Caring for animals involved in research

It’s important we take every step to protect animals’ welfare.

Research involving animals is not undertaken lightly; it’s governed by strict laws in the UK. These laws ensure that research involving animals is only used when there is no alternative. Researchers are also legally required to involve the smallest number of animals and take every step possible to minimise distress.

All animals involved in our research are under the supervision of vets and trained animal technicians who are responsible for the animals’ welfare. The research must be carried out by licensed people at licensed premises, which are regularly checked without notice by government inspectors.

And all animal research has to be approved by an ethics panel that includes members of the public. They must agree that the work is necessary, that the animals are being cared for correctly and that the potential benefits are worthwhile.

There are strict guidelines about the conditions that animals are kept in to make sure their environment meets their needs. For example, the temperature, lighting and noise levels are all controlled to keep the animals comfortable. Animals must have correctly sized housing to avoid over-crowding, and have access to ample food and water, and bedding and toys if appropriate.

Animals are also checked daily for any health problems.  

Find out more

For further information about involving animals in our research: