We only use animals in research where there are no alternatives. The principles of reduction, refinement and replacement of animals in research (the ‘3Rs’) underpin all related work carried out at the University.

We take the position that compliance with the law and associated Codes of Practice relating to animal welfare is the minimum operating standard. We have management procedures to ensure that considerations of the 3Rs are embedded into all aspects of our strategic and operation management and a well-developed governance system, which has recently undergone a full independent review to identify areas for improvement.

Animal Welfare

Our Animal Welfare Policy is available to download from the University Biomedical Services website.

Concordat on Openness on Animal Research

In May 2014, the University of Cambridge joined over seventy organisations from academia, industry, funding bodies and charities in signing the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research. 

ARRIVE Guidelines

We support the ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments) Guidelines, which have been developed by the NC3Rs to improve standards of reporting and ensure that the data from animal experiments can be fully scrutinised and utilised. The guidelines are aimed at scientists writing up their research for publication or involved in peer review.

Laboratory Animal Science Association (LASA) Guidelines

The University supports and expects everyone involved in animal research to use Laboratory Animal Science Association (LASA) Guidelines, which should be adhered to whenever animals are used in research.

Working with animals in the UK, EU and overseas

The University of Cambridge requires all staff and visitors who undertake work with animals, in the UK or other European Institutions, to do so in accordance with the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA 1986) and under the guidance of the University’s Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB).

The University expects staff and any persons likely to publish information gained from their experiences observing, working with, or studying animals outside the EU to conduct their research in an exemplary manner and to the same, if not higher, standards as those set out in ASPA 1986.


All University personnel who supervise or undertake research activities involving animals are trained to carry out their duties with due diligence in a responsible and caring manner. Every member of staff is requested to acknowledge the importance we place on this objective and its delivery. If any member of staff has any concern regarding our use or care of animals they are encouraged to raise them in accordance with our ‘Whistleblowing’ policy.