The amended version of ASPA has been introduced to align UK legislation with European Directive 2010/63/EU. The Home Office has produced guides for researchers to help them with the changes.
The ‘quick start’ guide provides advice on what the revised ASPA covers and guidance to holders of establishment licences, project licences and personal licences and new licence applicants. It also provides guidance on severity classification, humane killing and the accommodation and care of animals. More detailed draft guidance, covering more topics, will be published later in January for consultation.
A transitional guide sets out details of changes that researchers must make immediately in order to comply with the new regulations. It also details changes that will happen automatically.
The new law requires re-authorisation for some activities and some types of animal, and the transitional guide sets out details of those amendments. For example, all cephalopods (octopus, squid, cuttlefish and nautilus) are now protected. Under the old regulations only Octopus vulgaris was included.
The new rules also increase control of breeding of some frog species and zebra fish. Increased use of fish in regulatory testing accounted for a significant rise in the number of animals used for toxicology (safety testing) in the last Home Office statistics on the use of animals in laboratories in the UK.