HL Deb 30 January 1979 vol 398 cc121-2WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What exhortation they have recently sent to all persons licensed under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876 to use alternatives to living animals wherever possible.


The following note has been sent to all holders of licences under the 1876 Act and will be sent to all new licensees:

"It is a matter of great public concern about which there is unlikely to be disagreement that the use of living animals for scientific experiments should be limited to the minimum compatible with the pursuit of legitimate scientific ends. The Government brings to the attention of all those carrying out experiments under authorities granted under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876 the importance of taking every reasonable step to confirm before using living animals that their investigations cannot be effectively carried out by any alternative means. To this end it is reasonable to expect that they will consult the available scientific literature and authorities and seek the advice of colleagues who may be able to assist, and the Government urges them to take these precautions. Licensees under the Act are also urged to give thought to the possibilities of developing new alternatives to the use of living animals and to publishing information about successful new methods so that other licencees may be encouraged and helped to reduce the use of animals."