Animals in education and research

The American Animal Hospital Association’s position regarding animals in education and research.

The American Animal Hospital Association supports responsible and judicious use of animals in postsecondary education and scientific research only when the benefits are clear and only when it can be justified scientifically, ethically and morally. We also believe that veterinarians are an essential part of all programs involving the care and use of animals in research.

AAHA recognizes the importance and benefits of the use of animals in research with the goal of improving the health of humans and animals. We strongly support the replacement of animals used in research and education, when possible, by using nonanimal systems such as computer models and biochemical- or cell-based systems. We encourage the refinement of procedures and housing that can reduce the number of animals needed while minimizing pain, distress, and discomfort.

Whenever appropriate, consideration should be given to finding homes for these animals.


  1. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. “Alternatives to Animal Testing.”
  2. American Veterinary Medical Association. “Use of Animals in Research, Testing, and Education.”
  3. Institute for Laboratory Animal Research. “Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.”

Adopted by the American Animal Hospital Association Board of Directors November 1994. Last revised June 2018.