About Animal Free Research UK – your questions answered

Does Animal Free Research UK fund scientists who also use animals in their research?

The quick answer:

While Animal Free Research UK is funding a project, our researchers are not permitted to conduct any research using animals or animal cells.

The longer answer:

Our vision is a world where human diseases are cured faster without animal suffering.  By pioneering excellence, inspiring and supporting scientists and influencing change, we are ending the use of animals and improving medical research.

We believe that experiments on animals are ethically unjustified.  We care deeply about people and animals – our ambition to end suffering is heartfelt and unswerving.

To realise our vision and create long-lasting change, we need to show the science community that pioneering animal free research provides the best chance of finding treatments for human diseases. 

That means supporting a new generation of researchers who can build careers which are 100% animal free.  We’re already supporting early career researchers through our innovative summer students programme and we’ll soon be launching exciting new programmes to build on this work.

But it also means working with researchers who don’t necessarily follow our approach all of the time at the moment.  That’s because if we can show them that human-relevant, animal free research is a better way to do science, then we are half way to achieving our vision. 

Some researchers who have used animals in the past but later decided to progress to animal free methods have become amongst the most passionate and powerful animal free advocates in our community.  We are passionate about supporting these researchers, as well as those who decide to come on the journey with us in the future.

The research we fund is animal free, and enables scientists to conduct cutting-edge research into human disease without experimenting on animals. We stipulate that our researchers must not conduct any animal research while they receive funding from us. We can’t comment on individual researchers’ past work. 

 It might be helpful to know that sadly animal experiments have traditionally been normal practice in – and sometimes even a requirement of – biomedical education and research. This means that many researchers have unfortunately been exposed to and sometimes carried out animal research at some point during their education or academic careers. Fortunately this is now changing, and we are working hard to support scientists to develop animal free research careers so that ethics and career progress go hand-in-hand. 

 Like you, we’re passionate about driving out the use of animals in research.  We want to create change in the science community so that animal free research is considered the gold standard by everyone.  This is a huge task: for decades carrying out research on animals has been thought of by many as the best way to understand human diseases.  We know there is a better way, so we need to engage with many researchers – including those who already agree that animal free research is better science, as well as those who might not have begun that journey yet. 

 With your help we know this is possible to achieve – some of our most passionate advocates started their careers using animals in research and then realised there is a better way to do science, to make progress for families, and to save animals.  If we can help other scientists to begin that journey it can only be a good thing for everyone.


Are you vegan?

The quick answer:

All of our research is animal free.  Like our supporters, our staff team and researchers include vegans, vegetarians and those with other diets.

The longer answer:

Animal Free Research UK is the leading charity working to end the use of animals in medical research.  We do not fund any research that involves the use of animals in any way. That includes the use of animal-derived biomaterials such as foetal calf serum which comes from killing a pregnant cow and draining blood from her calf.

We believe that human-relevant, animal free research provides the best chance of finding treatments for human diseases.

Like our supporters, some of our staff team and researchers are vegan, some are vegetarian, and some choose other diets.  Yet we’re all committed to creating a world where human diseases are cured faster without animal suffering. 

That’s a huge undertaking – and we won’t be able to achieve it without the support of a groundswell of people who agree it’s a better vision for the future. Together, we can save animals, improve scientific research, find more effective treatments for human diseases – and change the world for good.

Page last modified on April 4, 2019 8:48 am

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