About: Animals in research
Ulster University is committed to high quality research and teaching. Research conducted at the University includes work which contributes to the furthering of knowledge of the biological and chemical mechanisms by which life originates, is sustained and reproduced.
This research has made, and continues to make, a vital contribution to the understanding, treatment and cure of a range of health problems and diseases including cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes.
Much of this research can be carried out using non-animal methods and materials, such as computer models and in-vitro cell culture technologies and this is done wherever possible.
Whilst it is acknowledged that the animal model is not a perfect model for humans, the use of animals in biomedical research remains essential, for example to gain a knowledge and understanding of physiological and pathological processes taking place in a whole organism as alternative techniques cannot always reproduce the complexity of a living creature. Many of the developments achieved through the use of animals have also benefited animals, helping them to live longer and healthier lives.
The University is fully committed to ensuring that whenever animals are absolutely necessary to carry out any research aiming to improve human and animal health, that all animals under its care are looked after to the highest standards of health and welfare.
At Ulster University, all approved scientific experiments are only carried out in the specifically designated animal housing establishment, an establishment that can provide animals with the environment that caters to their specific needs such as environmental temperature and humidity and required photoperiod. Ulster University recognises that the animals in its care should have good welfare, regardless of the research goals or missions and recognises the "five freedoms" of animals:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease
- Freedom from fear and distress
- Freedom to express most 'normal' behaviours