The Home Office published ‘Guidance on the Operation of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986’ (ASPA) which includes guidance on what may happen to animals at the end of procedures (sections 5.20 to 5.22). The guidance includes specific advice on the re-homing and setting free of animals during the course of, or at the end of, procedures under ASPA.
ASPA requires that, at the end of procedures, any animal that is suffering, or likely to suffer, adverse effects as a result of procedures applied is humanely killed. Nevertheless, with prior consent animals which are not expected to
suffer can be re-homed or set free where it is beneficial for the individual animal. The animal should not be re-homed or set free where it would be at a biological or competitive disadvantage.
Consent will be given under ASPA for re-homing and setting free only if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the assurances required by ASPA Section 17A have been provided by a competent person, usually a veterinary surgeon.