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The pharmaceutical/animal health research community strives to exceed what is legally required for compliance.

IOC member institutions conducting research with animals have internal standards that exceed regulatory requirements and support “best in class” animal welfare. Knowledge on multiple aspects of animal care and experimentation is required. A highly trained team approach is issued, involving investigators, veterinarians and animal care staff. Providing high-quality humane animal care and reducing our reliance on research methods requiring animals is a moral, scientific and legal necessity.

Research animals are purpose-bred, meaning they are born and raised in carefully controlled conditions and environments that support animal well-being. The health and welfare of these animals is essential for ethics, drug safety, and reliable and reproducible science.

We abide by the 3Rs principles of animal research, and researchers must give strong justification to demonstrate their commitment to Reduction of animals used, Refinement of procedures to enhance animal welfare, and Replacement of animals with other methods (when available). The 3Rs principles are a framework to ensure high animal welfare and high-quality science and ultimately improve the lives of people and animals. Many institutions have programs that specifically promote the 3Rs through awards or other forms of recognition. Some have dedicated 3Rs scientists, animal welfare or behavior experts, and/or 3Rs committees to identify and create new ways to advance the 3Rs. Read more about IOC institutional commitments to animal welfare below:

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