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Joint guidance on ethical review processes for practice-based research

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VETERINARY surgeons who carry out practice-based research now have access to guidance on ethical review processes, following the publication of a new report by the RCVS and BVA.

The report has been drafted by a working party made up of representatives and experts from a number of veterinary organisations and research establishments. The working party was chaired by Professor Lord Trees and its report is aimed at veterinary surgeons who are carrying out research in their practices, but who may not have access to the ethical review structure of a university or institute.

In developing the advice, the working party considered practice-based research as research involving client-owned animals and conducted by veterinary practitioners who are not based in institutes and who might not normally be involved with research. In its report, the working party explains the difference between clinical practice and clinical research, stating that vets must decide whether an intervention is likely to be of direct benefit to the animal involved or to its immediate group, or if it is for a purpose of recognised agricultural or animal husbandry in the UK. ‘If it is, it falls within clinical practice and under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966. If it is not, then it may be deemed research,’ it …

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