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Animal Research Funding Policy

1. Worldwide Cancer Research recognises that animal research is still essential if further progress is to be made in cancer medicine. As a member of the UK’s Association of Medical Research Charities, Worldwide Cancer Research fully supports their position statement on the use of animals in research.

2. As a UK-based charity and AMRC member, Worldwide Cancer Research is guided primarily by UK legislation and practice in this area. Therefore:

a) Throughout this policy the term ‘animal research’ refers to research that uses species protected under UK law. Broadly this means any live vertebrate.
b) Worldwide Cancer Research will consider research on mammals with special protection under UK law (cats, horses, dogs and non-human primates), subject to the clauses below. Such proposals will undergo an additional layer of peer review by the UK’s National Centre for the 3Rs for an expert assessment of animal welfare.
c) Worldwide Cancer Research will not fund research that clearly would not be licensed in the UK, for example research involving great apes, endangered species or very severe experimental procedures.

3. Worldwide Cancer Research will only fund animal research in those countries or at those institutes where the Trustees are confident that acceptable standards of laboratory animal welfare are applied. When considering what constitutes an acceptable standard, Worldwide Cancer Research puts great emphasis on the principle of the Three R’s (Reduction, Refinement and Replacement).

4. The Trustees use several benchmarks to decide which countries or institutions meet the criteria of an acceptable standard of laboratory animal welfare. These are:

a) National legislative controls meeting the requirements of European Directive 2010/63/EU (or any directives that supersede it).
b) Local committee-based regulatory systems offering a level of control equivalent to that exercised in the USA and Canada.
c) Any formal regulatory system, whether local, national or a combination of the two, which results in a level of laboratory animal welfare at least equivalent to that produced by a) or b) above.

5. Based on the benchmarks above, the following countries are deemed to have acceptable national standards of laboratory animal welfare:

All EU Member States
New Zealand

Subject to clause 2c, grant applications involving animal research will be accepted from these countries.

6. Worldwide Cancer Research recognises that individual institutions may enforce their own animal welfare regulations in the absence of more widespread national controls. The charity is willing to consider documentary evidence that might show a research institution based outside the countries listed above upholds an acceptable standard of laboratory animal welfare. If so, special permission will be granted to the institution to apply for animal research funding. Please note this permission must be obtained before any grant applications are submitted or the application(s) will be rejected.

Worldwide Cancer Research reserves the right to amend this policy at any time. Questions about this policy should be addressed to Dr Lynn Turner, Head of Research.

Updated June 2015