Research involving animals

As a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), Epilepsy Research UK supports the principle of using animals in research. We believe it is an important part of the research process to advance understanding of serious health conditions and to develop better treatments, but that it should only be used when there is no alternative.

The AMRC statement on the use of animals in research can be found here: www.amrc.org.uk/publications/statement-on-the-use-of-animals-in-research

Epilepsy Research UK will support research using animals in the UK subject to the following conditions:

  1. the use of animals complies with:
    • current UK legislation and regulation (including but not limited to the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 as amended and re-enacted from time to time);
    •  Home Office guidelines  as amended from time to time (www.gov.uk/research-and-testing-using-animals);
    • “Responsibility in the use of animals in bioscience research: Expectations of the major research council and charitable funding bodies” (http://www.nc3rs.org.uk/page.asp?id=871); and
    • the ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments) guidelines (as amended from time to time);
  1. it has approval from a local ethics committee;
  2. consideration has been given to the refinement, reduction or replacement of the animals to be used and it has been established that no viable non-animal alternatives exist1; and
  3. the research proposal has been peer reviewed by independent experts.

Any research funded by Epilepsy Research UK that is conducted outside of the UK must, regardless of location, comply with the criteria set out above.  It must also comply with any relevant legislation, regulation, guidelines and jurisdictions for that country. The Grantholder must promptly notify Epilepsy Research UK if the number of animals he/she proposes to use in connection with the research funded by Epilepsy Research UK increases materially at any time during the conduct of research from the number identified in the grant application.

*Epilepsy Research UK is committed to the ‘3 Rs’ principle to reduce, replace and refine. This means:

  1. Reducing the number of animals used in experiments
  2. Replacing their use with alternative methods where possible
  3. Refining techniques to maximise animal welfare

When applying to Epilepsy Research UK for funding applicants must give due consideration to the principle of the ‘3 Rs’ and provide a justification as to why alternatives cannot be used in their application.