Animal testing and research: compliance with ASPA

Information on compliance with ASPA and investigations into non-compliance.

Compliance policy

You can read the Compliance policy (PDF, 280KB, 17 pages) which explains how ASRU identifies and investigates potential incidents of non-compliance and decides on appropriate and proportionate measures and remedies aimed to minimise the risk of recurrence. This document is primarily aimed at those who work within the life science research community under ASPA, but will also be of interest to those wishing to know more about how ASRU regulates.

Patterns of low level concerns

The patterns of low-level concern describes the approach that is taken when inspectors identify low-level concerns. The identification of low-level concerns in an establishment are not in themselves breaches of ASPA or licence conditions but, taken together, form a pattern which could indicate that a management and/or welfare regime may have weaknesses which could pose an increased risk of non-compliance or adverse animal welfare.

Investigations into non-compliance

In the 2013 annual report of the Animals in Science Regulation Unit, we set out details of plans to start publishing anonymised reports of substantial investigations.

The publication of such investigations may be triggered by a number of factors including, but not limited to:

  • an exposé making allegations in the public domain
  • a cluster of non-compliances or ‘near misses’ triaged by an inspector to ASRU management
  • a non-compliance apparently involving significant animal harm
  • a published paper that appears to describe unjustified pain, suffering or distress
  • concern raised by inspectors or others that a particular procedure may not optimally implement the 3Rs

We believe the early publication of these investigations is in the interests of transparency and openness. We believe that this will also help ensure that all stakeholders can learn from the outcomes of these investigations as early as possible and enable them to address any potential weaknesses in their own management systems, creating a cycle of continuous improvement. These reports will also provide the public with an insight into this important aspect of ASRU’s work.

You can read anonymised reports of the ASRU investigations into compliance.

You can read the government’s response to the Animals In Science Committee’s review on investigations into non-compliance.

Published 22 December 2017