asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will ensure that animals used within the Health Service are ordered from the Medical Research Council or breeders accredited by the Medical Research Council.
Users of animals, who must be licensed by the Home Office, have available full guidance on the law relating to experiments on animals, and this recommends that they obtain them from accredited breeders or other approved sources. Medical Research Council workers themselves are advised to use animals obtained from breeders accredited by the Medical Research Council Laboratory Animals Centre or other reliable sources, and I expect those concerned in the National Health Service to observe similar criteria.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will ensure that his Department purchases drugs only from pharmaceutical companies which purchase animals for experiments from breeders accredited by the Medical Research Council.
Discrimination between pharmaceutical companies on the basis suggested by my hon. Friend would raise substantial difficulties. Many companies supplying medicinal products used in the National Health Service have no occasion to carry out animal experiments or do not carry out such experiments in this country. However, under the Medicines Act, evidence of the safety, quality and efficacy of a new product has to be produced before a licence is granted for its marketing. I can assure my hon. Friend that in the course of the scrutiny of such evidence attention is given to the question of the validity of tests carried out on animals, and the quality of the animals used.