§ Mr. Shersby
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has now been made towards agreement on a European convention on the control of animal experiments; and when he expects to be able to introduce legislation to improve and update the Cruelty to Animals Act 1878.
§ Mr. Raison:
The ad hoc committee drafting the convention reached agreement earlier this year on the text, with the exception of the "final articles" which deal with such matters as ratification, accession of non-member countries and reservations. The ad hoc committee meets again from 23–26 November to consider these articles and the texts of two ancillary documents: the draft appendix on the guidelines on the care and accommodation of animals covered by the convention, and the draft explanatory report to the convention itself. The complete draft should then be ready for submission to the Committee of Ministers.
It remains the Government's intention to improve and modernise the 1876 Act when final agreement has been reached on the convention and parliamentary time permits. Meanwhile, they are continuing their study of detailed proposals for giving effect to this. Plans for carrying this forward will be announced when the study is completed.