In May 2014, King’s College London signed a Concordat on Openness on Animal Research along with 72 other organisations such as universities, charities, research councils and commercial companies which are involved in animal research.
This concordat was about being more open and transparent about the use of animals in research. The 72 signatories agreed to abide by these four commitments:
1. We will be clear about when, how and why we use animals in research;
2. We will enhance our communications with the media and the public about our research using animals;
3. We will be proactive in providing opportunities for the public to find out about research using animals;
4. We will report on progress annually and share our experiences.
These institutions hope that this step would lead to a better public understanding and acceptance of the importance of use of animals in research and would also dispel the myths about animal cruelty in the labs. The truth is that animal welfare is the top most priority and all the research is carried out under strict ethical code and guidance set by the UK Home Office. This will also make it clear to the public that animals are strictly used for medical research purposes as a last resort when there are no other alternatives and no animals are used for cosmetic testing as that is illegal in the UK.
More information on the Concordat can be found here on King’s website: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/newsevents/news/newsrecords/2014/May/Kings-College-London-signs-Concordat-on-Openness-on-Animal-Research-.aspx
More information on the Animal Welfare at King’s can be found here: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/health/research/facilities/bsu/welfare.aspx