HC Deb 08 July 1965 vol 715 cc1792-3
4. Mr. Burden

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many monkeys have been used in this country for stomach ulcer experiments resulting in their death or killing for autopsy after six months; what medical knowledge has been gained from these experiments during which great anxiety and physical suffering was caused to the animals used; and if he will refuse licences for the carrying out of these experiments in future.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. George Thomas)

No authority has been given for experiments of this kind. If such authority were sought the application would be considered with full regard to the restrictions imposed by and under the Cruelty to Animals Act, 1876, and to the risks of pain to the animal.

Mr. Burden

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that that was the reply I expected? Is he also aware that, while animal lovers appreciate the zeal with which anti-vivisectionists in this country press their case, the manner in which they sometimes collect evidence of excesses in vivisection carried out abroad, and present this as if it had happened in this country, is to be roundly deplored? In connection with this, will the hon. Gentleman consult his right hon. Friend, despite the manner in which time presses upon the Government from many points of view, and consider the possibility of debating the Littlewood Report early in the next Session of Parliament, if they are still there? Would he also consider the possibility of introducing legislation to bring forward and put into operation some of the recommendations of that Committee?

Mr. Thomas

I would draw the hon. Gentleman's attention to the fact that on the last part of his supplementary question there is a question on the Order Paper to be answered later today, if it is reached, put down by my hon. Friend the Member for Wood Green (Mrs. Joyce Butler). On the first part, the hon. Gentleman has a high reputation, both in the House and outside, on all matters relating to the care of animals. I know that his strictures will be noted by those to whom they refer, and I support them.