Governing the use of animals in research
Information about how the use of animals in research is governed in the UK and the European Union.
- a personal licence for each person carrying out procedures on animals
- a project licence for the programme of work
- an establishment licence for the place at which the work is carried out.
Licence applications must show:
- the aim of the research and its value
- why there’s no alternative but to use animals in the research
- what processes and procedures will be undertaken
- how appropriate welfare standards and the 3Rs will be met.
European Directive 2010/63/EU, which promotes both animal welfare and high-quality scientific research, was adopted in 2010.
The directive became law in the UK on 1 January 2013 through amendments to the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.
We support the directive and have objected to the ‘Stop Vivisection’ initiative [PDF 2.02MB] which called for it to be repealed.
Our FAQs on European Directive 2010/63/EU [PDF 107KB] explain how and why animals are used in research and the legislation which governs this activity.