Animal research at Queen Mary
Animal research forms a small but essential part of the work undertaken at Queen Mary. It enables our researchers to make medical advances in areas such as cancer research, heart disease, and transplantation medicine. We only undertake such research when there are no non-animal alternatives available.
Why we use animals in research
It’s a legal requirement in the UK that all medicines must be tested in at least two species of live animals before they are used in humans. We only use animals in research when it is absolutely essential and there is no other alternative available.
How we care for our animals
Queen Mary is committed to the highest standards of animal welfare. We do our utmost to ensure that our animals live in a healthy, stimulating environment and our staff undertake stringent checks each day to make sure our animals receive the best possible care.
Regulation and ethics
The use of animals in research is very carefully regulated.
Any research facility that wants to undertake animal research in the UK must also apply to the Home Office for a licence and must have an Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Board (AWERB) to oversee the application of that licence.
Permission to use animals in procedures is only granted if researchers make a successful application to their institution’s Animal Welfare & Ethical Review Body (AWERB).
Research that involves animals remains a vitally important tool for making advances in our understanding of human and animal health and for improving ways of preventing and treating disease.— Dr Rob Bennett, Establishment Licence Holder
How we minimise the use of animals in research
Queen Mary is committed to reducing, refining and replacing the use of animals in its research. We value the integrity of our research as highly as its outcomes and are signatories to the ARRIVE and PREPARE guidelines.
How we share information about our animal research
We set ourselves the highest ethical standards. Some of our work involves working with animals when there is no other alternative. We believe it is important to be open and transparent about this work.
Frequently asked questions
There are a lot of questions asked about the use of animals in research – and a lot of misconceptions.
As Dean for Research at Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, I know how important animals are in helping us to find better ways of preventing and treating the diseases that occur in both humans and animals.”— Professor Mauro Perretti, Dean for Research and Research Impact
Number of animals used in research
Every licence-holding research facility has to send the Home Office annual returns of how animals are used in its research. Below, you can see the returns we’ve sent over the past five years:
|Number of procedures in 2019
|Number of procedures in 2018
|Number of procedures in 2017
|Number of procedures in 2016
|Number of procedures in 2015