Guideline on the humane use of animals in biomedical research
1. The care and use of experimental animals must comply with all relevant local animal welfare laws, guidelines and policies, and a statement of such compliance should be provided to the journal editor.
2. Research involving animals should be applicable to human or animal health, the general benefit of society, and/or the advancement of fundamental knowledge. Whether or not a particular piece of work is acceptable should depend on the outcome of a cost-benefit analysis, the conclusions of which should be submitted to the editor.
3. Where possible, alternative procedures that replace the use of animals, either partially or completely, for example by using mathematical models, computer simulation and in vitro biological systems should be used. Where this is not possible, the minimum number of animals should be used, and pain or suffering reduced, consistent with attaining the scientific objectives of the study.
4. Animals used for any procedure should be carefully selected to be the least sentient species possible, and of an appropriate strain.
5. All reasonable steps must be taken to ensure the humane treatment of animals, so as to minimise discomfort, distress and pain. Investigators should assume that procedures causing pain and distress in humans would have similar effects in animals. Any surgical procedure that could cause more than slight pain or distress should be performed with appropriate sedation, aseptic technique, analgesia and/or anaesthesia, with good post-operative care. Procedures should not be performed on un-anaesthetised animals paralysed by chemical agents, such as muscle relaxants.
6. Animals suffering severe or chronic pain or distress, which cannot be relieved, should be painlessly killed according to local euthanasia regulations, such as Home Office guidelines in the UK, or guidelines of the American Veterinary Association Panel on Euthanasia. Painful procedures or euthanasia should not be carried out in the presence of other animals.
7. The living conditions of animals should be safe and comfortable whether or not the animals are currently being used for an experiment.
8. Access to veterinary care for the animals must be available at all times so that it can be applied in a timely manner during the course of an experiment.
9. Investigators and all personnel who handle and use animals must be appropriately qualified and trained, and possess relevant expertise for conducting procedures. Training should be regularly updated.
10. Protocols involving the use of animals should undergo an ethical review process such as by an institutional animal care and use, or similar, committee, a local ethics committee, or by appropriately qualified scientific and lay colleagues. The method of protocol review and outcome should be communicated to the journal editor.
11. The sex, species, strain, procedures, analgesia, anaesthesia, euthanasia, level of pain and suffering experienced and numbers of animals used in each experiment should be stated in the manuscript or, where this is not possible, should be provided to the journal and made available on request.
12. Humane endpoints which minimise suffering should be used. These should be described in the manuscript.
13. Should exceptions to any of the above principles be needed, the nature of any changes should be subject to ethical review by, for example, an animal care and use committee and/or an appropriate legislative body controlling animal experimentation. The review procedure should be described to the editor.
*This guideline is based on the FRAME’s published database at web (
**These rules are not the absolute criteria as part of the acceptance criteria for submitted manuscripts!,