The use of animals in scientific research and testing is governed by UK and European law and regulated by the Home Office. This ensures that animals are only used when there is no alternative and the expected benefits outweigh any possible adverse effects.
The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA) regulates animal use and in 2013, it was revised to include European guidelines on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes.
Before a project involving animals can begin, three licences are required from the Home Office:
At NIBSC, every study using animals is performed under the authority of a Home Office Project Licence and licence applications are reviewed by our Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB). We are regularly assessed by Home Office Inspectors to ensure our animal work meets these legal requirements.