HL Deb 23 March 1999 vol 598 cc142-3WA
Lord Alton of Liverpool

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Williams of Mostyn on 8 March (WA 1) on genetically modified animals:

  1. (a) how many project licence holders are registered under the terms of Section 5 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986;
  2. (b) who checks the records of the licence holders;
  3. (c) whether imported animals contain human genetic code; and, if so, how many have been imported and from where;
  4. WA 143
  5. (d) how were the nearly 900, 000 genetically modified animals disposed of; and
  6. (e) whether they are satisfied that none were interbred with non-modified animals. [HL1489]

Lord Williams of Mostyn

  1. (a) As of 12 March, there were 3, 691 project licences in force. The total number of licence holders will be less than this as some individuals hold more than one project licence.
  2. (b) Under conditions attached to licences, records must be open to examination by inspectors appointed under the terms of Section 18 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. Appendix V of the Guidance on the Operation of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, published by the Stationery Office, gives details of the information that should be included in the records. Checks may also be carried out within establishments by the certificate holder, named animal care and welfare officers, named veterinary surgeons and other licensees.
  3. (c)Central records are maintained of all imported, genetically modified animals and their origins. However, checking whether each strain of genetically modified animal contains human genetic code could only be carried out at disproportionate cost by checking individual cases.
  4. (d)Detailed information is not held centrally, but either:
    1. (i) the animals are still alive;
    2. (ii) the animals were killed during the course of a procedure or by a humane method approved in Schedule 1 to the Act; or
    3. (iii) the animals were discharged from the controls of the Act so that they could be exported.
    No genetically modified animals have been released from the controls of the Act other than for export.
  5. (e) Genetically modified animals will have been intentionally interbred with normal animals but only under the authority and control of licences issued under the terms of the 1986 Act.