Health Charities: Are They Spending Your Money on Animal Testing?

Some health charities ask for donations to help people with diseases and disabilities yet spend the money funding shocking experiments on rabbits, rats, mice, non-human primates, hamsters, pigs, ferrets, frogs, fish, guinea pigs, sheep, birds, dogs and other animals. For example, in some experiments, dogs are deliberately bred to develop crippling muscle diseases that make it extremely difficult for them to walk and swallow. Even though millions of people around the world still have no access to medical care, animal experimentation continues to divert money away from relevant and effective projects that actually aim to save lives.

Healing Without Hurting

Instead of exploiting animals’ bodies in the hope of finding cures for human diseases, enlightened charities focus their research where the best chance of a successful treatment lies: with humans.

They realise that experiments on animals are unreliable and often dangerously misleading. Enormous variations exist between humans and rats, rabbits, dogs, and pigs, and meaningful scientific conclusions cannot be drawn about one species by studying another. What is desperately needed is information about the mechanisms of disease in humans themselves. Non-animal methods using the most sophisticated modern techniques provide the relevant and accurate information that is essential to making real progress in the fight against disease.

Medical Research Without Animals

There are a number of charities helping ill people and conducting research into effective cures without testing on animals. They finance scientists who are developing non-animal research methods that will produce better and more relevant results. By supporting these charities, we can help humans and other animals. For a list of these organisations, please contact us.

Health Charities That Don’t Test on Animals

Charities that offer assistance to people in the developing world usually don’t conduct animal testing and often help those suffering from medical problems for which treatments already exist. However, please ensure that your gift doesn’t contribute to other forms of animal suffering. For example, “Send a Cow” and similar schemes can lead to poor animal welfare, environmental destruction, and an additional financial burden on people who may not be able to afford it.

Health Charities That Do Test on Animals

Many charities continue to test on animals. Even if they are conducting valuable work in other fields, it is usually not possible to specify how your donation will be used. In those circumstances, it is best to support a charity that doesn’t use animals at all. Before giving money to a health-research charity, we recommend that you investigate its current policy on animal testing. Some organisations have their policies on their websites, but others may not, and you will have to contact them directly. (Policies can change, which is why a response from the charity itself will give you the most up-to-date information.) If the charity does test on animals, please let its representatives know that you will instead donate your money to one that invests all its resources in effective, humane, non-animal research.

Large charities that still conduct, commission or support the notion of animal experiments as of October 2017 include the following:

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z

 

  • Action Medical Research

  • Research Field

    • Asthma in children
    • Autism in children
    • Blindness and vision problems in children
    • Brain cancers and tumours
    • Cerebral palsy in children
    • Congenital heart disease in children
    • Down syndrome in children
    • Epilepsy in children
    • Meningitis in children
    • Oxygen deprivation in newborns
    • Pregnancy complications and problems
    • Premature birth and baby development
    • Rare childhood diseases
    • Sickle cell anaemia in children
    • Stillbirth

  • Statement

    “Action Medical Research does not carry out research itself but supports research projects that take place in hospitals and universities in the UK. As a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities … we support the principle of using animals in research.”

  • Action on Hearing Loss

  • Research Field

    • Deafness
    • Hearing loss
    • Tinnitus

  • Statement

    “We’re dedicated to supporting biomedical research into treatments and cures for hearing loss and tinnitus. … [I]n certain areas, animal research remains essential if we are to understand hearing loss and tinnitus and develop new and effective treatments.”

  • Against Breast Cancer

  • Research Field

    • Breast cancer

  • Statement

    “Against Breast Cancer fully supports the replacement, refinement and reduction of animals used in research wherever possible, and will only fund research that uses animal models when no viable non-animal alternative exists, that has been approved by a local ethics committee, that is fully compliant with current Home Office legislation or when animal welfare is ensured.”

  • Alzheimer’s Society

  • Research Field

    • Dementia

  • Statement

    “Alzheimer’s Society is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities … and supports its position statement on the use of animals in research.

    Alzheimer’s Society and its trustees believe that funding animal research is essential to understanding dementia and developing effective treatments.”

