NIAA Statement on the Use of Animals in Medical Research

The National Institute of Academic Anaesthesia (NIAA) supports research into anaesthesia by managing funds on behalf of its specialist society funding partners. This research is conducted to determine the most effective ways of making surgical and anaesthetic care safer, more effective and less distressing for patients. Sometimes, in order to fully understand the effects and benefits of certain drugs and practices on patients, it remains necessary to conduct this research using animals. In accordance with current best practice, and the law, scientists must avoid using animals wherever possible. If applying for funding for studies involving animals, researchers must provide the NIAA with sound scientific reasons for research using animals and explain why there are no realistic alternatives.

The Animals (Scientific Procedures Act) 1986 and guidance from the Home Office regulates research involving animals and ensures that high standards of animal welfare are maintained. All studies funded by the NIAA are conducted in accordance with these procedures and must receive the appropriate ethical approval in order to receive financial support from our funding partners. All grant applications undergo expert peer review as part of a rigorous assessment process.

Two NIAA Founding Partners, the BJA and the RCoA, each hold membership of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and the NIAA supports the AMRC's position statement on the use of animals in research and the principles of the 3Rs as developed by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research. The NC3Rs have produced a set of guidelines on the reporting of results of animal studies, in consultation with scientists, statisticians, journal editors and research funders, including the MRC, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Wellcome Trust and The Royal Society. These guidelines, called the ARRIVE (Animals in Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments) Guidelines, are based on the CONSORT statement for clinical research. It is expected that all studies funded by the NIAA will adhere to these guidelines when reporting results.