§ Lord Houghton of Sowerby
asked Her Majesty's Government:
How the work on the draft convention of the Council of Europe on animal experiments is progressing and whether the timetable previously anticipated is likely to be fulfilled.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Belstead)
We still expect that the timetable which I gave during the debate on the Second Reading of the Laboratory Animals Protection [H.L.] Bill on 18th December will be adhered to. A sub-group of the Ad Hoc Committee of Experts, under the United Kingdom chairman, met in Strasbourg from 13th to 16th January and completed its task of making proposals for improving the drafting of the text of the convention. It made progress on its other task on statistics and, with the aim of completing that, will meet again on 11th May, immediately prior to the next meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee itself. As I told the House on 18th December, we expect as a result of that meeting to have a sufficiently clear idea of the obligations of the convention to enable us to carry forward our pledge to improve and modernise the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876.