The Veterinary Schools Council (VSC) represents seven UK veterinary schools and two non-UK associate veterinary schools. It provides a source of informed opinion on matters concerning veterinary education and research, from the welfare of students and academic researchers to links with government and industry. VSC engages in representative and policy work to ensure that the voice of UK veterinary schools is recognised for its experience and will to innovate.
The members of VSC believe in the value of properly conducted animal research and recognise the enormous contribution it makes to human and animal medicine. The impacts of this research can be felt from meningitis vaccines and treatments for leukaemia to the understanding of techniques which make organ transplants possible. In treating animals it has informed the management of diabetes in family pets and the prevention of respiratory disease in farm animals, among many other applications.
Use of animals in research must strictly adhere to ethical guidelines and be reported with utmost transparency. Therefore VSC supports the work of the National Centre for the Replacement Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research, whose ARRIVE guidelines are an essential part of ensuring the transparency of animal research.
Providing the public with information on the realities of animal research, such as on the numbers and types of animals used, and in what circumstances, is vital for raising awareness and combating myths over what the research entails. VSC supports and commends the work of Understanding Animal Research in achieving this.
For as long as animal research forms a part of so many of the treatments available for serious conditions in humans and animals, UK veterinary schools are committed to its proper and regulated use. The Veterinary Schools Council has therefore joined organisations across the sector in signing the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research, becoming its 100th signatory.