HC Deb 20 March 1952 vol 497 cc2544-5
37. Mr. Eric Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that the number of inspectors employed by his Department is inadequate to provide proper supervision over experiments carried out on living animals, and thus ensure that no suffering is caused to such animals; and if he will increase the number of inspectors.

Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe

The present establishment of inspectors under the Cruelty to Animals Act, 1876, is, in my view, adequate for the proper supervision of experiments to which the Act applies.

Mr. Johnson

May I ask my right hon. and learned Friend if he really suggests that visits to 1,232 out of 1,779,215 experiments carried out on live animals provides an adequate safeguard? Would he not further agree that his inspection would be better done by veterinary surgeons rather than by doctors?

Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe

Dealing with the first part of the supplementary question, I think the important thing is that the inspector can visit a laboratory at any time without warning and demand to inspect the animals and to see notes of the experiments. I should like notice of the second part of the supplementary question.