Animal welfare is a priority at The University of Manchester. We employ a full-time named animal care and welfare officer (NACWO) and a named veterinary surgeon (NVS) to ensure that we fully meet the requirements of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA).

rat in hands
Animal welfare is a priority at Manchester

ASPA is widely regarded as the toughest legislation in the world. It was last updated in 2013. Guidance on the operation of ASPA is available on the gov.uk website.

There are four separate but integrated controls on the use of animals in research:

  • All premises must be certified by the Home Office as meeting the requirements of ASPA and inspected regularly with emphasis on the appropriate species-specific environment, building condition, staffing levels and management systems. Work may only be carried out within the areas designated under the Act.
  • All programmes of work must be covered by a project licence (PPL) issued by the Home Office, following an assessment of the benefits to mankind and animalkind, balanced against the cost to the animals. The applicant must also show that the principles of the 3Rs have been taken into account in the experimental design.
  • Each person carrying out experiments on animals must hold the appropriate personal licence (PIL) authority. A licence may only be issued after the person has successfully completed an accredited training course.
  • A local ethical review process must consider all programmes of work before the Home Office will grant a licence.

This legislation requires the University to open our facilities to frequent, unannounced visits by Government-appointed inspectors. 

Find out more about current legislation and guidance on research involving animals on the gov.uk website.