UK researchers pledge transparency in animal research


Seventy-two research organisations in the UK have signed the new Concordat on Openness in Animal Research – a pledge to offer the public more information about studies involving animals.

The signatories – which include universities, charities and research councils – have promised to fulfil four commitments outlined in the concordat: being clear about when, how and why animals are used in research; enhancing communications with the media and the public about research using animals; providing opportunities for the public to find out about this research; and reporting on progress annually. The document also strongly encourages signatories to allow journalists, MPs and members of the public to visit their animal research facilities.

For years, the research community has been reluctant to release information about the nature of animal experiments because of legal restrictions and concerns about being targeted by animal rights activists. The Concordat on Openness was proposed in 2012 by several bioscience organisations as a way to improve transparency.

‘This widespread support for openness demonstrates the change in attitude that we have seen from the life science sector over the last few years,’ said Geoff Watts, chair of the steering group for the concordat development process. ‘Developing this concordat has been a long and careful process, and I am convinced that it will result in there being much more opportunity for the public to find out about the reality of animal research in this country.’


Related Content

Research integrity may be linked to UK grants

13 July 2012 News and Analysis

news image

Universities UK concordat on good research conduct suggests that signatories could make commitments part of grant conditions

Lords Bill proposes animal research labelling for medicines

22 May 2013 News and Analysis

news image

Bill aims to underline the necessity of animal experiments, says Robert Winston

Most Read

No-frills coats set a trend for designer viruses

26 August 2014 Research

news image

An artificial protein that self-assembles around and protects DNA could be ideal for gene therapy, nanomachines and synthetic...

History of King Richard III written in his teeth

18 August 2014 Research

news image

Chemical analysis of isotope signatures in monarch's remains provide insight into his life

Most Commented

The energy to fight injustice

23 July 2014 Comments

news image

Giving the world carbon-free energy means putting nuclear energy back on the agenda, says James Hansen

Next Mars rover will make oxygen from CO2

4 August 2014 News and Analysis

news image

Mars 2020 will set Nasa’s space exploration on a self-sufficiency course