Animal Use in Research

Revised April 2020

Reaffirmed April 2014, October 2008, February 2002, March 1997    

Revised June 1992 with current title 

Originally approved September 1987 titled "The Humane Use of Animals in Research"


The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) supports the responsible use of animals in biomedical research and ongoing discussion regarding the moral status of animals and the proper scope and limits of the use of animals in research.

ACEP therefore endorses the following principles regarding use of animals in research:

  • Research using animals has been and will, in the foreseeable future, continue to be essential to scientific advances in emergency medicine and in health care in general.
  • ACEP endorses the humane and responsible use of animals in scientifically sound research in order to achieve the significant benefits of improved treatment for humans and animals.
  • Animals should not be subjected to research unnecessarily or arbitrarily. ACEP recognizes that the great benefits of improved treatment for humans and animals are gained at the moral cost of the infliction of pain, suffering, and death on animal research subjects. Researchers are obligated to refine their techniques to minimize or eliminate animal pain and suffering, to reduce the number of animals used in research to the minimum necessary to achieve scientifically valid research goals, and to use alternatives to animal research wherever possible.
  • Institutional animal care and use committees should be used to review animal research protocols and to monitor animal care facilities and laboratories based on federal regulations designed to ensure animal welfare.

ACEP respects the moral convictions and the free speech rights of those who oppose the use of animals in some or all research and supports a continuing dialogue among those who hold different positions on this important issue. While ACEP respects differences of opinion, it does not support violent or illegal acts to disrupt or discourage animal research.

ACEP encourages its members to study the ongoing debate over animal research and to contribute to that debate from their valuable perspective as emergency physicians.

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