The BioIndustry Association (BIA) is one of over 70 organisations - including charities, research funders and industry organisations - signed up to the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research, launched today. Signatories to the Concordat have agreed to four central commitments pledging greater openness and transparency about the use of animals in scientific, medical and veterinary research in the UK.
The goal of the Concordat is to ensure the public is able make a more informed judgement about the use of animals in research, by ensuring they have accurate, up-to-date information about what animal research involves, the role it plays in scientific discovery and treatment development, how it is regulated, and what researchers and animal care staff do to promote animal care and welfare, reduce animal usage and minimise suffering and harm to animals.
Steve Bates, BIA Chief Executive Officer, commented:
"Animal research is key to scientific discovery and medical progress, and will remain so until there are alternatives. The use of animals in research is strictly regulated and industry has long been committed to ensuring high standards of animal welfare and replacing, refining and reducing the use of animals where possible.
"Animal research is an underpinning and essential part of developing life-saving and life-changing therapies, and this is why we are happy to be part of a coalition which explains its importance to the British public. Public support for animal research remains strong and this Concordat will help to maintain it.
"Whilst the BIA is not directly involved in scientific research, many of our members necessarily use animals either directly or through CROs as part of the research and development of ground-breaking technologies and therapies for patients. We will be open and pro-active in communicating about why industry conducts animal research, its benefits and limitations. We encourage our members to be aware of the Concordat, and will support any members to be open about animal research in our sector."