HC Deb 16 January 1964 vol 687 cc393-4
21. Sir Richard Glyn

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give particulars of certificates issued under Section 5 of the Cruelty to Animals Act, 1876, within the last 12 months with regard to experimenting and testing dogs with drugs of the fluoracetate group; and whether he is aware that a number of dogs recently lost their lives as a result of such experiments.

Mr. Woodhouse

One certificate under Section 5 of the Act of 1876 was given in October last in connection with investigations concerning fluoroacetamide, but other licensees under the Act hold certificates which would enable them to carry out similar work. My right hon. Friend is aware that a small number of dogs has recently been used for experiments of this kind.

Sir Richard Glyn

Will my hon. Friend ask his inspectors to make quite sure that when these necessary experiments on dogs are carried out, the animals are rendered insensible from the beginning of the experiments so that they are not exposed to pain before they die? I am sure that my hon. Friend will agree that that is a vital necessity in each case?

Mr. Woodhouse

I certainly agree. But it is the task of the inspectors to make sure that the provisions of the Act are carried out in respect of all experiments. Experiments without anaesthetics require a special certificate, certificate A, which can be granted in exceptional circumstances, but only on the advice of the president of one of the learned scientific societies or a professor in a relevant sphere.