Laboratory animals represent an invaluable, yet controversial, resource in the field of biomedical research. Animal research has been behind many influential discoveries in the field of emerging therapeutics. They provide the link between the theory of the lab bench and the functional application of medicine to influence human health. The use of animals in research is a consideration which must be heavily weighed, and the implementation must be carried out at a very high standard in order to retain research integrity and responsibility. We are in the process of conducting an experiment using laboratory mice to demonstrate cancer treatment using vaccinia (VACV) mutants as a possible oncolytic therapy for certain strains of melanoma. VACV is a double-stranded DNA poxvirus with a large and easily altered genome. This virus contains many genes dedicated to immune evasion, but has shown sensitivity to cell death by necroptosis in mouse studies (5). We have identified the absence of the kinase RIP3 which is vital in the necroptosis pathway as a potential target for oncolytic therapy using VACV mutants in specific strains of melanoma. Multiple groups of SCID Beige mice were inoculated with different melanoma cell lines and observed for tumor growth. Upon reaching 1 cm3 in volume, tumors were injected with either VACV- Δ83N, VACV- Δ54N, or PBS, and observed for regression. It was hypothesized that melanoma tumors that are RIP3-/- such as the MDA5 cell line will show regression, but melanoma tumors that are RIP3-positive and capable of necroptosis, such as the 2427 cell line, will resist viral replication and continue to proliferate. Our results so far tentatively support this hypothesis, but the data collection is ongoing. Strict and specific protocols with regard to the ethical and responsible use of mice have been implemented and upheld throughout the experiment. Animals are closely monitored, and if their quality of life becomes too poor to justify their continued use in the experiment, they are humanely euthanized, even at the expense of valuable data. The importance of commitment to a high ethical standard is pervasive throughout our work. Animals represent an invaluable contribution to research, and it is important to maintain high standards and transparency with regard to their use. Education and engagement in critical discussions about the use and care of animals in the laboratory contribute to the overall merit and legitimacy of biomedical research in the public and professional eye as a whole, and give legitimacy to the continued use of animals as models to advance science and health.