HL Deb 20 July 1977 vol 386 cc299-300

2.54 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government:

  1. (i) whether any experiments on pigs are being conducted in this country comparable with those currently being carried out in Denmark to test the effects of electrical action as part of the campaign for the abolition of torture; and
  2. (ii) what powers of control the Home Secretary can use under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876 to ensure that the infliction of pain or suffering upon animals is not used as part of research into methods of torture of human beings.


My Lords, the answer to the first part of the Question is that no such experiments are being performed in this country under the authority of the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876, nor, to our knowledge, in any other circumstances. The answer to the second part is that, in addition to restrictions under the Act itself, which limit the purposes for which experiments may be performed and impose other controls, powers are also conferred on my right honourable friend to grant or refuse licences to perform experiments; to attach conditions to licences; to disallow certificates which relax the statutory restrictions; and to inspect places at which experiments are performed.


My Lords, will the noble Lord confirm whether in fact the humane nation of Denmark is performing these experiments on pigs?


My Lords, I cannot give a definite answer to that question, other than to say that our only information is that which has appeared recently in the Press.