Anderson, D. B. 2008. Standards of accommodation and care for animals used in scientific procedures in Europe. AATEX (Alternatives to Animal Testing and Experimentation) 14(Special Issue), 51-55.
The regulation of the use of animals for experimental and other scientific purposes and the determination of minimum required standards of animal care and accommodation within Europe is generally informed by recommendations and conventions at the level of the Council of Europe (CoE) and by legislation within the European Union (EU). Each signatory party (CoE) and Member State (EU) is expected to use these "European" recommendations to inform standards in their own country. The United Kingdom (UK) has implemented these recommendations within the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act and the related Codes of Practice for the Housing and Care of Animals used in Scientific Procedures, and in Designated Breeding and Supplying Establishments. Provisions are made in the UK Codes of Practice for the housing and environment of the animals including sections on the construction of animal holding rooms and rooms where procedures are conducted, staffing and provision of veterinary services. Also included are recommendations for the environment in which animals are kept, including for example temperature, relative humidity, noise and lighting. There are also sections on animal care and health which provides guidance on the animal accommodation (cage/enclosure), including minimum sizes and stocking densities. In 1997, the Council of Europe determined that, in view of the advancements in knowledge on laboratory animal housing and care practices since the relevant convention (ETS123) was adopted in 1986, a review should be made of these recommendations. Following a lengthy process involving the key stakeholder organizations and input from many technical experts, new recommendations were agreed within the Council of Europe in June 1996 and these entered into force in the signatory countries in June 2007. The European Union adopted a Recommendation in June 2007 to align the EU legislation (Directive EC86/609) with the revised Council of Europe guidelines.