Animal Procedures Committee

APC

The Animal Procedures Committee (APC) is an advisory non-departmental public body.

Our role is to advise the Home Secretary on matters concerned with the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. This especially relates to any experimental or scientific procedures applied to a protected animal that may have the effect of causing that animal pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm. For older information, you can visit the archive version of the APC website on The National Archives.

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Independent, expert and balanced

The APC has six meetings a year, which are regularly attended by Home Office policy officials and members of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate (ASPI). A member of the secretariat and an inspector also take part in subcommittee meetings.

Our objective, in all our tasks, is to offer independent, expert and balanced advice in relation to the use of animals for experimental purposes. All members of the committee share a common concern for the welfare of the animals bred for or used in scientific procedures, and in considering any matter, will have regard both to the:

  • legitimate requirements of science and industry
  • protection of animals against avoidable suffering and unnecessary use in scientific procedures

The Animal Procedures Committee is established and appointed under the terms of sections 19 and 20 of 1986 Act. Find out more about our work and those of our sub committees.

Overseeing licence applications

We see all applications for project licences that involve:

  • the use of wild-caught non-human primates
  • the use of cats, dogs, equidae (the horse family) or non-human primates in procedures of substantial severity
  • a substantial severity banding (classification of suffering of an ‘average’ animal) or major animal welfare or ethical implications, involving:
         (a) xenotransplantation (surgical transferral from one animal to another of a different species) of whole organs or
         (b) chronic pain models or
         (c) study of the central nervous system
  • applications of any kind raising novel or contentious issues, or giving rise to serious societal concerns

We advise the Home Secretary on the applications we see, offering advice on whether they should be granted and, if so, on any particular conditions they should have.