§ Sir Bernard Braine
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether the decision of the Medical Research Council to institute changes in the accreditation of laboratory animal breeders has her approval; whether there was prior consultation with breeders of laboratory animals; and how she proposes to ensure effective public control of standards if there are mass resignations of breeders from the scheme.
§ Mr. Oakes
The Medical Research Council's decision to introduce charges for participation in its voluntary scheme for the accreditation of breeders of laboratory animals does not require my approval but it accords with general Government policy that services provided should be paid for. I understand that the Council had some consultation with participating breeders, and intends to have further discussions about the basis for the gradual introduction of full-cost charging over the next five years. The present scheme does not amount to the public control of standards but a mass withdrawal of breeders from the scheme would be of concern to the Government and I am in touch with the Council about the matter.