The use of animals for research in the UK is regulated by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA), which is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Act defines regulated procedures as procedures that could potentially cause a protected animal pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm, equivalent to, or higher than, that caused by inserting a hypodermic needle according to veterinary practice. Protected animals are defined as all living vertebrates, other than humans, and any living cephalopod. Fish and amphibia are protected once they can feed independently and cephalopods at the point when they hatch. Embryonic and foetal forms of mammals, birds and reptiles are protected during the last third of their gestation or incubation period.

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