§ Mr. Fearn
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what is his Department's estimate of the number of animals used in experiments in(a) 1996, (b) 1997 and (c) 1998; 
(2) in how many facilities in the United Kingdom animal experiments are permitted to take place; 
(3) how many project licences were issued in (a) 1996, (b) 1997 and (c) 1998 for animal experiments. 
§ Mr. George Howarth
Information on the use of animals in scientific procedures is published each year in the Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals. Table la gives details of the number of animals used. In 1996, the total was 2,646,026 and, in 1997, it was 2,573,088.
Figures for animal use during 1998 are being collated and will be published in July.
Scientific procedures must normally be carried out at designated establishments. The Annual Reports of the Animal Procedures Committee 1996 and 1997 list the numbers of such establishments and also give the number of project licences issued. They show that:300 certificates of designation were in force on 31 December 1996 and 292 on 31 December 1997; and667 new project licences were granted during 1996 and 919 during 1997.
Figures for 1998 will be published shortly. They will show that there were 286 certificates of designation in force on 31 December 1998 and that 1,104 project licences were granted during 1998.
In specific circumstances (such as field trials), experiments can also take place at places other than designated establishments. Details of the number of such places are not held centrally.
Of the 286 certificates of designation in force on 31 December 1998, 107 were registered as commercial concerns. The number of companies may differ slightly from this: some companies, for example, may hold more than one certificate of designation each covering a different facility.