HC Deb 01 May 1879 vol 245 c1498

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If there is any authority in "The Cruelty to Animals Act, 1876," or, if not, under what other authority, certain holders of licences for the practice of vivisection in the University of Cambridge, the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, and the Queen's University of Belfast, are allowed exemption from the ordinary publicity, and in the Return recently presented to Parliament have their names concealed; and, if he will now lay upon the Table the names omitted from that Return, with the reasons for each omission, and take steps to prevent in future such a possibility of a secret practice of vivisection?


Sir, no one at all is exempt from the ordinary publicity; but when the Act was under consideration, objections were over and over again urged against the individual names of the holders of licences being published, because it was thought that persons who took a strong view on the matter might subject them to annoyance and loss of practice. That is the reason why the names were omitted from the Return. The hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Mundella) in 1876 asked for such a Return, and this answer was then given. The same answer was given to my hon. Friend the Member for North East Lancashire (Mr. Holt) in, 1878. This year, when the Inspector was making his Report, I told him that, although I objected to the publication of any names without the consent of the parties concerned, he might write to them to ask if they did object; he has done so, and, with a very few exceptions, they have consented to the publication of their names, and I hope this example will be followed in future years, and that we shall have a full Return, probably by next year.