The University's commitment
The University's ethical review process
All applications for project licences that involve the use of animals for research are subject to an internal ethical review process. Project licence applications must be approved by the central ethical review committee or by one of the departmental committees before they can be endorsed and passed to the Home Office for further scrutiny.
The University is committed to maintaining a rigorous and objective process of ethical review that challenges scientists to justify their use of animals, and that requires them, where the use of animals is unavoidable, to minimise animal numbers and maximise animal welfare.
The ethical review committees undertake to:
- review all project licence applications to ensure that ethical and welfare standards are met;
- retrospectively review project licences at regular intervals for the duration of the project to ensure that researchers keeps pace with new developments and incorporate new techniques where applicable;
- ensure that ethical review committee members represent a diverse range of skills and include lay members who are not involved in animal-based research;
- include veterinary and animal care staff who play a key role in the ethical review process and contribute to the decisions made in committee; and
- conduct a regular review of the composition and operation of ethical review committees to ensure they remain effective and meet with the requirements of A(SP)A and the EU Directive 63/2010.
Education and training
The University is committed to ensuring that all those working with animals possess the necessary skills and satisfy their responsibilities under ASPA.
The University meets this commitment by:
- providing high-quality training for those requiring project or personal licences under ASPA, together with refresher courses to enable them to update their skills;
- ensuring that those working under ASPA are aware of their roles and responsibilities;
- organising regular seminars on matters related to the 3Rs and appropriate techniques and new developments; and
- encouraging a team approach to animal work that fosters good communication and collaboration between all those involved in the care and welfare of animals through regular meetings and discussion between researchers.
The University is aware of the sensitive nature of research work that involves non-human primates. It is accepted that the use of non-human primates is likely to remain necessary for certain limited and clearly defined purposes; however, any proposal to use non-human primates will continue to receive close scrutiny in the preparation and ethical review process to determine whether the objectives could be achieved by using other species or alternative technologies. The University undertakes to reduce the use of non-human primates wherever possible to the bare minimum to achieve research outcomes and to ensure the maximum benefit to medical and research knowledge whilst ensuring the minimum cost to the animals involved.