Inspection and advice
Home Office inspections of research establishments
To ensure that all animal research is done according to strict controls, the Home Office employs a team of inspectors (there are currently 22 full and part-time staff covering the UK), who are all qualified vets or doctors. As well as assessing licence applications, on average they visit each research establishment almost once a month – though this depends on the size of an institution’s research programme. Visits to each animal unit are usually without warning. In addition, at each establishment a vet must be on call at all times. Animals will be checked every day and properly examined on a regular basis. Any animal judged to be in severe pain or distress that cannot be relieved must be painlessly killed to prevent any further suffering.
Animal Procedures Committee (APC)
An independent committee advises the Home Secretary on matters concerned with the Act and his/her functions under it. This advice can relate to any regulated procedure, and the Committee is also free to look at any subjects it considers worthy of in-depth examination. It has a number of sub committees, for instance on primates, alternatives, animal housing, education & training, and European legislation.
The committee is made up of animal welfare experts, scientists, lawyers and ethicists.
Animal Procedures Committee