HC Deb 06 May 1999 vol 330 cc460-1W
Mr. Öpik

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the bids by regional non-Governmental organisations that have been(a) received and (b) successful in each of the competitive bidding processes launched and managed by his Department since May 1997. [82462]

Mr. Straw

[holding answer 28 April 1999]: The available information is as follows:

These embody the principles of the 3Rs —replacing animal use, reducing the number of animals used in a particular procedure and refining procedures to minimise adverse effects.

Home Office inspectors (who are all highly qualified and experienced in either medicine or veterinary science) assess licence applications to ensure that such alternatives are used wherever possible.

Mr. Rendel

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what studies he has made of the normal mortality rate of cat litters for the purpose of comparison with those used in animal experiments.[83330]

Mr. George Howarth

No specific study has been made. However, I had been advised by the Home Office Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate that a pre-weaning mortality rate of 10 per cent. in an establishment designated under the terms of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 would be comparable to that in commercial catteries which breed kittens for the pet trade. Inspectors hold qualifications in both medical and veterinary science.

I understand that the breeding records of the designated establishment have been examined by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' own professional veterinary staff who consider that they do not reveal evidence of mistreatment.

Mr. Fearn

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many companies in the United Kingdom have current licences for experiments on animals. [83182]

Mr. George Howarth

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 5 May 1999,Official Report, column 375.