Research involving animals

Research projects which involve the use of animals at the University are subject to stringent ethical review by the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body. This is a distinct process from the University's ethical review system for research involving human participants.

Policy on research involving animals

The University is committed to, wherever possible:

  • Replacing the use of animals with alternative techniques, or avoid the use of animals altogether.
  • Reducing the number of animals used to a minimum, to obtain information from fewer animals or more information from the same number of animals.
  • Refining the way experiments are carried out, to make sure animals suffer as little as possible. This includes better housing and improvements to procedures which minimise pain and suffering and/or improve animal welfare.

All research involving animals at Leicester is carried out under licenses from the Home Office. The Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body assesses all new licence applications and monitors and inspects the standards of animal care, welfare and accommodation within the University, as well as ensuring that those working with animals are aware of their responsibilities and receive appropriate training.

Read the University's full Policy Statement on Research Involving the Use of Animals.

Openness in animal research

In October 2012, the University of Leicester signed the Declaration of Openness on Animal Research, committing ourselves to help establish a Concordat that will develop principles of openness, practical steps and measurable objectives which will underpin a more transparent approach to animal research. The Concordat on Openness in Animal Research was published in May 2014. As signatories, we have made the following commitments:

  1. We will be clear about when, how and why we use animals in research
  2. We will enhance our communications with the media and the public about our research using animals
  3. We will be proactive in providing opportunities for the public to find out about research using animals
  4. We will report on progress annually and share our experiences

Applying for ethical approval

Researchers who are planning research projects which may involve the use of animals should refer to internal guidance available from the Division of Biomedical Services about applying for a license and the ethical review process.

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