The World Veterinary Association (WVA) has given its resounding backing to the continued use of animals in biomedical research in a new position statement.
In its statement, on the humane care of animals in biomedical research, the WVA which consists of more than 80 veterinary medical associations, stated that research in animals is ‘helpful and often mandatory’ to both human and veterinary medicine, for example in guaranteeing the safety and efficacy of treatments, devices and procedures.
The WVA, based in Belgium, added that it ‘strongly supports the use of alternatives to animals in biomedical research whenever feasible’.
The document lays out four pillars that it says will ensure the appropriate care and welfare of research animals. These are:
Following the 3Rs framework to replace live animals with non-animal methods wherever possible, reduce animal use by proper experimental design and planning, and refine animal care to optimise animal welfare;
Educating and training all those who work with research animals on the ethics of animal use, the 3Rs and humane scientific experiments;
The support of each animal care and use programme by a knowledgeable veterinarian;
Review and approval of all research in live animals by an Animal Ethics Committee, including the ability for the facility and veterinarian to provide proper care and oversight.