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Animal research revelations prompt AMRC rethink

The Association of Medical Research Charities has proposed changes to its animal research policy to help standardise approaches among its members.

One suggestion is that, by November 2014, all members use their websites to republish or link to a joint statement on the use of animals in research. Another is that members make consideration of the 3Rs—replacement, refinement and reduction of animals in research—a condition of funding and part of their peer-review processes.

Animal research has been in the limelight recently, with universities having to justify themselves after a wave of freedom-of-information requests uncovered the number of animals euthanised during research. The Leicester Mercury reports that Mike Barer, director of research at the University of Leicester’s animal research centre, responded to the news that more than 18,000 animals were killed in his centre last year by saying that the number was far lower than those recorded at larger institutions. The number was highest at the University of Edinburgh, where 226,431 animals were euthanised, according to the results of FOIs submitted by online student newspaper network The Tab. 

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