BSRF stance on using animals in medical research

 

Statement on the use of animals in research

 

The public supports medical research charities to find new treatments and cures for debilitating and life threatening conditions. All AMRC charities have strategies for how they will fund high quality research to better understand disease and so improve health and wellbeing. 

They fund different types of research as part of these strategies, including using cells grown in a lab, tissue samples, computer models and when appropriate, animals. They also conduct clinical trials with human volunteers. All of these approaches, including research using animals, play an important role in the research process. 

All experimental programmes supported by the British Scoliosis Research Foundation must only use animals were there are no alternatives.

Experiments using animals funded by the British Scoliosis Research Foundation must:

·       use the simplest possible, or least sentient, species of animal

·       ensure that distress and suffering are avoided wherever possible

·       employ an appropriate design and use the minimum number of animals consistent with ensuring that the scientific objectives will be met

See the NC3Rs website for further information and guidance (www.nc3rs.org.uk).

High standards of animal welfare are important. These both minimise discomfort for the animals involved and enable researchers to get reliable results. As an AMRC member, BSRF will only fund research which complies with the law and supports the principle of the 3Rs to refine, reduce and replace the use of animals in research. Research funded outside of the UK must be carried out in the spirit of UK legislation as well as being compliant with all local legislation and ethical review processes.

All grant holders using animals must implement the principles in the cross-funder guidance Responsibility in the Use of Animals in Bioscience Research (www.nc3rs.org.uk/responsibility).

Grant holders using non-human primates must comply with the NC3Rs guidelines Primate Accommodation, Care and Use (www.nc3rs.org.uk/primatesguidelines).

Grant holders should make use of the ARRIVE guidelines (www.nc3rs.org.uk/ARRIVE) when designing their experiments, and ensure that they report animal-based studies in accordance with the ARRIVE guidelines as far as possible, taking into account the specific editorial policies of the journal concerned.

This statement was originally published in January 2014. It was updated in June 2021.

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