Animals in neuroscience research

Through the CARE committee, FENS develops and collates resources to highlight the value of properly regulated animal research and the importance of openness in this regard. Browse the website for further information about FENS’ efforts to support transparency and explore the resources below to discover more about the topic.

The CARE committee developed the animated video on the right to highlight the wonder of the brain and how and why neuroscientists study it.

Selected resources concerning animal research
The Consortium for Public Outreach on Animal Research

As a member of the Consortium for Public Outreach on Animal Research, the CARE committee works with a number of organisations to promote transparency in research and provide support for those seeking to increase their outreach efforts. Browse the organisations below to find out more about their activities.

  • Americans for Medical Progress (AMP)
  • American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS)
  • Animal Research Tomorrow
  • Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC International)
  • Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH (DPZ)
  • European Animal Research Association (EARA)
  • Groupe interprofessionnel de réflexion et de communication sur la recherche (GIRCOR)
  • National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR)
  • Society for Neuroscience - Animals in Research (SfN - CAR)
  • Speaking of Research (SoR)
  • States United for Biomedical Research (SUBR)
  • Tierversuche verstehen (TVV)
  • Understanding Animal Research (UAR)

European legislative framework

Scientific research involving animals is governed by the European Directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. The aim of Directive 2010/63/EU is to improve the welfare of animals used in scientific research, focusing on the principle of the Three Rs, which aim to Replace, Reduce and Refine the use of animals.

The European Commission regularly publishes information relating to the implementation of the Directive, relevant events and future revisions on the website of the Directorate-General for the Environment (DG ENV).

Institutional resources
  • Commission report and staff working document on the implementation of Directive 2010/63/EU (2020)
  • Commission report on the statistics on the use of animals for scientific purposes in the EU Member States in 2015-2017 (2019)
  • Scientific Committee on Health Environmental and Emerging Risks: Final Opinion and factsheet on 'The need for non-human primates in biomedical research, production and testing of products and devices' (2017)
  • JRC report: Accelerating progress in the Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of animal testing through better knowledge sharing (2016)
  • Commission Scientific Conference on Non-Animal Approaches - The Way Forward (2016)
  • Commission report: Statistics on the Number of Animals used for Experimental and other Scientific Purposes in the EU Member States (2013)
Civil society opinions and analysis
  • FENS commentary on calls to phase out animal experiments (2022)
  • FENS statement supporting Directive 2010/63/EU (2015)
  • Joint statement supporting Directive 2010/63/EU (2015)
  • FENS position on Directive 2010/63/EU (2014)
  • IBRO joint statement on the Use of Animals in Biomedical Research (2012)