The United Kingdom’s Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has published a guidance document for licence holders on the containment and control of specified animal pathogens. This guidance is aimed at Specified Animal Pathogens Order (SAPO) licence holders, users and biosafety professionals, but managers and health and safety representatives may also find it useful. It describes the containment and control measures and related management arrangements that must be applied when working with specified animal pathogens. On 1 April 2015, HSE became the licensing authority for issuing SAPO licences, in addition to being responsible for inspection and enforcement. Anyone who wants to possess a specified animal pathogen requires a licence. The licence conditions are intended to ensure that appropriate, proportionate and effective containment and control measures are applied to prevent the release or escape of specified animal pathogens into the environment where they may cause serious animal disease. This HSE guidance will assist and enable licence holders to comply with the requirements of their SAPO license issued under the new SAPO licensing regime. For existing SAPO licence holders, new licences will be issued as part of a rolling programme during a transitional period from April 2015 to September 2016. Until issued with a new licence, existing licence holders should continue to operate in accordance with the conditions of their existing licence and the Defra guidance Animal Pathogens: guidance on controls . Any enquiries in relation to SAPO licences should be directed to HSE. The SAPO licence conditions are now included in the guidance. Licence holders must complete a risk assessment for activities involving specified animal pathogens. Licence conditions are goal setting and include management arrangements to ensure the effective application and maintenance of containment and control measures. Transfer licences to move a specified animal pathogen between licence holders is no longer required. However, existing licence holders who have not moved onto a new licence issued by HSE will continue to require a transfer licence before the specified animal pathogen can be moved. Please see the SAPO webpages for further information.
HSE e-bulletin, 26 May 2015 ;http://www.hse.gov.uk/ ;