§ Mr. Murphy
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations he has received regarding experiments on live animals; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Raison
In the first nine months of this year about 1,700 letters have been received in the Home Office. The Government intend to improve and modernise the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876 when parliamentary time permits and final agreement has been reached on the draft Council of Europe convention on this matter. Substantial progress has already been made in drafting the convention, but some matters remain to be settled and these will be considered by the ad hoc committee of experts later this month. The complete text will then have to be submitted to the Committee of Ministers for approval. In the meantime we are continuing our study of detailed proposals to give effect to this intention. Plans for carrying it forward will be announced when the study is completed.