What does animal research really look like? Help us show the world

If you pass an antivivisection demonstration, you may find yourself staring at images of animals which bear little relation to modern research. These photos are often from other countries, decades out of date, or entirely  out of context.

The primate image on the left is decades old

If you want to see the scale of the problem then we recommend you Google ‘animal testing‘ or even ‘animal research‘ and look at the huge number of misleading images.

There are several efforts to counter this. The research advocacy group Americans for Medical Progress developed the “Come See Our World” website to provide real and accurate images from labs all across the US. In addition, Understanding Animal Research created 360 Laboratory Animal Tours around four labs in the UK which allows you to virtually tour different animal rooms.  Speaking of Research has a small media library on our resources page.  These images appear in our posts and are also available for others to use and share. 

Help us grow the number of images in our library.  One goal to provide resources for news outlets that frequently request recent images of laboratory animals, rather than having them use photographs from protests (like the one above). To do this, we need more images unrestricted images that we own the rights to, so we can openly share them with journalists around the world. The next time you see a media story about animal research, would you rather see our pictures or the ones sent by activists?

How you can help?

We need researchers, technicians and others, to provide us with photos of animals from their labs (with the facility’s permission of course). The images should not include any identifying features (animal or researcher names on cages, identifiable people in the background, etc.). The photos also need to be high resolution. We are specifically looking for pictures of animals in enclosures, refinements in housing, and animals undergoing procedures. All species are welcome, especially mice, rats, birds and fish, since they make up approximately 95% of all research animals.

The images will be shared under the Creative Commons license. This allows everyone to use and share the images

Pictures should be sent to contact@speakingofresearch.com

Take a photo of your animals and help combat the misrepresentation of animal research. Tweet this!

See some of our existing images below:

dog, animal testing, animal experiment
Beagle in research. CC-BY: Speakingofresearch.com
animal testing, animal research, vivisection, animal experiment
CC-BY: Speakingofresearch.com
Mice in a research facility
CC-BY: Speakingofresearch.com
Racks of zebrafish at the University of Ottawa. CC-BY: Speakingofresearch.com

You can find all our photos permanently based on our resources page. This is along with our background briefings on animal research and other materials.

Speaking of Research

2 thoughts on “What does animal research really look like? Help us show the world

  1. Sorry, but this is clearly NOT what RESEARCH with animals looks like, but what the animals look like. Clearly, this imagery is as misleading for a lay person as the fake/old/out-of-context images that are shown by animal rights activists. In a transparent and open communication, we need to show moving pictures that do show the amount of harm that is inflicted on the animals, at least rudimentary. Better images are e.g. neurosicence research showing brain implants, a rat in a stereotaxic device, mice in behavioural test batteries, animals getting injections or blood withdrawals, a pig in surgery, etc etc…
    I know these images are hard to come by, but who else could provide these if not the scientific community.

    1. Most time by animals is spent in enclosures/cages in labs – which we would like to show. Images of surgery are hard to get, simply because filming is quite disruptive to getting on with careful scientific procedures.

      It can be done, I helped a newspaper do some filming in a UK lab – images include rats with headposts, and some shots of surgery:

      In short we’d love images of procedures – but they are not easy to get!

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