from tissue cultures; are all to be condemned."

A Methodist Statement on the Treatment of Animals, 1980

The Society of Friends

“The most controversial area of animal exploitation for Quakers is that of medical experimentation. There are many Quaker doctors and some medical researchers who hold Home Office licences to experiment on live animals The latter would justify their actions by citing the beneficial results which they feel can be achieved for humans and animals through the knowledge gained."

What the Churches say, CEM