The Concordat on Openness is a set of commitments for UK-based life science organisations to enhance their animal research communications. Launched by Understanding Animal Research on 14th May 2014, the Concordat currently has 121 signatories.
In October 2012, over 40 organisations involved with bioscience in the UK signed a Declaration on Openness on Animal Research. They committed to developing a Concordat setting out how they would be more open about the ways in which animals are used in scientific, medical and veterinary research in the UK.
In May 2014 the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research in the UK in the UK was launched with 72 signatories from all sectors of the Bioscience community. By July this figure has reached 80. The Concordat commits its signatories to enhance their communication about their use of animals.
In September 2015 the first Concordat on Openness Annual Report 2015 was published. The report details how signatories to the Concordat have fulfilled their commitments to improve openness and transparency, summarising information provided by the signatory organisations at the end of the Concordat’s first year.
In December 2016 the second Concordat on Openness Annual Report was published. The report details how signatories to the Concordat have fulfilled their commitments to improve openness and transparency, summarising information provided by the signatory organisations at the end of the Concordat’s second year.
In December 2017 the third Concordat on Openness Annual Report was published. The report focuses on the impacts of the Concordat since its launch in May 2014. The Concordat has been a huge success, both internally amongst organisations, and externally in the public domain. Within organisations, the Concordat has raised the profile of animal research and welfare, enabling more open conversations to take place and giving research staff and technicians greater confidence to speak about what they do. Within the life-science sector the Concordat has inspired collaborations between institutions, and challenged the fears associated with speaking about animal research, to reflect a society where the voices against using animals in science are becoming more reasoned and less aggressive. For wider-society, the Concordat has provided better access to information about animals in research. This has led to a greater understanding of the role of animal care staff, enabling interested public to see inside facilities, and more considered news stories on the use of animals in research.
Signatories to the Concordat have agreed to be more open about their use of animals in research, and to abide by the following four commitments.
Commitment 1: We will be clear about when, how and why we use animals in research
Commitment 2: We will enhance our communications with the media and the public about our research using animals
Commitment 3: We will be proactive in providing opportunities for the public to find out about research using animals
Commitment 4: We will report on progress annually and share our experiences
All signatories agree that they will work to fulfil the four Commitments, initiating projects and strategies that are relevant and appropriate to their organisations to be more open about their use of animals in research. The signatories will be asked to report on their progress in taking these steps.
How to sign the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research
If your organisation would like to sign the Concordat, or if you have any questions, please get in touch via the Contact Us page.