The most important principle underpinning animal experimentation regulation and policy internationally is that the likely benefits of such research must outweigh its expected costs. The intended beneficiaries are usually human patients or consumers, while the animal subjects bear the main harms, or costs. It is therefore surprising that human benefits are usually uncritically assumed, rather than critically assessed on the basis of reliable evidence. Unfortunately, such uncritical thinking is often displayed by animal researchers seeking to defend their chosen field. It is particularly ironic that these same people often dismiss their critics for being ‘unscientific’.

Critical scrutiny, including of established ideas, rather than uncritical acceptance, is the essence of the scientific method. Without such scrutiny, flaws may not be identified or rectified, and forward progress can become very difficult.

The research by my colleagues and I herein critically scrutinises the actual contributions of invasive animal research, toward the advancement of human healthcare. Please do consider sharing any you find worthwhile. Thank you for visiting.


– Professor of Animal Welfare and Ethics, & Founding Director, Centre for Animal Welfare, University of Winchester

– EBVS European & RCVS Veterinary Specialist in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law; American & New Zealand Veterinary Specialist in Animal Welfare

– Fellow, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, & Member, Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (Animal Welfare chapter)

– Principal Fellow, UK Higher Education Academy