Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act
The Animals (scientific procedures) Act 1986is the current act governing how animals are used for scientific purposes in the UK. It replaced the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876, which isrepealed at Section 27(1) of the 1986 Act. The welfare of animals used in science is the responsibility of the Home Office, and information about regualtion of scientific procedures in the UK can be found on their website.
At the heart of the act is a cost-benefit analysis which must be applied before any research project involving animals can go ahead. Thus the costs, in terms of potential animal suffering, must be weighed against the potential benefits of the research.
The act is constantly revised and had been amended or extended many times since 1986.A new level of regulation came into effect in the UK in April 1999, with the introduction of local ethical review. In countries, the regulation of animal research operates either through local ethical committees or by statutory controls imposed by central government. The UK is the only country in the world to have both systems operating in parallel.