THEATRE OF DEBATE

DIGITAL DRAMA

The Association of Medical Research Charities Statement

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Photographs from 'Every Breath',Theatre of Debate ® workshop
There are difficult ethical judgements to be made over the use of animals in medical research, but there is no doubt that the use of animals continues to be essential in some areas of research if people are to benefit from healthcare advances. New treatments and cures which many of us take for granted, from antibiotics to blood transfusions, would have been impossible without research involving animals.

Many people are concerned about the well-being of animals used in medical research. AMRC member charities share those concerns and strive to ensure that alternatives are used wherever possible, that the minimum number of animals are used to provide clear data in well-designed experiments, and that researchers keep to the highest standards of animal welfare.

AMRC charities plan their research carefully to ensure it is relevant, well thought out and avoids duplication. They fund a variety of alternative research methods, including test-tube and cell culture experiments, computer simulations, clinical trials and epidemiological surveys. Yet funding medical research with animals remains essential for understanding, treating and preventing a range of health problems. These include: accidents, all types of cancer, childhood illnesses such as asthma and diabetes, hereditary diseases such as cystic fibrosis, diseases of modern life like heart disease, degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and infectious diseases, especially in poorer countries.

In the UK animal experiments are strictly regulated by law - the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 - as well as further guidance from the Home Office. These regulations are the tightest in the world. AMRC charities support these laws and require scientists they fund to comply with them.

The Association of Medical Research Charities has over 100 member charities whose combined expenditure on medical research in the UK was £660 million in 2002/03. They are a major source of funding for research in all areas of medicine in the UK. Not all AMRC charities currently fund research involving animals, but all of them recognise the important role it has played, and its vital future contribution to understanding and treating human diseases.

http://www.amrc.org.uk/



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