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Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body

The Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB) guides all aspects of animal welfare at the University of Stirling and provides ethical review for research projects and protocols which involve animals in any way (all non-human vertebrates and invertebrates). 

Research that involves some animals (all non-human vertebrate and cephalopod species) has particular legal requirements. These are defined as ‘protected animals’ by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, which regulates procedures that are carried out on them for scientific or educational purposes that may cause pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm. It also regulates the breeding and supply of certain species of animals for use in regulated procedures or for the scientific use of their organs or tissues. 

The University has significant legal responsibilities under the terms of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 Home Office Establishment Licence and has procedures and processes in place to help ensure these responsibilities are met.

  • Our research and commitments

    As a signatory to The Concordat on Openness on Animal Research, the University of Stirling is committed to enhancing our communications with the media and the public about our research using animals. We make the outputs of research publicly accessible through our open access online research repository, STORRE, and our research policies are also publicly available and subject to (at least) annual review.

    Aquaculture research

    The University of Stirling is one of the world’s leading centres of aquaculture research. Our work includes:

    • Fundamental questions relating to strategies for sustainable aquaculture, whether in modern commercial markets or in feeding poor communities in developing countries
    • All aspects of aquatic animal health including; immunology, histopathology, bacteriology, virology, parasitology and welfare
    • Work on the importance of fish oils and the key role they play in human nutrition for the development of the nervous system, and in the prevention and therapy of pathological conditions including cardiovascular and inflammatory disorders
    • Fish farming to ensure that the production of fish is a controllable and sustainable resource, improving brood stock management, welfare and potential new-farmed aquatic animals
    • Number of procedures involving fish under the terms of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 Home Office Establishment Licence, in 2017. Fish: 9209
    All research

    As well as aquaculture research, our Faculty of Natural Sciences carries out observational animal studies investigating declining bee populations and animal behaviour.

    The University of Stirling supports the use of animals in research where no alternative is available. Our researchers are committed to considering the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) in the design of any study, ensuring that the number of animals used is minimised, and that procedures and care routines are refined to maximise welfare. When publishing results of animal studies researchers you must do so in accordance with the NC3Rs’ ARRIVE Guidelines.

    Our ethical review process considers all proposals that involve using animals. It includes lay representation, an independent chairperson and provides ethical advice on standards of animal care, welfare and accommodation.

  • Related links
  • Information for University staff and students

    Request ethical approval from the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body 

    University of Stirling ASPA handbook

    Submission deadlines

    The AWERB panel meets regularly throughout the year to consider ethical approval applications. See their schedule of upcoming meetings and submission deadlines below.

    Meeting date Time
    18 Dec 2018 10:00 – 12:00
    15 Mar 2019 10:00 – 12:00
    24 May 2019 10:00 – 12:00 
    20 Sep 2019 10:00 – 12:00 
    06 Dec 2019 10:00 – 12:00

Contact AWERB

Get in touch with the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body.

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