§ The Prime Minister
[holding answer 22 July 1999]: We are committed to continue working to ensure highest possible standards of animal welfare. Major steps already taken include announcing at the end of last year the end to all cosmetics testing on animals in the United Kingdom and no new licences have been issued for such tests since we came to power. We have also negotiated the phase-out across Europe of battery cages for laying hens. To date, co-ordination between Government Departments has been on an informal basis. However, this will be put on a formal basis this autumn by the establishment of an Interdepartmental Ministerial Group.