Governing the use of animals in research
Information about how the use of animals in research is governed in the UK and the European Union.
On this page
- a personal licence for each person carrying out procedures on animals
- a project licence for the programme of work
- an establishment licence for the place at which the work is carried out.
Licence applications must show:
- the aim of the research and its value
- why there’s no alternative but to use animals in the research
- what processes and procedures will be undertaken
- how appropriate welfare standards and the 3Rs will be met.
European Directive 2010/63/EU, which promotes both animal welfare and high-quality scientific research, was adopted in 2010.
The directive became law in the UK on 1 January 2013 through amendments to the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.
We support the directive and have objected to the ‘Stop Vivisection’ initiative [PDF 2MB] which called for it to be repealed.
Our FAQs on European Directive 2010/63/EU [PDF 107KB] explain how and why animals are used in research and the legislation which governs this activity.
If you have any questions, contact Sam Alvis
The European Union supports science through legislation, funding opportunities and programmes to help cross-border collaboration.
Science policy affects a broad range of issues, ranging from data sharing and gene editing, to intellectual property and regulation.
Regulation creates an environment where research and innovation can flourish.