The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act (1974) and the European Communities Act 1972 allow HSE to make regulations to cover use of Biological Agents and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). At present the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (2002) Regulations cover biological agents and the Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 2000 cover GMOs. By contrast, the Specified Animal Pathogens Order that covers the handling of certain animal pathogens in contained use is made by Defra under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
As part of new Single Regulatory Framework to be proposed in 2010, HSE will introduce a single set of regulations to cover all contained use work with human and animal pathogens and genetically modified organisms with the aim of reducing the burden on duty holders. In order for HSE to regulate biological agents that pose a risk to animal health, it is necessary to extend their powers under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act (1974) by means of a Legislative Reform Order.
Responses should be sent by 28 March 2010 to: