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Responsibility in the use of animals in bioscience research

This document provides general guidance to researchers and associated veterinary and animal care staff using vertebrates (live animals or animal products) in bioscience research funded by the NC3Rs, BBSRC, Defra, EPSRC, MRC, NERC, Royal Society, Wellcome Trust, CRUK and other AMRC charities.

The guidance sets out the expectations of the funding bodies for the use of animals in research and is therefore also useful to ethics committees, referees and Panel/Committee/Board members involved in reviewing research proposals. It was updated in 2013 to incorporate changes introduced by the 2012 amendments to the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, in 2017 to clarify the funders' policy on out-of-hours surgery, and in 2019 to reflect adoption by the Royal Society.

The guidance covers: a summary of the legal controls on animal use, the responsibilities of the relevant parties, the principles and procedures of the funding bodies, and the requirements for research or collaborations outside of the UK.

Implementation of the principles in this guidance is a condition of receiving funds from the funding bodies.

Compliance with the guidance is assessed as part of NC3Rs involvement in the peer review processes of the UK funding bodies.

Published: Latest version - April 2019
Reference: NC3Rs/BBSRC/Defra/MRC/NERC/Royal Society/Wellcome Trust (2019) Responsibility in the use of animals in bioscience research: expectations of the major research councils and charitable funding bodies, 3rd edition. London: NC3Rs.