HL Deb 20 March 1980 vol 407 cc436-7

Lord HOUGHTON of SOWERBY asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are aware that the following species of monkeys were used during 1978 in the three premises listed below: Huntingdon Research Centre, Cambridge, 497 Cynomolgus, 586 Rhesus, and 259 Baboons; at Inverest International, 26 Cynomolgus, 39 Rhesus, and 160 Baboons; and at Oxford University, 245 Rhesus; and that the numbers"in stock"in 1979 totalled in the three laboratories named Cynomolgus 397, Rhesus 471, and Baboons 114; and whether these animals were all wild-caught and what experiments upon them were justified in the public interest; and

Whether they are aware that at the Huntingdon Research Centre, Cambridge, during 1978 more than 1,300 monkeys were used and killed in"short term toxicity tests "; whether these tests were carried out wholly or mainly for or on behalf of manufacturers of substances for sale to the public; and to what extent they yielded no new knowledge but were merely repeat tests for the same products on animals of the same species.


Statistics are not collated centrally about the types of primate on which experiments subject to the Provisions of the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876 are carried out, nor on the way in which the animals are obtained nor on how many are held. As the noble Lord will be aware from Table 1 of Statistics of experiments on living animals: Great Britain 1978 (Cmnd. 7628), during 1978 7,167 experiments were commenced on primates, of which 4,836 (67 per cent.) were performed to select, develop or study the use, hazards or safety of medical, dental or veterinary products. It is not the practice to give information about the work of individual establishments; as explained on page 6 of that Command Paper, licensees submitted their returns in confidence.