Ethics and animal research

21 Mar 2020

Morton, D. B.

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The recent letter from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) ‘When is an Animal Test Certificate required?’ (VR, 1 February 2020, vol 186, pp 127-128) was very helpful and provided a useful summary of what is needed to conduct a field trial with a medicine. The distinction between an Animal Test Certificate (ATC) and an ATC-S (which is specifically for small-scale trials conducted for academic/research purposes) is particularly important.

While an application for an ATC or an ATC-S is exempted under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, which governs all animal research in the UK, it does not remove the need for an ethics review. For those working outside of a university or institute environment, the RCVS has an ethics review panel that looks at the ethical issues involved in a trial and helps to ensure that the work is scientifically robust and that the appropriate ethical issues have been...