It’s a good start but there’s plenty more still to be done, and it is being done. Yesterday the University of Edinburgh launched their excellent new animal research resource http://www.ed.ac.uk/research/animal-research, too late to be included on our list this time around, but definitely worthy of full marks!
Over 200 research institutions now have clear policy statements or public facing web pages to explain the institution’s position on animal research according to Speaking of Research. In 2015, Speaking of Research began logging the policy statements of research institutions in Europe, North America and Australia.
These web statements have been graded from 0 to 4, based on the level of information an institution provides about its animal studies. This information includes the level of detail of an institution’s research, its welfare procedures and the use of case studies, images and videos. To date, only 10 research institutions have received full marks, two in Germany, and four in each of the UK and US.
The list has been a joint effort by the research community, with scientists and members of the public submitting web statements they find – from their own institution or others – through a form on the Speaking of Research website.
Speaking of Research Director, Tom Holder, said:
There is a strong push worldwide towards openness in animal research. Speaking of Research encourage the scientific community to ensure their own institution has a clear and public statement on the importance of animals in medical and veterinary research, and to submit such statements to our website.”
The US has become increasingly open about its animal use in the past decade. Many more institutions are publicising details of the types of research going on, and the reason why on their website.
Paula Clifford, Executive Director of Americans for Medical Progress, said:
Openness about how medicine is advanced, especially information on the vital role of research animals and the care they receive, gives citizens truthful information and the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision to support of the scientists who work every day to improve the quality of life for both people and animals.”
Prof Dan Uhlrich, University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Policy, said:
Our work is important enough to merit public funding, so it’s important we make an effort to show people how and why animal research is conducted at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. We’re gratified to be acknowledged for that effort and pleased to see partners and colleagues making the same commitment.”
While many institutions have received zero or one tick, they are still doing much better than those institutions which do not discuss their animal research in a statement on their website at all. We congratulate each and every institution that puts up any statement which clearly explains why they conduct animal studies.
Those institutions with full marks are:
- Imperial College, London – UK
- Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics – Tübingen – Germany
- Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology – München – Germany
- National Primate Research Centers – US
- Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC) – US
- University College London (UCL) – UK
- University of Cambridge – UK
- University of Michigan – US
- University of Oxford – UK
- University of Wisconsin-Madison – US