Animal experimentation has been contested for many years. You may have signed a petition, or recall public marches or protests, or even participated in these yourself. Yet, millions of animals are still used in research and teaching in Australia each year, including mice, rats, fish, farm animals, primates, dogs and cats.
Whilst previously ethical concerns prevailed as the leading argument against the use of animals, this has been joined more recently by scientific objections regarding efficacy and relevance. Did you realise that 95% of drugs tested 'successfully' on animals fail when they are translated to humans? If results are not translating from animals to humans, we have to ask ourselves, is there a better way?
Humane Research Australia (HRA) believes there is, and our mission is to make this happen. We maintain that animal experimentation is not a 'necessary evil', and that instead, it is misleading and outdated. Thankfully, with scientific and technological progress, there are now a range of new and innovative research methods that can replace using animals, such as bioprinting, computer modelling and stem cell technology. You can find out more here.
What does HRA do?
HRA works to develop community-wide awareness of animal experimentation, and champion the benefits of alternatives to all forms of animal usage in research and teaching. We do this in several ways, including activities such as:
- Investigating research practices to ensure public scrutiny
- Developing education resources
- Implementing our campaigns, including calling for an end to primate research and increased transparency in animal research
- Providing alternatives to dissection in schools
- Contributing to public consultations via submissions
It is extremely challenging to change the status quo of the use of animal models in biomedical science. However, HRA remains determined and motivated by the millions of animal lives lost to medical science, as well as the human lives lost to diseases for which there is no cure, despite decades of animal research.
We are seeing progress globally, with the emergence of centres devoted to developing and validating animal-free research and increasing pressure on regulators to remove obsolete requirements for animal testing.
What can you do?
We invite you to join our call for humane and scientifically-valid research. You can make a difference in a few simple ways. From ensuring that our donations are directed to charities which do not use animals, to supporting HRA campaigns, or becoming a HRA member, each and every one of us can help bring an end to animal experimentation.