§ Mr. Dalyell
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures currently exist in law to deal with persons who deliberately disrupt medical research; and what assessment he has made of the current adequacy of these measures.
§ Mr. Maclean
The Government attach great importance to the continuation of medical research, subject to the strict controls set out in the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, and are committed to ensuring an environment in which such research can flourish. I am satisfied that existing provisions of the criminal law give the police and the courts a wide range of powers for dealing with the activities of persons who deliberately disrupt medical research. I am, however, keeping the position under review, in consultation with the Association of Chief Police Officers.