From the Medical Research Council.
Animals are used to gain understanding of some cell structures and physiological and pathological processes. Although their physiology doesn’t identically mimic the human body, they act as ‘models’ for studying human disease, and are used to develop new treatments for diseases.
Much basic research (research on physiological, pathological and therapeutic processes rather than on people) also requires the use of animals in experiments. Such research has provided – and continues to provide – the essential foundation for improvements in medical and veterinary knowledge, education and practice. Many of the developments achieved through the use of animals have also benefited farm, domestic and wild animals, helping them to live longer and healthier lives.