HC Deb 06 May 1999 vol 330 c461W
Mr. Rendel

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the powers of the Animal Procedures Committee; what is its current membership; how members are selected; and what plans he has to change the(a) membership and (b) membership structure. [83328]

Mr. George Howarth

The role of the Animal Procedures Committee is advisory, not regulatory or executive. It advises the Secretary of State on matters concerned with the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and his functions under it. Under sections 20 of that Act, it must advise him on any question connected with the Act which he has referred to and may also offer him advice on any other such question if it chooses to do so.

The current membership of the Committee is: Professor Michael Banner (Chairman), Professor Ronald Anderson, Professor Christopher Atterwill, Mr. Mike Baker, Professor Donald Broom, Professor Grahame Bulfield, Dr. David Clark, Professor Stephen Clark, Professor Robin Dunbar, Professor Paul Flecknell, Mr. John Gregory, Mr. Alan Holland, Dr. Maggy Jennings, Professor Colin Johnston, Dr. Gill Langley, Professor John Martin, Professor Alan McNeilly, Professor lain Purchase, Professor Genevra Richardson, Dr. Jacqueline Southee, Dr. Anthony Suckling, Professor John Turner and Mr. Les Ward.

Members of the Committee are appointed by the Secretary of State, taking into account the advice of a panel consisting of a senior Home Office official, the Chair of the Committee, and an independent member. The panel seeks nominations from a wide range of scientific, industrial, commercial and animal welfare organisations. The aim is to maintain a breadth of relevant expertise on the Committee. Members of the Committee are appointed as individuals. They do not act as representatives or delegates of any other organisation.

Under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, members of the Committee can serve for a maximum of two terms, each of up to four years. At least two-thirds of the members, other than the Chair, must hold registration as a medical practitioner or veterinary surgeon or hold qualifications or experience in an approved biological subject. The Committee must also include at least one member who is a barrister, solicitor or advocate.

We last made new appointments to the Animal Procedures Committee in December 1998 and have no immediate plans to appoint further new members or to change the membership structure.