The College's plan reinforces its commitment to replacing animal models, refining methods to improve welfare, and using fewer animals.
The actions that the College is taking build on the strong foundations recognised in a recent independent review into animal care and welfare at the College. These include good standards of husbandry and day-to-day care, provided by committed and engaged staff. The actions will strengthen the governance of animal research at Imperial College London.
The changes that the College will deliver include:
- recruitment of a Director of Bioservices to provide overall strategic leadership and direction;
- activities to promote full consideration of replacement, reduction and refinement (the 3Rs), and develop stronger links between researchers and animal facility staff;
- reform of the ethical review processes; and
- more effective internal and external communication.
“In the past few months we have engaged widely in search of best practice for managing world-leading, complex multi-site animal research facilities,” said Professor Dermot Kelleher, Dean of Imperial’s Faculty for Medicine and Vice President (Health). “I am grateful to colleagues across the UK for sharing their expert advice and hope that our action plan may also help the broader community in strengthening its work in this area.
“Imperial’s new action plan will change the culture towards animal research at the College, by improving the way we manage this work in a clear, accountable and transparent way, finding more ways of applying the 3Rs, and strengthening our investment in how we assess and review research proposals,” continued Professor Kelleher. “Our aim remains to deliver world class research for the benefit of humans and animals, whilst treating all our animals with full respect and the highest standards of care.”
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