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England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decisions >> The Campaign To End All Animal Experiments (BUAV), R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 530 (Admin) (12 April 2005)
Cite as:  EWHC 530 (Admin)
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QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| The Queen on the application of THE CAMPAIGN TO END ALL ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS (trading as the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection)
|- and -
|THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT
Smith Bernal Reporting Wordwave, 190 Fleet Street
London EC4A 2AG
Tel No: 020 7421 4040, Fax No: 020 7831 8838
Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
Jonathan Swift (instructed by the Treasury Solicitor) for the Defendant
AS APPROVED BY THE COURT
CROWN COPYRIGHT ©
Crown Copyright ©
Mr Justice Stanley Burnton:
The statutory framework
The facts in summary
Grounds 1 and 2
regarded as moderate include toxicity tests (which do not involve lethal endpoints) and many surgical procedures (provided that suffering is controlled and minimised by effective post-operative analgesia and care). Protocols that have the potential to cause greater suffering but include controls which minimise severity, or terminate the protocol before the animal shows more than moderate adverse effects, may also be classed within the moderate severity limit.
that may result in a major departure from the animal's usual state of health or well-being. These include: … major surgery; and some models of disease, where welfare may be seriously compromised. If it is expected that even one animal would suffer substantial effects, the procedure would merit a "substantial" severity limit.
5.40 The severity limit for each protocol is determined by the upper limit of the expected adverse effects that may be encountered by a protected animal, taking into account the measures specified in the licence for avoiding and controlling adverse effects. It represents the worst potential outcome for any animal subjected to the protocol, even if it may only be experienced by a small number of the animals to be used.
5.41 In assessing the severity limits of a protocol, account should be taken of the effect of all the procedures (with a regulated or not) applied to each animal or group of animals; the nature and extent of the likely adverse effects; the action taken to mitigate the effects; and the humane endpoints to be applied.
5.42 The Secretary of State will not license any procedures likely to cause severe pain all distress that cannot be alleviated.
5.47 The assessment of the overall severity of a project will reflect the cumulative effect of each procedure. This assessment is used by the Secretary of State to weigh the likely adverse effects on all the animals to be used against the benefits likely to accrue, as required by Section 5 (4) of the Act.
5.48 The assessment of the severity band from the project as a whole reflects the number of animals used on each protocol and the actual suffering likely to be caused as result. It is based on the overall level of cumulative suffering to be experienced by each animal, not just the single worst possible case. It takes into account the proportion of animals expected to reach the severity limit of the protocol and the duration of exposure to the severity limits, the nature and intensity of the adverse effects, and the actions to be taken to relieve the suffering.
In short, judgements of animal welfare costs, the level of suffering that may be produced, and the humane endpoint is to be applied are determined by the detailed narrative descriptions on the form of applications and licence, not by the shorthand severity limits assigned to the protocols or the severity and assigned to the licence.
Changing the assigned shorthand severity limit of a protocol or severity band of a project licence would not of itself alter the level of suffering that might be experienced by an animal undergoing regulated procedures: changing the narrative descriptions appears elsewhere in the licence would.