Animal models are key in biomedical research as a proof of concept to study complex processes in a physiological context. Despite the small yet crucial role animals play in fundamental and applied research, the value of animal research is recurrently undermined. Lack of openness and transparency encourages misconceptions, which can have a dramatic negative impact on science and medicine. Research centres should use all available resources to ensure that relevant details about their use of animals in research are readily accessible. More concerted efforts by professional advocacy groups devoted to informing about the benefits of biomedical animal research are also crucial. The European Animal Research Association acts as an umbrella organisation providing support to national advocacy groups and coordinating actions in countries in which no advocacy group exists.