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Animal Experiments: Inspections

Question for Home Office

UIN 41398, tabled on 29 April 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that (a) investigations and inspections conducted by the Animals in Science Regulation Unit (ASRU) Inspectorate continue uninterrupted during the covid-19 crisis, (b) any staff shortages pertaining to requirements set out in the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 are reported so that the ASRU Inspectorate is able to assess the risk of non-compliance and (c) cases of non-compliance due to staff shortages are described and publicly reported.

Answered on

11 May 2020

Establishments are responsible for the welfare of animals in their care. The Home Office has published guidance on Business Continuity Planning for Establishments, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/guidance-on-the-operation-of-the-animals-scientific-procedures-act-1986#business-continuity-planning-guidance.

The Animals in Science Regulation has currently suspended on-site inspection visits. Inspection activities to assess compliance are being continued remotely, for example by telephone and email. There may be occasions where on-site inspection visits need to be considered. Any such inspections will be planned on a case by case basis in accordance with the Government measures. Inspectors have specifically inspected establishments for preparedness for the care and protection of animals during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Cases of non-compliance continue to be investigated. Identified cases will be reported in the relevant Annual Report. Previous Annual Reports can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/animals-in-science-regulation-unit-annual-reports

Answered by

Home Office