The use of animals in research is regulated by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 Amendment Regulations 2012. This law protects all animals used in procedures for scientific purposes and lays out guidelines as to how the animals should be housed and cared for.

Home Office licensing

There are three licenses needed from the Home Office to carry out animal research:

  1. An establishment license for the place at which the work is carried out.
  2. A project license for each individual research project which should outline what work is to be done and why animals are required for it.
  3. A personal license for each researcher that outlines the techniques and procedures that can be performed on the animals.

Related links

The 3R's

The University of Surrey has embedded the principles of the 3Rs in relation to animal research:

  • Replacement 
  • Reduction 
  • Refinement.

Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body

The Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB) reviews applications to use animals for research. AWERB oversees the establishment’s use of animals and encourages high standards of animal welfare, creating a culture of care, discussing ways in which the 3Rs can be actively implemented and by sharing experience and best practice.

The core responsibilities of the review body are as follows:

  • Advise staff and researches on matters relating to the welfare of the animals in relation to their acquisition, accommodation, care and use
  • Advise on the application and implementation of the 3R’s (see below)
  • Ethical evaluation of all projects involving animals by weighting the harms and benefits of the research before submission to the Home Office
  • Establishing and reviewing processes for monitoring, training and reporting
  • Retrospective reviews of research projects carried out in the facility, the effects on the animals should be taken into account
  • Reviews of the progress and outcomes of ongoing projects and whether there are further opportunities to implement the 3R’s
  • Advise on re-homing schemes.

You can find below the minutes from our last 6 meetings. Older minutes may be available upon request.

Named persons

The animal facilities at the University of Surrey are staffed by a team of dedicated animal technicians. These animal technicians are trained in correct handling methods, animal husbandry and in identifying signs of pain, distress and disease in the animals. Animals housed within the facility are checked at least once daily by the animal technicians and, along with the licence holders, they are responsible for the care and welfare of laboratory animals and their environments.  

All staff and researchers who work with animals receive rigorous training, there competencies are assessed and reviewed on a regular basis, ensuring they work with care and compassion and an overriding commitment to a culture of care.

Related bodies

The links below are provided for further information, the websites do not give information on behalf of the University of Surrey and the University accepts no responsibility for the content of the websites.