Frequently asked questions
Research using animals is necessary because so far there are no alternative approach available. The decision to use animals in research is not taken lightly and is only authorised after comprehensive project evaluation that take into consideration the balance between the harms to the animals and the benefits of the work.
Over the last 150 years, the use of animals in research has led to fundamental advances in our understanding of human and animal health and the impact of the environment on wildlife. From the development of treatments for critical conditions like cancer and diabetes, to the makings of vaccines and testing of surgical techniques, animal research has been instrumental in reaching these goals.
The University carries out a range of research that involves the use of animals.
Research performed under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA) includes in areas related to aging, cancer, atypical heart disease, microbiome function, infectious diseased, vaccine development and the impact of sleep on cognition and brain function.
Research involving animals that does not fall under the auspices of ASPA includes in areas related to wildlife diversity, diagnostic imaging and improvement to evidence-based decision making for clinical accuracy.
In both groups, the research produced has the potential to benefit both human and animal health and wellbeing.
The welfare of the animals is protected through the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (as amended 2012). At the University of Surrey we work hard to ensure high standards of animal care are provided by a dedicated and qualified technical team who are on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
All staff are trained and regularly assessed by the Named Training and Competency Officer (NTCO). The University has regular communications and visits from the Home office to ensure that the welfare of the animals is being met at all times.
The Named Veterinary Surgeon (NVS) is responsible for, monitors and provides advice on the health, welfare and treatment of animals and should help the establishment license holder to fulfil his/her responsibilities.
For further information visit our ethics page.
No, it has been illegal to test finished cosmetics on animals in the UK since 1998, and animal testing of ingredients that may be used in cosmetics has been illegal across Europe since 2009. From March 2013 it has been illegal to import and sell cosmetics that have been tested on animals outside the EU.
In March 2015 the government also banned the testing of household cleaners on animals.
Our animals are supplied by a reputable certificated breeders who are members of the Laboratory Animals Breeders’ Association (LABA). This is controlled and monitored by the Home Office.
Once used in a scientific procedure, laboratory animals are humanely euthanised. The number of animals used has to be recorded and reported to the Home Office.
Tissue is often collected to use for further study once the animal is euthanised.
We will consider whether laboratory animals can be rehomed and have developed a policy document that covers this activity.
Yes. As part of the University's School of Veterinary Medicine, students must be competent in handling and assessing the health status of a wide range of animals. Thus, clinical skills form an important part of their training and to aid this we have invested in a state-of-the-art Veterinary Clinical Skills Centre. This centre contains models and advanced mannequins to allow students to learn and practice essential clinical skills. The University also has a fully equipped simulated veterinary practice for students to practice their skills on live animals. All activities that use animals, animal-derived material or data are reviewed by the University’s NASPA sub-committee and in accordance with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Surgeons.
No dogs have ever been used at the University of Surrey which fall under Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (as amended 2012).
No Non-GA animals were killed in the process of creating new lines of GA animals.