HC Deb 15 June 1998 vol 314 c74W
Mr. David Taylor

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when his Department last inspected the Harlan UK animal breeding establishment at Belton in north west Leicestershire; with what results; and how it ensures that the treatment of animals bred at this establishment conforms to the highest standards of animal welfare(a) at the breeding stage and (b) for the rest of their lives. [44240]

Mr. George Howarth

The use of protected animals in scientific procedures is controlled by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.

All establishments designated under the terms of section 6 or 7 of the Act must comply with the terms and conditions of their Certificate of Designation and meet the standards set out in published Codes of Practice. All regulated procedures, including the breeding of transgenic animals, must be authorised in a project licence and all those carrying out the procedures must hold appropriate personal licence authorities.

Inspectors visit all establishments, on both an announced and an unannounced basis, to ensure that the terms and conditions of licences and certificates are being met.

Animals which have been used in procedures normally remain under the control and protection of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 for their lifetime. Discharge from these controls must be authorised by the Secretary of State and is considered only if a veterinary surgeon has certified that the animal is unlikely to suffer any adverse effects as a result of any procedure it has been involved in.

The Protection of Animals Act 1911 also provides for the welfare of laboratory, and other animals.

The establishment in question was last inspected on 4 June 1998. The visit lasted for five hours. No material departures from the standards set out in the Codes of Practice, or from the terms and conditions of the Certificate and licences, were found.