The use of animals is essential for a significant amount of scientific, medical and veterinary research, and has contributed to a great number of advances in human and animal health. The Academy is therefore committed to debating the appropriate use of animals in research.
The Academy is working to address all aspects of animals in research, from engaging in debate about how to regulate the use of animals in research, to efforts to improve the openness of organisations that are involved in animal research. We are a signatory organisation of the Concordat on openness on animal research. As part of this ongoing commitment, the Academy publishes yearly statistics on the number of research grants we have funded that propose the use of animals and which species they proposed to use.
Following our groundbreaking 2011 report on ‘Animals containing human material’, we continue to monitor developments in this field of research. In February 2016, the Home Office published new guidance on the use of human material in animals as a direct result of the recommendations of this report.
In October 2019, the Academy published a report on a two-day scientific meeting to explore key areas of neurodevelopmental research. The report discusses the importance of animal models for studying neurodevelopment, and the ways their utility can be further enhanced.
Photo courtesy of Understanding Animal Research
The Academy President responded to the publication of European Commission's review of the European Directive 2010/63 on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes.
In 2015 the Academy held a symposium to explore the challenges and opportunities for improving the reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research in the UK. The resulting report contains discussion around the optimisation of the reproducibility of research using animals.
Signing a pan-European statement supporting the European Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, which has enhanced welfare standards across the EU and embeds the concepts of refinement, replacement and reduction (the '3Rs') within EU legislation.
Signing a pan-European statement opposing the ‘Stop Vivisection’ European Citizens’ Initiative, which calls on the European Commission to repeal current regulation around the protection of animals used in research and to ban animal research completely.
The Academy published a report examining the use of ‘Animals containing human material’ (ACHM) in scientific research in July 2011.
Working as part of the UK Bioscience Sector Coalition – an umbrella group of key bioscience organisations – monitoring the Home Office’s review of Section 24 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 as amended (ASPA), which exempts the release of animal research-related information by the Home Office in response to Freedom of Information Act requests. The Academy provided evidence to the Home Office's consultation on the review of Section 24 in June 2014.