Annual statistics for regulated scientific procedures performed on protected animals 2016

All experimental work with protected animals which has the potential to cause suffering is regulated under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (Amended Regulations 2012) usually referred to as ASPA. This regulation requires researchers to minimise animal use and harms, and report the numbers of individuals used and severity of the harm they experienced to the Home Office. As a signatory of the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research, Cefas is publishing its figures on experimental use of animals in 2016.

Cefas 2016 use of protected animals within scientific procedures (actual severity level)

Species common name

Species scientific name

Sub- threshold

Non- recovery

Mild

Moderate

Severe

Total (%)

Atlantic salmon

Salmo salar

10

1

4,480

72

5

4,568

(40%)

Sea/ Brown trout

Salmo trutta

-

-

4,549

-

-

4,549

(40%)

European eel

Anguilla anguilla

-

-

959

338

-

1,297

(11%)

Common carp

Cyprinus carpio

30

 

451

70

39

590

(5%)

Sea bass

Dicentrachus labrax

26

4

111

164

4

309

(3%)

Smelt

Osmerus eperlanus

-

-

-

50

-

50

(0.4%)

Rainbow trout

Oncorhynchus mykiss

 

 

27

9

 

36

(0.3%)

Grayling

Thymallus thymallus

-

-

34

-

-

34

(0.3%)

All (%)

 

66

(0.6%)

5

(0.0%)

10,611

(93%)

703

(6%)

48

(0.4%)

11,433

 

Cefas conducts applied research using fish which aims to: protect wild populations, biodiversity and the environment; reduce disease and improve welfare in cultured stocks. In support of these aims, in 2016 Cefas used 11,433 fish across eight species in scientific procedures that had the potential to cause suffering to the fish. The species used reflect their importance as Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species, to aquaculture, recreational fishing and the ornamental (pet) fish trade.

Cefas has a strong culture of care, supported by Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Bodies which ensure all animal use is justified. Researchers minimise numbers used via robust experimental designs, and minimise suffering by implementing humane end-points and frequent monitoring. This is reflected by the actual severity levels which fish experience – the vast majority of fish used in 2016 (93%) only reached a mild severity level, reflecting short- term exposure to mild pain, suffering or distress.

Glossary (terms as defined in the Guidance on the Operation of ASPA):

Non-recovery: “procedures which are performed entirely under general anaesthesia from which the animal shall not recover consciousness shall be classified as ‘non-recovery’.”

Sub-threshold: “if you, or a suitably qualified personal licensee deputed by you, consider the animal experienced a level of pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm that did not reach the lower threshold for regulation you should classify the severity (i.e. mild) as ‘sub-threshold’ in your records and for the annual statistical returns”