We place good welfare at the centre of all our animal research and aim to meet the highest standards: good animal welfare and good science go hand-in-hand. Our research is scrutinised by the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body, who strive to reduce the number of animals used. All experiments that need to be regulated are authorised by the Home Office under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA).
‘Named Persons’ are individuals identified on the Establishment Licence who have an important role under ASPA to help the Establishment Licence Holder/Named Person Responsible for Compliance fulfil their responsibilities. They include a ‘Named Veterinary Surgeon’, a ‘Named Animal Care & Welfare Officer’, ‘Named Information Officer’ and ‘Named Training and Competence Officer.’
24/7 Veterinary Care
We pride ourselves on the exceptionally high standards of care offered to all of our animals. Our scientists, named persons and animal technicians are committed to providing consistent specialist care daily throughout the year ensuring that each animal is afforded individual care which optimises their health and welfare.
Like pets, research animals go through periods of time unattended overnight and during the weekend; this is an important element of an animal’s physiology to be provided with time unhindered by human intervention. However, during weekends, animals are observed at least once a day by our experienced staff (the legal requirement under ASPA requires animals are checked at least daily). All facilities are continually monitored by building maintenance systems, which notify staff immediately if there is fault, and some areas and animal accommodation are monitored by webcam.
Animals are provided 24/7 with food and water ad-lib and constant access to nesting, bedding, enrichment as appropriate to the animal’s needs, unless authorised otherwise as part of an experimental protocol licenced under ASPA.
If anyone has concerns about the health or welfare of any animal at the University a Named Veterinary Surgeon (NVS) is available immediately to provide advice 24 hours a day by telephone, email or face-to-face. Emergency NVS contact details are displayed in every unit. In addition the researchers responsible for each experiment must provide their contact details before their experiment begins. This means that our named persons and animal technicians at the University can contact not only the scientists but also a veterinary surgeon when animals require it not just 24/7 but 356 days of the year.