Research using animals

We are committed to excellence in research. Animal research plays an important role in some of the research we undertake. Whilst we take every opportunity to reduce the use of animals for research, on occasion there is no alternative available.


At UCLan we take our responsibility in relation to the use of animals in research seriously. Therefore, we have become a signatory of the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research in the UK which is promoted by the organisation Understanding Animal Research. Signing the Concordat illustrates our commitment to undertaking animal research in an ethical and responsible manner.

Animal welfare

At UCLan the welfare of the research animals is important to us. Therefore, our animals are housed in a purpose-built facility. We have a dedicated team who have Home Office recognised qualifications and provide day-to-day care. Further, a veterinary surgeon is on call at all times and carries out both pre-planned and unannounced inspections. The facility is also open to inspection by the Home Office at any time.


Research involving animals will be carried out in-line with the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act (1986) / EU Directive 2010/63/EU, the UCLan Ethical Principals and under the guidance of our Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Board (AWERB). All researchers who are involved in animal research are fully trained and have the appropriate Home Office licenses required for their studies.

Reduction, refinement and replacement

UCLan is committed to the promotion of the 3Rs (reduction, refinement and replacement).

  • Reduction – to use the minimum number of animals needed to ensure valid results.
  • Refinement – to maintain the highest possible standards of animal care, use and welfare, to initiate experimental improvements where possible to minimise pain and distress on the animals.
  • Replacement – to use alternatives wherever possible, for example, computer modelling, cell and molecular biology, tissue culture, human clinical research.

Therefore, alternative methods to the use of animals for research will be used whenever possible. However, if animals need to be used, we are committed to refining our experimental techniques and using the minimum number of animals to allow valid results.

Facts and figures

All activities which involve animal research are communicated to the Home Office on an annual basis. Moreover, within the University of Central Lancashire, annual reports on all animal research projects are subjected to review by our local AWERB. The University also endorses the Animal Research: Reporting InVivo Experiments (ARRIVE) Guidelines which are designed to improve the reporting of animal use in research.

  • In calendar year 2017, the University used 591 animals in total.
  • In calendar year 2018, the University used 877 animals in total.
  • In calendar year 2019, the University used 896 animals in total.
  • In calendar year 2020, the University used 684 animals in total (636 mice and 48 rats).
  • In calendar year 2021, the University used 0 animals in total. Read more.
  • In calendar year 2022, the University used 0 animals in total.

Common questions about research using animals