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Animal research

(November 2016)

Diabetes UK appreciates that some people have concerns about the use of animals in medical research. However, we are also aware of the important contribution this research has made to improve the lives of people with diabetes across the world.

There is currently no cure for any form of diabetes. Many people with diabetes would not be leading the lives they are today if the major advances in understanding and treating diabetes had not been made through research, some of which has involved the use of animals.

Knowledge gained from animal research has been significant and essential in many diabetes breakthroughs, from insulin therapy to islet transplants.

Diabetes UK is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC). We support the principle of using animals in research when it is necessary to advance understanding of health and disease and to develop new treatments. The AMRC statement on the use of animals in research can be foundhere.

Diabetes UK funded research

We only fund animal research when there is no alternative available, and all Diabetes UK-funded researchers must follow the three Rs:

  • Replace: use non-animal alternatives as much as possibleuse non-animal alternatives as much as possible
  • Reduce: minimise the number of animals used in experimentsminimise the number of animals used in experiments
  • Refine: improve the care and attention of animalsimprove the care and attention of animals

Every research application is reviewed by national and international experts, before being further reviewed by Diabetes UK’s Research Committee of scientists, healthcare professionals and people with diabetes. There is a dedicated section within our application form that asks for a justification for the use of animals which must be completed satisfactorily.

  • Diabetes UK research projects involving animals must meet our criteria, which includes providing information on how the research will help us to learn more about diabetes and adhering to the Home Office's guidelines for the welfare of the animals. Our conditions concerning the care and handling of animals are outlined in Clause 5 of the ‘Grant Conditions’.Diabetes UK research projects involving animals must meet our criteria, which includes providing information on how the research will help us to learn more about diabetes and adhering to the Home Office's guidelines for the welfare of the animals. Our conditions concerning the care and handling of animals are outlined in Clause 5 of the ‘Grant Conditions’.
  • Diabetes UK research that involves the use of animals requires Home Office licences for both the researchers involved in the project and for the project itself.Diabetes UK research that involves the use of animals requires Home Office licences for both the researchers involved in the project and for the project itself.
  • Diabetes UK adheres to the AMRC quality and standards guidance on the use of animals in research, which can be viewed on their website.Diabetes UK adheres to the AMRC quality and standards guidance on the use of animals in research, which can be viewed on theirwebsite.
  • All general Diabetes UK donations are shared among all of our research projects, studentships and fellowships whether they involve animals or not. It is therefore not possible to guarantee that money received either through direct donation or from someone’s membership will not be used to support research involving animals.All general Diabetes UK donations are shared among all of our research projects, studentships and fellowships whether they involve animals or not. It is therefore not possible to guarantee that money received either through direct donation or from someone’s membership will not be used to support research involving animals.
  • If you don't want your donation to be used for animal research, please consider adopting a research project or let us know at the point of donation. If you don't want your donation to be used for animal research, please consideradopting a research projector let us know at the point of donation. 
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