Guidance

Animal testing and research: guidance for the regulated community

Guidance and regulatory advice on how to apply for licences issued under ASPA and how your compliance with ASPA and your licence conditions will be assessed.

Animals in Science Regulation Unit (ASRU) Guidance and regulatory advice

You can read ASRU guidance that explains how the act is administered and enforced including detailed regulatory advice for licence holders

Apply for licences

Three licences are required by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA) before testing on animals is allowed. The 3 licences needed are:

  • personal licence for each person carrying out procedures on animals
  • project licence for the programme of work
  • establishment licence for the place at which the work is carried out

You should use the Animals in Science Procedures e-Licensing (ASPeL) system for all personal and project licence applications.

Contact your establishment’s Home Office liaison contact/administrator to start your application online.

If you are from an establishment that is not yet licensed, email aspa.london@homeoffice.gov.uk.

Any named person responsible for animal welfare on the establishment licence will need to complete a conflict of interest declaration form.

Before applying, please read the standard conditions for personal licences, project licences and establishment licences.

You can also read guidance on:

Project Licence Standard Condition 18 notification

All project licences are subject to a set of standard conditions. Standard Condition 18 requires that the project licence holder (PPLh) notifies the Secretary of State as soon as possible if constraints on the severity limits, or observance of other controls described in the licence, have been breached or are likely to have been breached.

You can read the Advice note - Project Licence Standard Condition 18 Notification (PDF, 544KB, 22 pages), and use the form Project Licence Standard Condition 18 Notification form (ODT, 31.8KB) to make reports.

Annual returns on the use of protected animals

Statistics are collected annually in the UK to meet the requirements of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 to collect and publish statistical information on the use of protected animals in regulated procedures.

If you are a project licence holder, read the guidance on the annual returns process.

Newsletters

The Animals in Science Regulation Unit newsletters are sent out by the ASRU. If you have any questions about their content, email asrubusiness@homeoffice.gov.uk.

Register for updates

Sign up for email updates on this topic.

Contact us

For general enquiries and licensing advice, email: aspa.london@homeoffice.gov.uk.

For technical advice on the use of the e-licensing system, contact 020 7035 4469 or email aspelqueries@homeoffice.gov.uk.

The advice lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Published 26 March 2013
Last updated 15 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added link to non-technical summaries granted in 2020.

  2. Added link to non-technical summaries granted in 2019.

  3. Added a link to the 2019 statistics on scientific procedures on living animals.

  4. Updated to change link from 2017 annual report to 2018 annual report.

  5. Added a link to non-technical summaries granted in 2018.

  6. Added link to non-technical summaries granted in 2017.

  7. Added a link to the 2018 statistics on scientific procedures on living animals.

  8. Updated to add 2017 annual report

  9. Added a new section called, Project Licence Standard Condition 18 notification.

  10. Published 2016 annual report

  11. Updated guidance.

  12. Added 2016 scientific procedures on living animals report.

  13. Newsletter published.

  14. Latest newsletters published.

  15. 2017 annual return form and guidance published.

  16. Newsletter added

  17. Updated application guidance published

  18. Updated scientific procedures on living animals link to the 2015 publication.

  19. Information about working with animals taken from the wild included.

  20. Guidance on standard breeding protocols for genetically modified animals

  21. Added non-technical summaries for projects granted in 2014.

  22. Guidance on the use of human material in animals published.

  23. Form for 2016 annual returns of procedures published.

  24. Updated instructions for the annual returns procedures 2015 published.

  25. New animal use data return procedures form published.

  26. Removed form for outstanding returns from 2014.

  27. Three advice notes published.

  28. Updated guidance.

  29. Updated overview summary.

  30. Updated version.

  31. Explanatory memorandum to the code of practice for the care and accommodation of animals published.

  32. Code of practice for the care and accommodation of animals (short guide) published.

  33. Added links to 'Statistics of scientific procedures on living animals, Great Britain 2012' and 'Animals in Science Regulation Unit Annual Report 2012'.

  34. Link to section 24 online consultation added.

  35. Guidance on Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA) has been published.

  36. Guidance on the naming of products and substances in project licences for batch quality control and regulatory toxicology added.

  37. Volume 1 of the non-technical summaries from licences granted during 2013 released.

  38. Annual returns instructions, notes and form updated

  39. First published.