Animal Welfare And Ethical Review Body (AWERB)
The main purpose of our AWERB is to ensure the highest standards of ethics are applied to all research, and to promote a culture of care for animals, humans and the environment, both within Brooke and in the wider community.
Brooke's research includes both animal-based research and human-based research. Animal-based research is non-invasive and may include clinical examinations of equids or observation of equid behaviour, while human-based research may involve questionnaires, interviews, focus group discussions or observation of human-animal interactions.
There are not many research bodies/institutions conduct research with working equids; therefore, we often have to conduct this ourselves. We apply our research findings to field activities, and to develop and strengthen arguments directed at policy makers and other influential stakeholders.
While our research is not legally required to pass through an ethical review body, the consideration of ethics when involving animals and/or humans applies to the culture of care we seek to promote as a core value.
On this basis, Brooke has an Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB), whose job is to support the delivery of ethical research carried out by Brooke staff, consultants or partners.
What are AWERB's aims?
The aims of our AWERB are to:
- Support Brooke staff, consultants and other external researchers to carry out ethical research now and in the future.
- Encourage researchers to:
- Carefully consider and justify the use and involvement of equids and people within research;
- Ensure welfare risks have been minimised;
- Ensure sharing and learning from research results is maximised.
- Be an internally trusted body within Brooke, consulted for advice on ethical issues.
Our AWERB provides a secure environment for discussion of ethical issues or dilemmas. Activities include reviewing submitted research proposals, provision of ethical training and guidance, and communicating throughout the organisation about relevant, topical, current and emerging ethical issues. We are also beginning retrospective review of completed projects and reviewing the role of AWERB within research partnerships.
Our AWERB refers to the following regulatory frameworks when formulating advice:
Our good research practice guidelines
- RSPCA/LASA Guiding Principles on Good Practice for Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Bodies
- RSPCA Guidelines for Retrospective Review
- World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki – Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects
- British Psychological Society Code of Human Research Ethics
Who Is Part Of Brooke's AWERB?
Our AWERB team meets monthly, though additional meetings may occur more frequently as needed.
It is chaired by Kimberly Wells (Senior Manager, Global Animal Welfare), and comprises of advocates for animal welfare, veterinary research, people, public and study design, along with an executive secretary.
Learn more about our research.
New – AWERB guidelines
These guidelines aim to help researchers (and their teams), both within Brooke and externally, to consider ethical concerns at the stage of research proposal development.
If you are interested in learning more or collaborating with Brooke, please email the team using the email address in the guidelines.