The current legislation regulating the use of animals in scientific procedures, the Animals (Scientific Procedure) Act 1986 (ASPA), contains a statutory bar on the release of confidential information provided to the Home Office (Section 24). This prevents the public release of information such as license applications to work with animals, non-compliance reports, and inspection reports.
The current government has committed to increasing transparency and openness across public service, including promoting understanding and awareness of animal research. It has therefore decided to review Section 24 of the ASPA. The pharmaceutical industry is strongly committed to increasing openness on the use of animals in research, as demonstrated through ABPI, and many of its member companies, signing the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research.
Whilst we welcome the review of Section 24, it is important for the security of individuals involved in animal research, and for the competitiveness of the UK in life sciences research, that any change to Section 24 adequately protects personal details, intellectual property and commercially sensitive and confidential information. We therefore welcome the opportunity to work with the government on the review of Section 24.
Read the ABPI’s submission to the Home Office invitation to comment on the review of Section 24 of the of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.
Read the submission from the UK Bioscience Coalition of the consultation (UKBSC), which the ABPI signed.