The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has decided to extend its Ethics Review Panel for a further year with an expanded remit to consider a greater diversity of applications.

The Panel, chaired by veterinary ethicist Professor David Morton CBE, was established last year on a trial basis as a means of offering an ethical review process for practice-based research projects that may not have the same access to resources as clinical studies in academia or industry.

Since its establishment at the end of July last year it has received 23 applications, mostly concerning small animal clinical studies. However, due to demand from the profession, it will shortly be considering applications for equine or farm animal-based research and will be recruiting new panel members to cover these areas.

Eleanor Ferguson, RCVS Registrar, commented: “Although the number of cases considered so far have been relatively small, the service has been very well received as a means of providing ethical review to those who might not otherwise be able to do so and so, therefore, might struggle to get papers published. 

“Considering the importance of practice-based research we expect there to be an increase in the number of applications as word gets out about the service and so are happy to extend the trial for another year and for it to consider a wider range of applications.”

Further details about the Panel, as well as guidelines for making applications and the application forms, can be found at www.rcvs.org.uk/ethics

For an initial discussion about submitting an application to the Ethics Review Panel, please contact Beth Jinks, Standards and Advisory Officer, on 020 7202 0764 or ethics@rcvs.org.uk