top of page

How animals are helping in Covid-19 research - a global overview

The European Animal Research Association has put together an interactive map to display the biomedical research currently underway across the world to find a cure for coronavirus.

The use of animals in basic research and to help develop drugs and vaccines is vital and this map highlights (based on WHO data and EARA sources) where animal research is being conducted and the species being used in the different studies, where it is known.

Using icons, our map charts the institutions involved in the basic research needed to understand the disease, drug and vaccine development, plus the sources of funding that can make it possible.

Click on the image to open the map and then explore it by clicking on the individual icons to find out more about specific research and whether animals are contributing to the study and which species.

EARA global overview of how animals are helping in Covid-19 research

EARA executive director, Kirk Leech, said: "While much of the world is in lockdown, scientists continue to work in laboratories and collaborate globally, to find effective treatments for coronavirus.

"It is also worth remembering that in this time of crisis, much of their work could not be possible without the use of animals and this map illustrates that global effort."

Genetically altered mice and monkeys are among the most common animal model being used - the immune system of monkeys most closely resembles that of humans. However, there are also studies involving bats, cats, chickens, ferrets, hamsters, guinea pigs, pigs, rabbits, rats and sheep. Pigs and sheep are also being used in the development of ventilators and respirators.

EARA has used the World Health Organisation's recorded list of studies and has also received information from many other institutions after it sent out an appeal to its membership and stakeholders.

In the EU and UK, all potential vaccines and treatments will eventually need to be tested on animals before any human trials to ensure their safety and effectiveness.

This is a large project and EARA is continuing to update the map. If you are aware of research not identified on this map, please contact


bottom of page