HC Deb 05 February 1897 vol 45 cc1431-2
MR. J. G. SWIFT MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)

I beg to ask the Secretray of State for the Home Department (1) whether the two men stated in the report of the inspector to have been guilty of irregularities as licensed vivisectors are now in the possession of licences enabling them to perform experiments on the bodies of living animals without anæsthetics, and without being obliged to put the animals to death after the operation; (2) what was the nature of the operation performed by one of these vivisectors before he had obtained a licence; to what penalties did he expose himself by his conduct, and why were not proceedings instituted against him; why were the names of the two vivisectors not published in the report; and (3) will the Home Secretary now declare the names of these persons?


Both the gentlemen referred to now hold licences, one of them with the addition of certificates which enable him to perform experiments without anæsthetics, the other with the addition of certificates which dispense with the obligation of killing the animal after the effect of the anæsthetic has passed off. As regards the second paragraph of the question, both gentlemen held licences at the time of performing the experiments, but had omitted to obtain the certificates which were also necessary under the Act. The experiments were such as would be allowed, and, in fact, have been allowed to be performed by properly qualified persons, and both gentlemen had previously held the certificates which in the cases in question they had omitted to obtain. The penalties are those provided by the Act of 1876, namely, fine for a first offence, fine or imprisonment for subsequent offences. The irregularities were committed before I came to the Home Office, but I see no reason for dissenting from the opinion of my predecessor, that in the particular circumstances the withholding of the licence for a time, and the warning given were sufficient punishment. It was decided on the same ground not to publish the names, and I am not prepared to do so now.