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Animal Welfare

Volume 406: debated on Thursday 12 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has for promoting alternative methods of testing other than using animals. [115584]

Responsibility for policy on the use of animals in scientific procedures rests with the Home Office.

Defra is playing a full part in collective efforts led by the Home Office to promote the fullest application of the 3Rs—the replacement of procedures with others which do not use animals, the reduction of the number of animals used and the refinement of procedures to minimise pain and suffering—including the inter-Departmental Concordat on Data Sharing and other measures. Among other things, signatories to the concordat aim to minimise data requirements for animal tests as far as possible; encourage data sharing between clients, wherever appropriate, and to identify and overcome any procedural and legal barriers to data sharing.