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Animal Ethical Committee

Hens cows at farmThe Animal Experiments Committee (or AEC) acts as SRUC’s Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB) on the use of animals. The ethical review process is a statutory requirement (since 1998) at all UK establishments designated under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, and furthermore became an EU-wide requirement by European Directive 2010/63/EU. SRUC’s AEC has two sub-groups, one that deals with all poultry studies, and another that deals with all ruminant, rodent and pig studies. 

All staff that work with animals must agree to abide by SRUC’s Code of Practice on the use of animals in research.


The purpose of the AEC is to oversee, assess, monitor and ensure the health and well-being of all experimental animals within SRUC or those used outside of SRUC that involve its staff or students.


  • To review all proposed research and provide advice to scientists, students and consultants on how to best design their studies, taking into account the 3Rs (replacement, reduction, refinement).
  • To ensure that all animals used receive the best care and attention to their welfare, while also being compliant with the relevant legislation and codes of practice.
  • To review, assess and approve all personal and project licence applications to the Home Office and to maintain close contact with the Home Office Inspector.

Frequency of Meetings

The committee meets face-to-face once a year. In addition, both sub-groups hold meetings three times a year.

Minutes of Meetings

Minutes are shared with the Vice Principal of Research, the Establishment Licence Holder, and the Home Office Inspector.

Ewe with sucking lambMembership

  • Chairperson
  • Vice-Chairperson
  • Named Veterinary Surgeons
  • NACWOs
  • Statisticians
  • Animal Scientists
  • Non-Animal Persons
  • Home Office Inspector (Observer)
  • Secretaries

Further information