Animals in Science

How we responsibly use animals in our science

Much of the work undertaken by Cefas does not involve the use of live animals directly. However, given the current state of scientific understanding, the use of animals is sometimes necessary to ensure that our science is based on sound evidence. Some of these studies are required to fulfil our statutory obligations (e.g. in the area of food safety); some we have to do to ensure that the quality advice we give is accurate and justified; and some we do because we believe it is necessary to provide an accurate understanding of the science that underpins the advice we give.

Cefas recognises that studies involving animals may cause them discomfort or distress. We respect animals and recognise and acknowledge the views of people who are concerned about, or have a moral objection to the use of animals in experiments. Cefas believes that the studies it undertakes involving living animals are justified and necessary. We also recognise our duty to limit the number of animals we use, minimise their distress and improve their welfare. We take this very seriously. Cefas understands that even if unavoidable, causing pain or distress cannot be viewed as a matter of moral indifference and that critical evaluation and justification of animal use, on a case-by-case basis, is called for. This is formalised in our Animals in Science and Animal Welfare Policy.

We report the statistics on protected animals used in our scientific research on a yearly basis.