Skip to main content

Living our values

Published on August 13, 2020

50 years ago, a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens united to change the world.

Dedicated to doing all they could to end experiments on animals, they realised the best way to achieve their vision was to advance scientific research methods to match their progressive values.

Animal Free Research UK was born.

Fast-forward five decades, and our charity has played a foundational role in establishing today’s human relevant life sciences sector. Thanks to our visionary supporters, we have given £10 million in grants to fund pioneering research, supported over 260 scientific projects, and prevented 1.6 million animals from suffering in experiments.

Our values remain at the heart of everything we do.

We are:

  • Rigorous and evidential – we present factual, reliable information. Our work is evidenced-based, thoughtful and respected by our peers.
  • Pioneering – we place ethics at the heart of science through innovative, solutions-focused research. Our determination drives scientific discovery forward.
  • Compassionate – we care deeply about people and animals. Our ambition to end suffering is heartfelt and unswerving.

Our charity is firmly rooted in the social justice movement. We believe that experiments on animals are ethically unjustified and that pioneering animal free research provides the best chance of finding treatments for human diseases. We want to change the world for the better – to benefit both people and animals.

We also believe we have a social responsibility that goes beyond our core remit, to treat people, animals and planet with fairness, dignity and respect.

That’s why we are working with the Daphne Jackson Trust to help people who have had a career break for a family, caring or health reason to get back into medical research.

It’s why we support young people to get hands on experience in research laboratories to give them a leg up in their careers.

It’s why we are committed to doing more to help ensure people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are supported to access the best animal free medical research career opportunities.

It’s why we fund research into debilitating diseases including cancer, brain tumours, chronic pain, diabetes, COVID-19, and leukaemia.

It’s why we embrace flexible working to support our team’s wellbeing, motivation and productivity.

It’s why if you come to an event we run, you’ll be served delicious vegan food.

It’s why everyone is working from home for the foreseeable future – not only because of COVID-19, but also because we want to do our small bit to reduce our carbon footprint on this planet.

There’s always more to do – we’re only human and we’re certainly not perfect. But our commitment to creating a world where human diseases are cured faster without animal suffering is steadfast. And I’m convinced that the best way to achieve this is to treat everyone – every person, every animal, everything that inhabits our planet – in the right way.

We don’t always get it right; we won’t always get it right. But we will keep on learning together and striving to do better.

If you have suggestions for something we could do better, please let me know at I’d love to hear from you.

I started this blog with a nod to a quote attributed to Margaret Mead, so it seems fitting to end with one from her daughter, Mary Catherine Bateson. It’s one our team tries to live by:

We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn.”

Carla Owen,




Share this page