HC Deb 13 December 1955 vol 547 cc171-2W
Mr. Viant

asked the Minister of Health, as representing the Lord President of the Council, why more monkeys are needed by the Medical Research Council's institution; and why the Director of the Laboratory Animals Bureau flew to India to speed up the traffic of monkeys, in view of the fact that more monkeys have arrived at London Airport this year than in 1954, and large numbers have been arriving every month.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I understand that the great majority of the monkeys which arrive at London Airport are for transhipment to other countries. Of the number actually imported into this country only a small proportion is used by the Medical Research Council, which requires monkeys mainly for safety tests on poliomyelitis vaccines. Most of the monkeys imported are used by the commercial firms engaged on the production of poliomyelitis vaccines. The object of the visit to India of the Director of the Laboratory Animals Bureau was not to speed up the traffic of monkeys but to investigate the conditions under which monkeys are obtained and exported to this country and to do everything possible to improve existing arrangements.