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St George’s, University of London conducts a programme of high-quality medical research that leads to benefits for people’s health in the UK and all around the world, including some of the poorest regions. Biomedical research at St George’s involves a wide range of alternative non-animal methods including computer modeling, tissue culture, cell and molecular biology, and human clinical trials.

Research using animals has made, and continues to make, a vital contribution to the understanding, treatment and cure of a range of major 21st century health problems in humans and animals. This includes drug treatment and therapies for serious and terminal illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. New methods have enabled scientists and medical researchers to reduce work involving animals, but some work must continue for further advances in health and medicines to be made. More information can be found here: Understanding Animal Research

Animals are only used in research at St George’s where there are no alternatives, see FRAME for more information.

St George’s is firmly committed to the ‘3Rs’: to use the minimum number of animals (Reduction); to use alternatives wherever possible (Replacement); to strive for the highest possible standard of animal care, use and welfare (Refinement) 

All research involving animals is carried out to high standards of care and within a strict legal framework, which is rigorously defined and controlled by The Animal (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, and is carried out under licences granted by the Home Secretary. Licences are only granted when there are no non-animal alternatives, and are assessed by weighing the benefits of the proposed research project against the likely cost to the animals’ wellbeing. In line with Home Office requirements, no project will go ahead without the scrutiny and approval of St George’s Animal Welfare Committee, members of which include lay representatives, scientists, animal care staff and a veterinarian.

The Home Office, through the Scientific Procedures Inspectorate, undertakes regular inspections to ensure that the terms of the licences are being adhered to and that animal husbandry and welfare is maintained.

Research involving animals is carried out with the use of specialist facilities and expertise.

All researchers working with animals must meet the highest ethical standards and adhere to strict legislation that safeguards animal welfare in the UK.

St George’s has been a signatory to the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research in the UK since 2014 

  1. We continually work to improve the ways in which we can be more open with members of the public about when, how and why we use animals in research.

  2. We endeavour to enhance our communications with the media and public.

  3. We take a proactive stance in providing opportunities and disseminating information to allow the public to find out about the use of animals in medical research.

  4. We report each year on what we have done to develop our approach to Openness. 

Where St George’s works in partnership on animal research based projects with other organisations, we require such partners to accept and commit to the same principles of Openness. Preferably we seek for such partners to also be signatories to the Concordat.

St George’s supports and endorses the ARRIVE guidelines, developed as part of an NC3Rs initiative which includes a 20-point checklist of the essential information that should be included in all publications reporting animal research, with the aim of improving the design, analysis and reporting of animal research.

Contact us for further information concerning St George’s, University of London animal policies.


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