ARC logo

Statement Deploring Intimidation of Scientists Who Use Animals in Their Research

The use of animals in research continues to make critical contributions to understanding basic life processes and to the treatment of human disease. For this reason, AAAS has long supported the responsible use of animals in scientific research, testing, and education. (See the AAAS Resolution on Use of Animals in Research, Testing, and Education, February 19, 1990).

Scientists conducting research on animals continue to be the targets of repeated attacks by "animal rights" extremists. These extremists commit violent criminal acts, including vandalism against scientists' homes, laboratories, and other property. They make disturbing telephone calls to the homes of scientists in the middle of the night, carry out disruptive demonstrations at the homes of scientists and make threats against their physical safety and that of their families and staffs. AAAS recognizes and supports the right of all citizens to protest and dissent from policies with which they disagree. On the other hand, unlawful and dangerous actions should not be tolerated.

Biomedical research is performed under strict federal, state, and institutional standards designed to ensure the humane treatment of research animals. If intimidation drives scientists from their valuable efforts and discourages young scientists from pursuing fields of inquiry that require the use of animals, medical progress will be seriously impeded. AAAS encourages scientists and the public to join in defending our colleagues whose freedom to conduct research is under attack.

[Approved by the AAAS Board of Directors, 28 November 2007.]