§ Mr. Raison
I have been asked to reply.
The Cruelty to Animals Act 1876 requires that every painful or potentially painful animal experiment must be performed with a view to the advancement by new discovery of physiological knowledge or of knowledge which will be useful for saving or prolonging life or alleviating suffering. LD50 tests carried out under the provisions of that Act satisfy one or more of these criteria and the Act gives no power to impose further restrictions on the purposes for which such experiments may be performed. The advisory committee on the administrations of the Act which reported on the test in 1979 made recommendations for the additional protection of animals subjected to it which have been acted upon. I understand that some European Community directives require the use of the LD50 test and national legislation prohibiting it in respect of them would be in breach of the Government's obligations.