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Animals in Medical Education and Research

The AAMC's current policy statement was approved by the AAMC Executive Council on September 25, 2008, following extensive discussion by various AAMC Councils, Organizations, and Groups. It is the first revision of AAMC's policy on the issue since 1985. The major change is to recognize that animal use in education spans the medical curriculum and the medical education continuum, and that animals are not utilized by all institutions in all phases of medical education. The statement now also explicitly condemns violence against scientists and educators who use animals in their research and teaching.

AAMC Policy on the Use of Animals in Medical Research and Education

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) strongly affirms the essential and irreplaceable role of research involving live animals in the advancement of biological knowledge, human health and animal welfare. In addition, as animals continue to be vital in segments of the medical education continuum (undergraduate, graduate, and continuing medical education), the AAMC supports this use of animals to meet essential educational objectives.

The AAMC affirms the responsibility of the academic medical community to ensure that the use of animals in laboratory research and medical education is judicious, responsible, and humane, and that the care provided to these animals fully meets accreditation standards and regulatory and legislative requirements. It is the Association's firm belief that further restrictions on the use of animals in biomedical and behavioral research and education threatens progress in health care and disease prevention.

Therefore, the Association of American Medical Colleges supports the continued availability and humane use of animals in scientific research and the education of physicians.  The AAMC strongly condemns violence and the threat of violence against scientists, educators, and institutions that use animals in research and teaching. AAMC member institutions are encouraged to work closely with local, state and federal law officials in order to protect students, residents, faculty, staff, animals and facilities.

Related Organizations

On Research

Animal Research

On April 13, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) reintroduced legislation (H.R. 1513, S. 810) that would ban “invasive” research on chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, or gibbons.

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