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Aston University policy on the use of animals in biomedical research.

Research using animals has made, and continues to make, a vital contribution to the understanding, treatment and cure of a range of major diseases in humans and animals.

While all endeavours have been made to use new alternative methods to reduce the work involving animals, it is still necessary for some animal work to continue if further advances are to be made.

Aston University only uses animals in research programmes of the highest quality and where there are no alternatives. All such work is carried out under the licences issued by the Home Secretary after weighing the potential benefits against the effects on the animals concerned. The University is very much committed to the principles of the 3Rs (Reduction, Refinement and Replacement) and each project is monitored to ensure that the number of animals used is minimised and that procedures, care routes, and husbandry are refined to maximise welfare.

The University is committed to the development of a number of alternative methods such as tissue culture, cell and molecular biology. Animal procedures are replaced wherever possible. Where the use of animals remains key to the research, Aston University is committed to a culture of care and respect for animal welfare.

The University’s ethical review process involves the Bioethics Committee and involves lay representatives, external and internal members. It provides ethical advice on the standards of animal care, welfare and accommodation. The Committee ensures that those working with animals are aware of their responsibilities and receive appropriate training. Veterinary and animal care staff are actively involved in the ethical review process, offering ongoing advice and support to researchers where necessary.