Animal Welfare is the desire to implement humane care and use standards for animals in research, testing, teaching, and exhibition. Animal welfare is based on the belief that animals can contribute to human welfare by providing food, fiber, work, companionship, entertainment, or by serving biomedical research or education, and humans have moral obligations to provide for the well-being of animals. Ensuring proper animal welfare requires adhering to responsible practices in all aspects of animal well-being, including proper housing, management, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care, humane handling, and, when necessary, humane euthanasia. In so doing, animal welfare supports the use of animals by humans, and seeks to improve their treatment and well-being.
Animal Rights on the other hand, is based on the philosophical view that animals have similar, or the same rights as humans. As a result, animal rights advocates do not distinguish between human beings and animals. Animal rights proponents believe that humans do not have the right to use animals at all, including the use of dogs and cats as companion animals or pets. No matter how humane, animal rights proponents reject all animal use as exploitation, and therefore wish to ban all use of animals by humans. As expressed by a prominent animal rights activist, “I don’t believe human beings have the ‘right to life.’ That’s a supremacist perversion. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.”
NABR, like the members we represent, is committed to Animal Welfare. We support the judicious, humane use of animals in biomedical research, higher education, and when necessary in product safety testing. In support of this commitment NABR advocates for the development and implementation of public policy based upon sound scientific information and/or current standards of practice as defined by experts in veterinary and biomedical science. To this end, NABR relies upon the input of our members in the biomedical community when developing policy positions and public statements.