Research involving animals

The Medical Research Council (MRC) considers the use of animals to be necessary in many areas of biomedical research in order to better understand the living body and what goes wrong in disease. Animal research is essential in the development of safe and effective ways of preventing or treating diseases.

All our animal research is conducted in accordance with UK law and ethically approved by an independent review board. MRC researchers are expected to follow the highest standards of animal welfare.

Replacement, refinement and reduction (3Rs)

The principles and examples of the 3Rs in practice

Facts and figures

The number of procedures carried out as part of research programmes in MRC-owned establishments in 2021

Guidance, resources and further information

Various sets of guidance concerning the use of animals in research

Medical breakthroughs underpinned by animal research

Recent examples of lifesaving treatments that were developed thanks to animal research

Regulation and policy

The key regulations and policies involved in animal research

Supporting animal welfare

What we expect from organisations using animals in their research

Why we use animals

Our criteria for funding the use of animals in research

Sex in experimental design

MRC requires both sexes to be used in the experimental design of grant applications involving animals, and human and animal tissues and cells

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have feedback or would like to help improve our online products and services.