A guide for UK institutions on the new EU Directive
The revised European Directive on animal research (EU8869/10) should be formally 'adopted' in Europe during summer 2010. It will then need to be implemented in each member state.
'Transposition' is the process by which the Directive is converted into new national legislation. In the UK this process can be done through either regulations or through primary legislation. Two years from the date of adoption are allowed for transposition (which the UK Home Office plans to be completed by summer 2012).
Finally, all other necessary measures must be taken to bring the new legislation into force, such as guidance and administrative measures. It is likely to replace the UK Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act (ASPA) in January 2013, at which time ASPA is repealed.
Technically, member states should 'align' their legislation with the Directive, and this allows only limited variation from the Directive, although countries are encouraged to use their own wording. Therefore the new law could be a consolidated text which is an amalgam of elements of the 1986 Act, plus some bits of text taken directly from the Directive (eg where the exact wording is important), plus any new text that is required.
Understanding Animal Research has produced a guide for UK institutions on the new Directive, which can be downloaded here.