Understanding Animal Research

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Understanding Animal Research (UAR) is a British advocacy group promoting experiments on animals for research. It formed in late 2008 through the merger of two existing groups - the Research Defence Society and the Coalition for Medical Progress. Its main aims are to 'achieve understanding and acceptance of the need for humane animal research in the UK'[1]. Its former Chief Executive is Dr. Simon Festing, formerly executive director of the Research Defence Society.[2]

Its website says that it is a membership organisation with over 100 organisational members and many more individual supporters[3]. It is funded by its members who come from various sectors including academic, pharmaceutical, charities, research funders, professional and learned societies, and trades unions - all of whom support the use of animals for medical research. UAR believe that animal research is vital to the future of medical research, Dr. Festing was quoted by The Scotsman saying "there are still many things we just can't do without using animals. We can't study movement or brain function in a test tube. We can't get computers to do things that are quite simple, such as catch a cough. It is about working towards treatments and cures for very devastating diseases, from hepatitis to Parkinson's."[4]

In conjunction with the Understanding Animal Research Website the organisation has created Animalresearch.Info, a wiki-style collaborative website for scientists and researchers to add peer-reviewed, fully referenced information on animal research.[5]



Circa 2013

Wendy Jarrett Chief Executive | Dr Elisabeth Harley Policy and Communications Officer | Tom Holder Campaigns Manager | Agnes Jawara Team Administrator | Ian Le Guillou Science Writer | Chris Magee Media & Public Affairs Manager | John Meredith Education Manager | Stuart Roger Education Officer | Richard Scrase Head of Online Communication | Dr Anabella Williams Head of Engagement[6]

Circa 2009

'Senior staff': Dr Simon Festing, Chief Executive | Barbara Davies, Communications Director[7]

Circa 2008-2011


Circa 2013

Professor Frances Balkwill (Chair) Paul Sanders (Hon Treasurer) | Ken Applebee | Professor Derek Bell | Dr Tony Causey | Karen Gardner | Andrew Gay | Professor Max Headley | Dr Robin Lovell-Badge | Professor Jeremy Pearson | Professor Angela Roberts | Dr Patrick Sinnett-Smith | Professor Sir Nick Wright[6]

Circa 2009

Professor Colin Blakemore (Chairman) | Professor Roger Lemon (Hon Secretary) | Paul Sanders (Hon Treasurer) | Dr Tony Causey | Martin Else | Gill Hilsdon | Peter Hollins | Alistair Kent | Professor Clive Page | Dr Mark Tricklebank | Dr Ian Viney | Dr Philip Wright[7]



Academy of Medical Royal Colleges | Academy of Medical Sciences | Agenda Resource Management | Anatomical Society of Great Britain & Ireland | Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care | Association of Medical Research Charities | Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry | AstraZeneca | B&K Universal | Babraham Institute | Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry | Biochemical Society | BioIndustry Association | Bioscientific Events | Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council | Boehringer Ingelheim | Bradford University | British Association for Psychopharmacology | British Heart Foundation | British Horseracing Authority | British Neuroscience Association | British Pharmacological Society | British Society for Cell Biology | British Society for Immunology | British Toxicology Society | Brunel University Department of Biological Sciences | Cancer Research UK | Cardiff University, Biology Life & Health Sciences | Charles River Laboratories | Covance Laboratories | DBER Diagnostics Scotland | Durham University | Eisai Europe | Eli Lilly | Genetic Alliance UK | GlaxoSmithKline | Harlan Laboratories | Horserace Betting Levy Board | Huntingdon Life Sciences | Imperial College London, Central Biomedical Services | Institute for Cancer Research | Institute of Neurology | John Radcliffe Hospital, Nuffield Department of Surgery | Kings College London, Pharmaceutical Science Research Division | Kings College London, Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics | Laboratory Animal Science Association | Laboratory Animal Veterinary Association | Medical Research Council | Merck Sharp & Dohme | Merial Limited | National Institute for Biological Standards & Control | NC3R's | Newcastle University | New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries | New Zealand Veterinary Association | Nottingham Trent University | Novartis Horsham Research Centre | Novartis International AG | Nutrition Society | Open University, Department of Life Sciences | Pfizer | Physiological Society | Pirbright Institute | Procter & Gamble | Queen Mary & Westfield College | Queen Mary, University London | Queens University Belfast | Quotient Bioresearch | Reading University | Royal College of Physicians | Royal College of Surgeons | Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland | Sanofi-Aventis | Science Media Centre | Sequani Seventeen Eighty Nine | Society for Biology | Society for Endocrinology | Society for General Microbiology | Southampton General Hospital | St George's University of London, Biological Research Facilities | St George's University of London, Department of Basic Medical Sciences | The Francis Crick Institute | UCB Celltech University College London, Biological Services | University College London, Department of Pharmacology | University College London, Institute of Opthalmology | University College London, Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health | University College London, School of Pharmacy | University of Aberdeen, Department of Biomedical Sciences | University of Aberdeen, Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health | University of Aston, School of Life and Health Sciences | University of Bath | University of Birmingham, Department of Physiology | University of Bradford, School of Life Sciences | University of Bristol, Clinical Science at South Bristol | University of Bristol, Department of Anatomy | University of Bristol, Department of Physiology & Pharmacology | University of Bristol, School of Medical Sciences | University of Cambridge, Department of Clinical Biochemistry | University of Cambridge, Department of Physiology Development & Neuroscience | University of Dundee, College of Medicine Dentistry and Nursing | University of Leeds, Institute of Membrane & Systems Biology | University of Leicester, Department of Cell Physiology & Pharmacology | University of Leicester, Division of Biomedical Services | University of Leicester, MRC Toxicology Unit | University of Liverpool, Physiology Laboratory | University of Liverpool, University Clinical Departments | University of Manchester, Faculty of Life Sciences | University of Nottingham, School of Biomedical Sciences | University of Oxford, Department of Experimental Psychology | University of Oxford, Department of Physiology Anatomy & Genetics | University of Oxford, Laboratory of Physiology | University of Portsmouth | University of Sheffield, Department of Biomedical science | University of St Andrews | University of Strathclyde | University of Surrey, EBU University of Sussex, School of Life Sciences | Warwick University, Department of Biological Sciences | Wellcome Trust Wickham Laboratories | William Harvey Research Foundation[10]


  1. Understanding Animal Research About Us
  2. UAR: History and Structure
  3. Understanding Animal Research: About Us
  4. The Scotsman: Shameful toll of medical experiments on monkeys in Scotland
  5. AnimalResearch.Info: About us
  6. 6.0 6.1 Understanding Animal Research Who we are, accessed 2 September 2013
  7. 7.0 7.1 Understanding Animal Research About Us, accessed 3 September 2013
  8. Profile Kirk Leech Battle of Ideas
  9. LinkedIn Kirk Leech, accessed 7 March 2011
  10. Understanding Animal Research Membership and funding, accessed 27 August 2013.