Research involving the use of animals is fundamentally important for a better understanding of disease mechanisms and for progress in medical and scientific research. The University of Hertfordshire is committed to high quality research and teaching that continues to make a vital contribution to the development of new therapies.
The University of Hertfordshire only uses animals where there are no viable alternatives. Our excellent culture of care is underpinned by the principles of the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animal in Research (NC3Rs) and endorses their ARRIVE guidelines, developed to improve the design and reporting of animal experiments.
Our researchers are actively looking at ways to help refine their science, in order to reduce and ultimately replace the use of animals in research. We make considerable use of replacement experimental techniques, such as cell culture and computer modelling. These cannot however replace whole living animal models for chronic human disorders.
To ensure that we adhere to strict UK legislation under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 [A(SP)A], which incorporates the EU Directive 2010/63/EU, all projects are rigorously reviewed. This is initially done by the local Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB) consisting of scientists, vets, animal welfare officers and lay members; and finally by the Home Office Inspectorate.
Animals used for research are kept to the minimum required to provide credible data and all procedures are refined to remove unnecessary suffering.
Non-technical summaries of all approved project licences are posted on the Home Office website and are available for public viewing.
On 14 May 2014, the Concordat on Openness on Animals Used in Research in the UK was launched. The University of Hertfordshire is a signatory to the Concordat, along with over one hundred other organisations from academia, industry, funding bodies and charities.
We will abide by the principles of the Concordat which has four commitments:
Commitment 1: We will be clear about when, how and why we use animals in research.
Commitment 2: We will enhance our communications with the media and the public about our research using animals.
Commitment 3: We will be proactive in providing opportunities for the public to find out about research using animals.
Commitment 4: We will report on progress annually and share our experiences.
All of our activities in line with these commitments are reviewed annually.
More information on understanding, communication and the reporting of animals used in research is available on the Understanding Animal Research website.