Animal Experiments

Home Department written question – answered on 30th April 2008.

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Photo of Mike Hancock Mike Hancock Liberal Democrat, Portsmouth South

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what severity limits distinguish between (a) mild and moderate and (b) moderate and substantial under the Animal (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986; and whether (i) duration and (ii) intensity of suffering are taken into account.

Photo of Meg Hillier Meg Hillier Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Identity)

Mild protocols are those that at worst give rise to slight or transitory minor adverse effects. Substantial protocols are those that may result in a major departure from the animal's usual state of health or well being. Moderate protocols can best be defined as those that fall between mild and substantial.

Severity limits cannot be determined by a single adverse effect. Professional judgment is required to consider and weigh all the expected adverse effects before assessing the appropriate severity limit. The duration and intensity of the suffering are always taken into account. Further details of the criteria used to assign severity limits to regulated procedures are set out in paragraphs 5.40 to 5.49 of the Guidance on the Operation of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (HC321). Copies of the guidance have been placed in the House Library.

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