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Openness in Animal Research Dialogue

Sciencewise funded project 2013

Background

The most recent Ipsos Mori poll on public attitudes to the use of animals in scientific  research showed a small but significant (7-10%) decline in the public acceptability of animal research in medicine – overall though there is high conditional acceptance of use of animals in research (c. 85%).

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Aims and Objectives

The key objectives for the elements of the public dialogue covered by the Sciencewise grant are to hold a dialogue to explore with the public their understanding of animal research in the life sciences and their views and aspirations around transparency and accountability of such research, hence:

•    To understand public expectations of openness and transparency around the use of animals in research

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Key Impacts

The main impact of the dialogue has been to provide solid reassurance that the Concordat is, indeed, in line with public views.

There have also been some small, but real, changes to the Concordat and the associated guidance document. In particular, the citation of the dialogue and the exploration of the specific things that public participants raised as being important. These included publishing details of how many animals are used and why, the use of images and films, and the need to demonstrate that efforts are made to ensure research is not duplicated.

The dialogue findings were also used to defend against potential dilutions of Concordat commitments as they evolved – for example, to use images in communications, and to allow access to laboratories.

Project Quotes

“I want to know how many tests were done by a particular organisation and how many of them were successful and drugs came out, how many failed and how many were not going to make the medication better so had to waste money, time and the poor animal who lost its life.”
Public Participant
“More Home Office inspectors that could increase the number of random spot checks, and independent monitors with a minimum level of qualifications, competently and adequately trained.”
Public Participant

Delivered By

The Medical Research Council (MRC)
The MRC is a publicly funded organisation dedicated to improving human health through world class medical research, and is the commissioning agent.

Understanding Animal Research
Understanding Animal Research provides information about animal research and testing and the resulting advances in science and medicine. UAR are leading project delivery.

Ipsos MORI
Dialogue deliverer. Ipsos MORI, part of the Ipsos Group, is a leading UK research company, specialising in social & political research and public dialogue on complex and sensitive issues.

3KQ
Dialogue evaluator. 3KQ is a company of independent facilitators and evaluators specialising in dialogue processes on contentious topics.

 

 

 

Latest Status Update

Dialogue report published (November 2013).

Workshops held in July & Aug 2013.