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Animal Experiments: Licensing

Question for Home Office

UIN 129801, tabled on 25 February 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what role animal welfare and ethical review bodies are expected to play in the formal evaluation of project licences under the Animals in Science Regulation Unit's Change Programme; and what steps she is taking to help ensure that those bodies are (a) suitably independent and (b) adequately resourced for that role.

Answered on

7 March 2022

The Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB) is an essential part of establishment governance to ensure compliance with the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA). All applications for a new project licence must be evaluated by the local AWERB, as described in the Operational Guidance of ASPA published at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/guidance-on-the-operation-of-the-animals-scientific-procedures-act-1986. Specifically, the AWERB is constituted to advise on how effectively the applicant is applying the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement).

Standard Condition 6 of an Establishment Licence requires the Establishment Licence Holder to constitute an AWERB with specified membership requirements. The effectiveness of an AWERB is evaluated by the Regulator as part of the audit process, the framework for which is published at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/animal-research-technical-advice.

Answered by

Home Office