HC Deb 17 July 1995 vol 263 c971W
Mr. Spring

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if there will be an ethical review of the research conducted by his Department involving animals. [34998]

Mr. Arbuthnot

Experiments involving animals and conducted by my Department or its agencies are subject to a rigorous process of internal review and external control by the Home Office, in accordance with the requirements of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. The experiments account for less than half of 1 per cent. of all experiments in the United Kingdom involving animals. Nevertheless, I am keen to adopt any additional measures that would serve to strengthen public confidence in the procedures that govern animal experiments in my Department and, to this end, I have agreed to establish an animal welfare advisory committee. The committee will comprise three independent members and will review animal care and welfare arrangements at establishments conducting experiments involving animals. The committee will advise the senior manager responsible for the establishment in which experiments take place and will, quite separately, make an independent report normally once a year, to the Ministry of Defence's chief scientific adviser.

I have placed a copy of the terms of reference of the new committee in the Library. Approaches will be made to three individuals who represent a range of interests related to the conduct of scientific experiments involving animals.

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