  • Anthony Nolan

  • Research Field

    • Blood cancers and disorders

  • Statement

    “Anthony Nolan does not carry out any animal testing, nor do we currently fund research using animals. However, as a member of AMRC we support the principle of using animals in research when it is necessary to advance understanding of health and disease and to develop new treatments.”

  • Arthritis Research UK

  • Research Field

    • Arthritis

  • Statement:

    “Where there are no alternatives, we fund medical research which uses animals.”

  • Asthma UK

  • Research Field

    • Asthma

  • Statement

    “We know that asthma is a complex condition, and our researchers are still piecing together the information to answer important questions that will help to identify the underlying causes and find new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent asthma. Under certain circumstances, some of this research cannot be done without involving animals. Asthma UK understands and appreciates that people do have concerns about medical research involving animals, and charities providing funding support for it, and shares people’s concerns about the well-being of animals in medical research.”

  • Bloodwise

  • Research Field

    • Blood cancer

  • Statement

    “We want to have the biggest impact for blood cancer patients. Because of this, we believe that using animals in research, in the right way, is the right thing to do.”

  • Bowel Cancer UK

  • Research Field

    • Bowel cancer

  • Statement

    “Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and the second biggest cancer killer. It is vital that we support research that will allow us to diagnose people earlier and develop new and more effective treatments (including improvements to surgery). Some of this research may involve animals.”

  • Breast Cancer Now

  • Research Field

    • Breast cancer

  • Statement

    “We support the principle of using animals in research when it is necessary to advance understanding of health and disease and to develop new treatments.”

  • British Heart Foundation

  • Research Field

    • Cardiovascular disease

  • Statement

    “Where there are no feasible alternatives, we fund research involving animals as part of a broad spectrum of science ….”

  • British Lung Foundation

  • Research Field

    • Lung conditions

  • Statement

    “We support the principle of using animals in research when it is necessary to advance understanding of health and disease and to develop new treatments.”

  • Brittle Bone Society

  • Research Field

    • Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI)

  • Statement

    “The Charity recognises that experiments on living animals are an essential part of research to improve the understanding and treatment of human and animal disease.”

  • The British Scoliosis Research Foundation

  • Research Field

    • Scoliosis

  • Statement

    “The BSRF, as a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities, follows the AMRC ‘Guidelines on Good Research Practice’ which cover ethical practices for animal and human research, intellectual property, researcher integrity, publication practice, supervision and training of researchers, amongst other matters.”

  • Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland

  • Research Field

    • Chest, heart, and stroke illness

  • Statement

    “CHSS is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC). All AMRC members support the AMRC statement on animal research.”

  • Children With Cancer UK

  • Research Field

    • Cancer

  • Statement

    “Children with Cancer UK is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities …. We support the principle of using animals in research when it is necessary to advance understanding of health and disease and to develop new treatments; we want to find improved treatments that will cure even the hardest-to-treat forms of childhood cancer, causing minimal side effects for the child. This research only takes place where there is no alternative available; projects are only funded by us after rigorous assessment that specifically addresses the proposed use of animals.”

  • Core

  • Research Field

    • Digestive diseases

  • Statement

    “Core follows AMRC’s statement on supporting research in universities and AMRC’s statement on the use of animals in research.”

  • Crohn’s and Colitis UK

  • Research Field

    • Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

  • Statement

    “As a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC)…, any application involving animals will be judged in accordance with 3R principles (replacement, refinement and reduction) as part of the peer review process.”

  • Cystic Fibrosis Trust

  • Research Field

    • Cystic Fibrosis

  • Statement

    “We only fund animal research if it has been clearly demonstrated that there are no alternatives.”

  • DEBRA

  • Research Field

    • Epidermolysis bullosa

  • Statement

    “Where possible we favour the use of non-animal experimental approaches to finding a cure for EB such as cultured cells or human skin equivalents, but there are instances where animal models are necessary.”

  • Diabetes UK

  • Research Field

    • Diabetes

  • Statement

    “We only fund animal research when there is no alternative available ….”

  • Encephalitis Society

  • Research Field

    • Encephalitis

  • Statement

    “The Encephalitis Society supports the position of the Association of Medical Research Charities on the issue of using animals in research.

