Government Legislation

1. Animals (Control of Experiments) Ordinance (Cap. 340)

Link: Animals (Control of Experiments) Ordinance (Cap. 340)


The performance of experiments on living vertebrate animals in Hong Kong is subject to the provisions of the Cap. 340 Animals (Control of Experiments) Ordinance and Regulations.  Please apply for a licence from the Director of Health (DH) if you want to carry out experiments on living vertebrates.  Additional authorization is required for (i) experiments to attain manual skill (endorsement); (ii) experiments to illustrate lectures (teaching permit) and (iii) experiments not performed under anaesthesia and recovery experiments (endorsement).  In this Ordinance, experiment means any experiment performed on an animal and calculated to give pain.  The DH has advised that the following information should be provided in the application: (i) how the experiments advance scientific knowledge and benefit mankind and animals, and (ii) measures to minimise suffering of animals.  For teaching experiments, the DH issues a bloc licence to cover a group of named students who perform experiments(s) under the supervision of a licensed staff with the relevant teaching permit.  A new licence is required if there is a change in the type of animals to be used or a change in the experimental procedures to be performed on the animals.


The application form for Cap. 340 licence/permit/endorsement and guidelines for applications can be downloaded from the website of Department of Health (DH) .  DH’s contact details are as follows:

Address: Department of Health
Room 79, 21/F, Wu Chung House
213 Queen’s Road East
Wan Chai
Hong Kong
Telephone: (852) 2961 8975
Fax: (852) 2127 7329

Every licensee is required under Cap. 340 to keep an up-to-date record of the particulars of their experiments in the form set out as “Form 6” in the Schedule of the Animals (Control of Experiments) Regulations Please refer to details at (  The licensee is also required to submit a return to the Department of Health on or before the first of January each year in the form set out as Form 7 - Return of Experiments in the Ordinance of all experiments performed (including information on the kinds and number of animals used, i.e. those animals which have been euthanased after completion of the experiments) during the preceding twelve months. Please note that “Nil Return” is required by the Department of Health. CCMR issues an annual report in mid-December each year to individual researchers/ teachers listing the quantity of animals supplied by the Unit during the year to facilitate their submission of annual returns to the government.  Department of Health officials may enter/inspect premises where licensed experiments are performed and carry out on-site inspection of “Form 6” records of licences with/without prior notice.

2. Code of Practice

Code of Practice for Care and Use of Animals for Experimental Purposes (2004) (by Animal Welfare Advisory Group, Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Departmentwhich can be downloaded:

English version

Chinese version

3. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance (Cap. 169)

Link: Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance (Cap. 169)


The purpose of this Ordinance is to prohibit and punish cruelty (viz unnecessary suffering) to animals.


Unnecessary suffering includes any form of ill-treatment of animals (for example: kicking or terrifying the animals; failure to supply the animals with sufficient food and fresh water; failure to convey the animals in suitable containers; use of animals that are diseased or injured, such that they should not be used for such purposes and keeping; or allowing to be kept under one’s control, any animal in any way which may cause it needless or avoidable suffering).

4. Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Cap. 134)

Link: Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Cap. 134)


A person in charge of a laboratory used for the purposes of research and attached to a university is authorized under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance to be in possession and to supply dangerous drugs (e.g. ketamine, midazolam, fentanyl citrate).  Dangerous drugs can be obtained from the Centre for Comparative Medicine Research, subject to the approval of the Head of Unit, for use in CULATR (Committee on the Use of Live Animals in Teaching and Research) approved experiments only.


Researchers and the aforesaid persons using dangerous/scheduled drugs are required to comply with the storage and record keeping provisions of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance as follows:

a. Storage

Dangerous drugs should be kept in a locked receptacle which can only be opened by the person authorized under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance to possess them.

b. Record-keeping

  1. The authorized person in possession of dangerous drugs must keep a “Dangerous Drugs Register” in which all transactions of dangerous drugs must be recorded.  The format of this Register is fixed by the Ordinance.

  2. A separate Dangerous Drugs Register, or a different page of the same Register, should be used for each dangerous drug. The name of the dangerous drug preparation and (where applicable) the strength or concentration of the preparation should be written at the head of each page of the Register.

  3. Every receipt or supply of a dangerous drug must be recorded, in indelible ink, on the day of the transaction or, if this is not practicable, on the following day. No cancellation or alteration of any record is permitted. Corrections must be made by means of a marginal note or footnote and must be dated.

  4. All used registers must be kept in the laboratory for two years from the date on which the last entry was made. It is advisable that all supporting documents such as invoices should also be kept for two years.

5. Other related government legislation and Codes of Practice in Hong Kong

Antibiotics Ordinance, Cap 137


Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance, Cap 138


Under Regulation 36B (the regulation) of the Pharmacy and Poisons Regulations, a “Certificate for Clinical Trial/Medicinal Test” (the certificate) is required for the purpose of conducting a ‘clinical trial on human beings’ or a ‘medicinal test on animals’.  The regulation only applies to pharmaceutical products.

“Pharmaceutical product” means any substance or combination of substances -

(a) presented as having properties for treating or preventing disease in human beings or animals; or

(b) that may be used in, or administered to, human beings or animals, either with a view to -

  1. restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action; or

  2. making a medical diagnosis.

If you have an animal experiment which falls within the scope of the aforesaid regulation, you should apply for a “Certificate for Clinical Trial/Medicinal Test” from the Department of Health (DH). For details, please refer to the information posted at of the DH website. 


Public Health (Animals and Birds) Ordinance, Cap 139


Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance, Cap 586


Wild Animal Protection Ordinance, Cap 170


Rabies Ordinance, Cap 421


Radiation Ordinance, Cap 303


Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance, Cap 509


Genetically Modified Organisms (Control of Release) Ordinance, and Regulations and Exemptions [Cap. 607 and 607A and 607B]. For HKUST the scope of the Ordinance is limited to not releasing transgenic plants or animals to the environment.


Rodent and Other Pest Control requirements


Code of Practice for the Welfare of Food Animals (by Food and Environmental Hygiene Department)


For more information on the individual legislation, please refer to

Revised May, 2017