Animal Research at the Sanger Institute

The Sanger Institute uses animals in some of its research. All research using animals must comply with the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 Amendment Regulations (2012), also known as ASPA.

Any procedure covered by ASPA can only be undertaken by a researcher holding a Personal Licence (PIL), as part of a programme of work covered by a Project Licence (PPL) in an institution with an Establishment Licence (PEL). To handle or work with animals, researchers are required to attend courses, including those accredited by the Home Office and sign a Code of Conduct detailing expected behaviour and responsibilities to the animals in their care. The Institute will also assess researchers’ competency in all procedures they intend to undertake using animals.


All Institute-based projects using animals in research are reviewed by the Institute’s Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB). The AWERB oversees all project licence applications, animal welfare, training and the Institute’s commitment to the 3Rs.

The 3Rs

All research using animals must address the 3Rs in all proposed plans of work:

  • Replacement – use of methods which avoid or replace the use of animals
  • Refinement – improvements in procedures and husbandry which minimise suffering, pain or distress or improves welfare.
  • Reduction – minimising the number of animals used

The Concordat for Openness on Animal Research

The Sanger Institute is a signatory to the Concordat for Openness on Animal Research. As a signatory, the Institute undertakes activities designed to increase the transparency around the Institute’s research using animals. It is up to each individual to decide if they wish to be involved with Concordat activities and participation is strictly voluntary.


The Sanger Institute strongly encourages all members of staff to report any concerns regarding the welfare of animals at the Sanger Institute either to members of staff working in the Animal Facility or they can report their concerns in confidence to the establishment license holder.