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How is animal research regulated in the UK?

Last reviewed 
22 August 2017

Animal research is regulated by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. Additional policies and codes have been added since, including a recent update to bring the UK in line with a new European directive.

The Animals in Science Regulatory Unit (ASRU), which is part of the Home Office, is responsible for ensuring that research using animals is conducted with the law. This includes granting licences to each project, person and place which will conduct animal research and performing site inspections to ensure compliance with regulation, including unannounced inspections.  

Testing cosmetics on animals in the UK has been banned since 1998.