Promoting a Culture of Care


Promoting a Culture of Care

3 June 2020
The ‘Culture of Care’ is an establishment-wide, demonstrable commitment to improving animal welfare of animals used for scientific purposes, scientific quality, care of staff and transparency for all stakeholders, including the public which goes beyond simply complying with the law. The Animal Welfare Ethical Review Body (AWERB) helps to promote the Culture of Care and realise the benefits for animals, staff morale, scientific quality and openness with the wider community.

Although many establishments involved in testing on animals in the UK agree with the Culture of Care they do not always set out their own vision of this, or take steps to assess whether it is having a genuine impact. This resource sets out some ideas to help staff to engage with and develop the Culture of Care.

In particular this means that:

  • Every establishment should have a clear vision of their local Culture of Care. Some use input from a range of staff to define their own Culture of Care.
  • The Culture of Care is not just about caring for animals. It also includes staff morale and how effectively the 3Rs are implemented. It should lead to tangible benefits for animals, people and science.
  • Some establishments ‘assess’ their Culture of Care and the AWERB could take a lead with initiating this.
  • Local induction and training for all staff – regardless of whether they are directly involved with animal care and use – should include the Culture of Care as a core element.
  • Clear, and respectful, communication between staff with different roles is essential.
  • The Culture of Care should recognise the ‘emotional labour’ of staff and make sure support is in place.
  • Caring for the wider community should also be included, by ensuring that the public is informed about the Culture of Care in an open and meaningful way.