Code of animal care

A global company dedicated to animal health

For over 50 years, Virbac's mission has been to prevent and treat animal diseases including those with potential zoonotic impact. To that end, the company has the responsibility to ensure the safety and efficacy of its products intended for all animal species, in compliance with legal obligations. 

As a first approach, Virbac uses alternative methods that do not involve animals whenever possible: bibliographic research, in vitro studies, computer modeling... In some cases, when there is no alternative method approved by the authorities, when no alternative method is available or when required by regulation, then animal studies of a necessity character are carried out. 

Beyond promoting all available alternative methods, Virbac directly or collaboratively develops new methods and encourages any initiative to replace, reduce or refine animal studies (3R principles). 

To ensure the implementation of these founding principles, Virbac has implemented monitoring and control tools (ethics committees, animal welfare body, internal and external audits) and developed the following code that applies to all animal studies and to all Virbac employees as well as external partners. 

  1. Regulations, as well as scientific and ethical frames of reference, relating to animal testing must be applied. These measures apply to living vertebrate animals (mammals, fishes, amphibians, reptiles and birds) including independent larval forms and the foetal forms of mammals as of the final third of their normal development.
  2. The international 3Rs principles - Reduce the number of animals, Refine accommodation and use conditions, Replace with alternative tests - must always be followed. 
  3. Studies must be designed with the aim of minimising the impact on the animals and all measures must be taken to reduce the discomfort, distress and suffering of the animal. 
  4. The best standards of animal care and testing must be followed.
  5. All studies must be subject to a prior ethical evaluation by an ethics committee complying with rules of independence and impartiality. 
  6. All animals must come from sources which have been validated, or approved by the authorities, and be transported according to regulations in force. 
  7. The skills, qualifications and ethical training of all staff involved in animal testing must be ensured. 
  8. Whenever possible, development of new alternative methods or implementation of existing alternative methods must be favored. 
  9. When studies are carried out in association with veterinary clinics on domestic animals or livestock, for which the principles 3 and 6 cannot be applied, appropriate standards of animal welfare must be complied with. 
  10. This code applies to all Group staff and external partners including specific sub-contractors, research bodies and suppliers. These external partners are requested to comply with the spirit and the letter of this code when providing services to Virbac.