Our animal care and welfare standards
The welfare of animals used in our research is paramount, and we have many safeguards in place.
Where our scientists use animals in their research, they ensure the animals are healthy and well cared-for.
Our highly-trained animal technicians keep up to date with the highest levels of animal care, through on-going professional development from the Institute of Animal Technology. They maintain the animals' cage environment to a very high standard. This involves daily care, 365 days a year, to ensure an appropriately-sized cage, correct diet, water, and enrichment such as nesting materials, as well as maintaining the environmental temperature, humidity, light levels, background noise and fresh air.
Our researchers are also highly aware of the animals' needs. They have regular contact with the named animal care and welfare officers (NACWOs).
Any disruption or discomfort to the animal, which may be part of the research, is carefully monitored and always minimised wherever possible. However, many of our procedures involve no harm to the animal at all, and are simple behavioural tests, for instance involving animals running in a maze to find food rewards.
Consideration of the 3Rs is the basis of everything we do related to animal research.