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American Physiological Society Announces New Position Statements on Animals in Research

The American Physiological Society (APS) announced on August 31 the adoption of two new position statements on animals in research. The policies were approved by the Societys governing body in July.

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The American Physiological Society (APS) announced on August 31 the adoption of two new position statements on animals in research. The policies were approved by the Society’s governing body in July.

“Advances in biomedical research depend on the use of animals in laboratory studies,” said APS Animal Care and Experimentation Committee Chair Bill Yates. “Animals are also needed to provide hands-on training for the next generation of medical and veterinary practitioners in surgery and other procedures.”

“It is critical to ensure that animals used for research and teaching are treated humanely,” Yates said. “The revised APS policies provide a roadmap for accomplishing this objective.”

The first policy position, Animal Research is Essential to the Search for Cures, is a broad statement of support for the important role that animal models continue to play in human and veterinary medial research. The document underscores the strong commitment of the APS to ensuring that research animals are treated humanely and that their use is regulated appropriately.

The second statement, Guiding Principles for the Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research and Training, is an updated version of a document first adopted by the APS Council in 1953. The Guiding Principles represent a code of ethics for APS members who work with animals. They also provide a framework intended to promote the humane treatment of animals and are used to evaluate research submitted for publication in APS journals. The updated version of the Guiding Principals is intended to clarify certain elements of the Guiding Principles and make it easier to apply them in practical situations.

As the Guiding Principles are based on U.S. animal welfare requirements, the update now includes provisions to address the fact that other countries have different animal welfare requirements. This change was necessary because of the increasing number of physiologists from around the world who are joining the APS and submitting articles for publication in APS journals.