Animal Materials Working Group

Project time-frame:

Framework review completion end of 2023.

Feedback from external stakeholders in early 2024.

How to get in touch:

  • Your organisational point of contact
  • Carol Smee
    (Wellcome Sanger Institute)

Representation from:

A recent initiative to address the legal and ethical acquisition of animal, and animal-derived materials to work towards a cohesive, transparent approach across the sector

The use of animal materials and/or animal-derived materials is a wide-ranging subject area in terms of material provenance, material type, purpose of use and their role within that purpose, associated legislative landscape, the requirement for ethical consideration, and encompassing these, the appropriate level of due diligence. The complexity of this topic can culminate in any number of day-to-day, on-the-ground scenarios creating challenges regarding consistency in approach and standardisation, both internally within an organisation, as well as across organisations and sectors.

Complications arise due to the breadth of the topic, the subjective nature of ‘ethical review’, a lack of guidance and information for the review of the supply and acquisition, and use of some types of material, as well as an absence of transparency and awareness in relation to the providers of these materials.

An opportunity exists to develop a working framework that can be applied by many organisations across the research and academic sectors, and an opportunity to benchmark the approach.

We aim for the project to be evidenced by the outcomes below:

Success Criteria

For the outputs of this project to create certainty in approach in order that there remains no ‘area’ or ‘broad set of circumstances’ to which the outputs of this project cannot be applied.

The outputs of this project communicated and adopted as required:

  • By working group member organisations, incl. ARMA, UKRIO and major funders
  • Across academic and research sectors organisations more broadly
  • By the suppliers of animal and/or animal-derived materials for use in academia/research

An improvement in the co-operation with and volume and quality of relevant information about the legal and ethical acquisition of animal materials and animal-derived materials, notably, from commercial providers.

To engage with key identified commercial suppliers of animal materials and/or animal-derived material to collaboratively work to improve upon current availability of relevant information by using the outputs of this project. Evidenced by an improvement in the availability and transparency of this information.

Statement of Confidentiality and Use - A documents setting out the terms under which documentation and/or other resources of any kind, whether written or verbal, may be provided to, and will be utilised by, the ‘Animal Materials Working Group’ for purposes of a specified project.

Definition of scope for the context of the Project:

Animal materials: Material that has been directly obtained from an animal; to include live sampling and post-mortem collected material

Animal-derived materials: Material that may or may not be of animal origin, but has been generated or has otherwise come about through the use of animals or the use of animal products.

The use of live animals in research (e.g. as under A(SP)A within the UK) are outside of the scope of this project.