§ Lord Houghton of Sowerby
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What are the status and functions of Central Animal Services and (i) whether records are kept by this agency of the source of animals acquired by them for supply to laboratories and (ii) what conditions are laid upon "reputable suppliers" to ensure that as far as possible lost and stolen dogs are not on offer; and
What was the state of health of the six dogs being held at Laundry Farm, Barton Road, Newnham for experimental purposes, of which photographs have been published in the press, and where they come from and at what price.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Elton)
: Central Animal Services, which is responsible for Laundry Farm, is the department of the University of Cambridge which provides animals for experimental use in other departments of the university. It also holds some animals which are currently undergoing experiments. There are no specific controls over it under existing law as far as the first of these two functions is concerned. There is no requirement for records to be kept and the Government have no information about the animals held. The provisions of the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876 apply to animals being used for experiments, but it is understood that the dogs stolen from Laundry Farm had not been so used at the time of their theft. Although there is no power to impose conditions on suppliers, the Home Office inspectors' practice over many years has been to advise laboratories to obtain animals only from reputable sources and to take particular care where cats or dogs are involved.