    “The Society will only consider funding applications for research that tests on animals on a case-by-case basis, where there is evidence of no other model or known alternative, and only for studies being conducted in the UK.”

  • Epilepsy Research UK

  • Research Field

    • Epilepsy

  • Statement

    “We believe it [animal experimentation] is an important part of the research process to advance understanding of serious health conditions and to develop better treatments, but that it should only be used when there is no alternative.”

  • Heart Research UK

  • Research Field

    • Heart disease

  • Statement

    “As a member [of the Association of Medical Research Charities], Heart Research UK follows high standards to ensure that we fund research of the highest quality.”

  • Kidney Research UK

  • Research Field

    • Kidney disease

  • Statement

    “As a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities … we support the principle of using animals in research ….

    “From time to time we do approve grants for projects involving animal experimentation.”

  • Marie Curie

  • Research Field

    • Patient support
    • Nurses
    • Hospices
    • Helpers
    • Campaigns
    • Research

  • Statement

    “Marie Curie carries out and funds research into better ways of caring for people living with a terminal illness (palliative care research).

    “The charity does not carry out or fund research involving animals.

    “Marie Curie is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), and accepts the AMRC position statement on the use of animals in research.”

  • The Migraine Trust

  • Research Field

    • Migraine

  • Statement

    “The Migraine Trust does not undertake research itself but funds scientists and researchers to carry out this work. …. . .

    “As migraine is a complex neurological condition the nature of the research can make it unethical to test on humans. This renders the use of a whole animal model unavoidable at present. The Migraine Trust therefore supports the use of animals in migraine research where no alternative exists and where it is carried out according to best practice as laid down in legislation.”

  • Motor Neurone Disease Association

  • Research Field

    • Motor neurone disease

  • Statement

    “Approximately two thirds of the research projects we fund do not involve the use of animals. With those that do, we and the researchers we fund are committed to ensuring that the welfare of the animals is considered at all times.”

  • MS Society

  • Research Field

    • Multiple sclerosis

  • Statement

    “We support the principle of using animals in research when it is necessary to advance understanding of health and disease and to develop new treatments.”

  • Muscular Dystrophy UK

  • Research Field

    • Muscle-wasting conditions

  • Statement

    “Muscular Dystrophy UK funds research which utilises a wide variety of methods, some of which involve the use of animals. Muscular Dystrophy UK will not fund animal research unless it is essential and there is no alternative.”

  • National Osteoporosis Society

  • Research Field

    • Osteoporosis

  • Statement

    “Research involving animals has been fundamental to understanding how the body functions in health and disease and to the development of modern medicines and surgical procedures. Such research has provided and continues to provide the essential foundation for improvements in medical knowledge, education and practice.”

  • Parkinson’s UK

  • Research Field

    • Parkinson’s disease

  • Statement

    “We believe that the use of animals is currently essential in helping us improve treatments and find a cure for Parkinson’s.”

  • Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK

  • Research Field

    • Scleroderma and Raynaud’s

  • Statement

    “SRUK supports the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) position statement on the use of animals in research.”

  • Spinal Research

  • Research Field

    • Spinal-cord injury

  • Statement

    “Spinal Research recognises that for complex multisystem diseases and pathologies, such as spinal cord injury, it is sometimes necessary to use animals as part of the overall research endeavour.”

  • WellChild

  • Research Field

    • “WellChild is the national UK children’s charity making it possible for children and young people with exceptional health needs to be cared for at home instead of hospital, wherever possible.”

  • Statement

    “Please note: we do not currently fund research using animals. However, as a member of The Association of Medical Research Charities … we do support the principle of using animals in research ….”

  • Wellcome Trust

  • Research Field

    • Biomedical science
    • Creative industries
    • Humanities and social science
    • Public engagement
    • Population health
    • Product development and applied research

  • Statement

    “Wellcome supports the use of animals in research if the potential health benefits are compelling, appropriate welfare standards are met and where there are no alternatives.”

  • Worldwide Cancer Research (formerly the Association for International Cancer Research)

  • Research Field

    • Cancer

  • Statement

    “Worldwide Cancer Research recognises that animal research is still essential if further progress is to be made in cancer medicine.”

So that we can keep our records as up to date as possible, please let us know of any information you receive from charities about their animal-testing policies.