To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Animals in Science Regulation Unit has recommenced on-site inspections of animal testing facilities following their suspension in 2020; for how long inspections were carried out by telephone or email; and whether the Government plans to carry out additional on-site inspections.
The Animals in Science Regulation Unit (ASRU) assesses the compliance of the regulated community in a variety of ways, including on site and remote inspections, investigation of potential non-compliance cases and reviewing of reports. Throughout the pandemic ASRU have conducted on site visits for the investigation of significant cases of potential non-compliances or as needed. ASRU also implemented a system of remote inspections. ASRU resumed routine on-site inspection of animal testing facilities on 7 September 2020.
During 2020, 712 remote inspections were conducted and 78 on-site inspections where there were animal welfare concerns or cases of non-compliance that could not be investigated remotely. ASRU will continue to undertake remote and on-site inspection activity as required as part of its overall programme of assessing the compliance of the regulated community.