Animal welfare

The use of animals in medical research at the Malaghan Institute.

Our research focuses on understanding and harnessing the power of the immune system to find new treatments and cures for diseases such as cancer, asthma and allergy, and infectious diseases.

In many cases, the use of animals is the only effective means that scientists have to model human disease complexity. It has been critical in the development of virtually all life-saving treatments that society now regards as commonplace, such as antibiotics, vaccines, blood transfusions and cancer treatment.

In our research, our use of animals is limited to mice, whose immune system is surprisingly similar to that of humans. We do so with care and consideration, and only where this is the best path to gaining the understanding that can lead to potential treatments and cures. We are required to demonstrate the effectiveness of a potential therapy in mice before we can take it into humans.

Concerns for animal welfare are paramount in our research. We meet stringent animal welfare regulations and treat the mice used in our research with respect and the highest standards of care. We are governed by an independent ethics committee on which veterinarians, the SPCA and the public are represented, guided by the principals of reducing, refining, and (wherever possible) replacing the use of animals in research.