All licenced establishments must ensure they have an Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB). The AWERB must
- Advise staff dealing with animals in the licensed establishment
on matters related to the welfare of the animals, their acquisition,
accommodation, care and use;
- Advise on the application of the 3Rs and relevant technical and scientific developments;
- Establish and review management and operational processes for monitoring,
reporting and follow-up in relation to the welfare of animals housed or used in
the licensed establishment;
- Follow the development and outcome of projects carried out in
the establishment, taking into account the effect on the animals used; and to identify
and advise on elements that could further contribute to the 3Rs; and
- Advise on re-homing schemes, including
the appropriate socialisation of the animals to be re-homed.
The AWERB involves individuals from a variety of backgrounds, including vets, animal welfare officers, scientists and lay people.
The AWERB will critically assess Project Licence applications and any request for research involving animals that is not covered by the Animal (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. The AWERB considers many different areas when assessing applications. These include the scientific benefit of the work weighed against the cost to the animals involved, the application of the 3R's (Reduction, Refinement and Replacement) in the proposed work and also the facilities and expertise that are available at the establishment.
The AWERB will then provide constructive feedback to the applicant along with any recommendations they feel appropriate regarding the programme of work. Any comments/recommendations must be addressed by the applicant to the satisfaction of the AWERB before the application is approved.