HC Deb 11 October 1976 vol 917 cc40-1W
Mr. Hugh Jenkins

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department for how many years animals have been used for the testing of talcum powders; what types of tests are used; how many animals are used and what types of animal; if the animals suffer in these tests; and if he is satisfied that they should be allowed to continue.

Dr. Summerskill

Animals, usually rodents or guinea pigs, are occasionally used in experiments under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876 to test talcum powders for toxicity and carcenogenicity. The tests vary in detail but usually consist of the application of the powder to an animal's skin and the observation of any adverse effects. Home Office records do not indicate when such tests began or how many animals are used in them each year. We are satisfied that, subject to the controls imposed under the Act, there are no grounds on which we would be justified in withholding the necessary authority for the performance of such experiments.