A BVA and RCVS working party, chaired by Lord Sandy Trees, has released guidance on ethical review for vets carrying out practice-based research.

A working party led by the RCVS and the BVA has published guidance on ethical review for veterinary surgeons carrying out practice-based research.

Sandy Trees.Comprised of representatives and experts from a range of veterinary organisations and research establishments, the working party is chaired by Lord Sandy Trees.

The group’s report is aimed at assisting veterinary surgeons carrying out practice-based research, but who may not have access to the ethical review structure of a university or institute.

It explains the difference between clinical practice and clinical research, then focuses on clinical research that does not require Home Office authorisation under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.

The report recommends that would-be researchers develop relationships with veterinary institutes so as to be able to submit research proposals to their ethical review committees.

It also recommends that the Royal College considers establishing its own ethical review committee, and that the RCVS recognised veterinary practice committee be enlarged and better promoted to the profession.

Prof Lord Trees explained: “Practice-based research is to be encouraged, and is becoming increasingly common and sophisticated. However, it’s not easy for those in practice to access ethical review support. We hope this report will enable practice-based research to be conducted to the best standards and to protect animals, the public and practitioners themselves.”

BVA president Peter Jones added: “Many practitioners are involved in clinically-based research and we welcome the guidance given in this joint RCVS/BVA report, which can inform our members of the regulations and best practice required and will enable them to attain high standards in the conduct of such research.”

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