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Research Using Animals

University Policy and Procedures

These pages are designed to expand on those guidelines to give staff and students additional support and guidance on the ethical use of animals in research. You will find links to useful information resources held on external web sites and to further university guidance.

The University is committed to ensure that the highest ethical standards and standards of care and respect for animal welfare are being maintained in all research where the use of animals is essential. Alternative methods to the use of animals are under constant development and animal procedures will be replaced with non-animal techniques wherever possible.

All projects involving animals, including studies which are not subject to Home Office licensing, are scrutinised and approved by the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB), established in accordance with Home Office guidance and the RSCPA/Laboratory Animal Science Association (LASA) Guiding principles on good practice for local ethical review processes. The AWERB will ensure that in all cases staff and students are trained and appropriately experienced and that the potential benefits of the research outweigh the effects on the animals concerned and is committed to the promotion of the 3Rs (reduction, refinement and replacement):

  • Reduction – to use the minimum number of animals,
  • Refinement – to maintain the highest possible standards of animal care, use and welfare, to initiate improvements where possible and to minimise the effect on the animals,
  • Replacement – to use alternatives wherever possible, for example, computer modelling, cell and molecular biology, tissue culture, human clinical research.

Only when the AWERB is fully satisfied that these principles are being adhered to will proposals be approved and, where a licence is required, submitted to the Home Office for its approval.

Highly experienced and qualified veterinary and animal care staff are actively involved in the ethical review and scrutiny of research, the welfare, care and husbandry of animals and provide advice and support to all staff and students involved in research using animals.

There are different processes for the approval of animal work depending on whether the work is covered by the Animals Scientific Procedure Act 1986. Please use the flowchart to help you identify which process your project will follow.

To view the flowchart with live hyperlinks please open / download 'Guidance on the ethical use of animals, their tissues or data in research issued by the University of Warwick Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB)'.  

Guidance on the ethical use of animals, their tissues or data in research

For further information, email