HC Deb 10 March 1986 vol 93 c328W
Mr. Stern

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will estimate the number of Draize tests carried out in the United Kingdom in the latest available year.

Mr. Mellor

The specific information requested is not available because Draize eye tests are not separately identified in the current returns on statistics of experiments performed on living animals. However, statistics are available on the number of experiments involving the application of substances to the eyes of rabbits, which are mainly Draize tests: in 1984, 7,751 such experiments were started in Great Britain.

The majority of these Draize tests are probably modified Draize tests; such modifications are designed to restrict the damage the test may inflict on the experimental animal—for example, using a small volume or a dilute solution of the substance to be tested, or washing out the eye shortly after the application of the substance. The Government are taking urgent steps to encourage the development of alternatives to the Draize test and to ensure that tests carried out in this country use as few animals and cause as little harm as possible.

The concern surrounding the use of Draize tests is well recognised. It is intended that, when the statistical return is revised to take account of the proposed legislation, this revised return should identify such tests separately.