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Animals (Medical Experiments)

Volume 31: debated on Friday 12 November 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress he has to report on updating the 1876 Act on experiments on live animals; whether this will take the form of the draft Council of Europe convention and be subject to debate in the House before signature; and if he has taken cognisance of the proposals at the recent conference of the fund for the replacement of animals in medical experiments, copies of which have been sent to him.

The Government intend to improve and modernise the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876 when final agreement has been reached on the draft Council of Europe convention on this subject and parliamentary time permits. Substantial progress has already been made in drafting the convention, but some matters remain to be settled and these will be considered by the ad hoc committee of exports from 23 to 26 November. The complete text will then be submitted to the Committee of Ministers for approval. In the meantime we are continuing our study of detailed proposals for giving effect to this intention with particular reference to the provisions of the draft convention. Our plans for carrying the matter forward will be announced when the study is completed. We have taken note of the proposals contained in the preliminary report of the toxicity committee of the fund for the replacement of animals in medical experiments.