Response to the Weatherall Report

12 June 2007

The report on the use of non-human primates in research was published in December 2006 by an independent working group chaired by Sir David Weatherall FRS. The study was initiated by the Academy of Medical Sciences , the Royal Society, the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust who committed to consider the recommendations and to formally respond within six months of its publication. We have now published our response to the individual recommendations and agreed an overarching statement produced by the four sponsors.

Our response states the Society's support for the carefully regulated use of non-human primates in the areas of communicable disease, neuroscience and reproductive biology where there is a strong scientific case. We welcome the development of a national strategic approach for the use of non-human primates in research, to be led by Government, an important part of which will be the development of specialised research centres. The Society is committed to following up the recommendations made in the Weatherall report and will scrutinise progress, with the other sponsors, within three years of publishing this response.