Animal Ethics Top Tips

Legislation and Application Process:

  • Read Sections 2.4 and 3 of the Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes ("the Code") prior to starting your application.
  • Download and use the correct and most up-to-date Application form digitally.
  • Answer all questions thoroughly in Plain English. Assume your target audience have a non-scientific background.
  • Include full descriptions of techniques and equipment you may be using.
  • Provide any relevant and supporting documents.
  • Reference correctly. Include a reference page with the application.
  • PROOFREAD the application form and have the form SIGNED by all researchers and supervisors involved.

Justify the Use of Animals by demonstrating:

  • The project's scientific and educational merit.
  • That your project aims can not be achieved in any other way.
  • How the potential benefits of the Research justify the potential effects on animals.
  • That the source of animals and their biological status are deemed suitable for your project.

General Ethics Tips:

  • Consider all the potential risks to live animals at every stage of the Project, including the acquisition, transport, breeding, housing, husbandry, use of animals and provision at the conclusion of the project.
  • Ensure you apply the 3R Principles (ie. Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) at all stages of the project.
  • Design your project to use only the minimum number of animals required to obtain statistically-valid data.
  • Ensure that you and the Research personnel use best practice research methods and can demonstrate competency or ability to acquire the competency when capturing,handling and holding animals.
  • That environmental enrichment and the animal care management provided are appropriate for the species being used.
  • Demonstrate how you will monitor and manage the health and welfare of the animals during the project.

Common Errors made are:

  • The application form used and submitted by Researchers is no longer current and have been superseded.
  • Signatures or pages of the application are missing.
  • Not answering all the questions on the application.
  • Not all risks factors have been considered.
  • Lack of information on research personnel's experience.
  • Lack of thought or information on emergency procedures.
  • No supporting information has been provided. e.g. Scientific journals, descriptions/pictures of equipment being used.
  • The methods, impacts, justification on the use of animals are not written clearly enough.
  • Language is too technical for those without a scientific background.
  • More information is often requested on justifying the number and species of animals. Check that your sampling methods and numbers have been clearly outlined, are scientifically sound and add up.