The use of animals in experiments and other scientific procedures is strictly regulated by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.
Animals listed in schedule 2 to the 1986 Act may only be used if obtained from designated breeders and or suppliers. Schedule 2 lists: mouse, rat, guinea pig, hamster, rabbit, dog, cat, primate, quail, ferrets, gerbils, pigs if genetically modified and sheep if genetically modified.
Such animals must, unless an exemption is granted, be obtained from designated breeders and suppliers in the United Kingdom. All of these designated breeders and suppliers are required to comply with the conditions of issue of a Certificate of Designation issued under the 1986 Act, to comply with Home Office codes of practice and are subject to regular inspection by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate. All users must keep records of the source and disposal of protected animals. These records are available to the Home Office on request. Additional administrative controls require that, unless otherwise authorised by the Secretary of State, breeding and supplying designated establishments may only obtain animals of the types listed in schedule 2 from other designated sources. Applicants seeking permission to obtain such animals from non-designated sources are generally required to demonstrate that no suitable animal can be obtained from a designated source. Suitability may be determined by particular factors including strain, age, weight and health status.
There are additional controls for the acquisition and use of non-human primates. Approval for the acquisition of non-human primates from overseas, or from other non-designated sources, will only be given if the conditions at the breeding or supplying centre are acceptable to the Home Office. The Home Office has detailed knowledge of the standards and practices of the overseas breeders that supply captive bred non-human primates to UK laboratories, in advance of their being used, and they are subject to periodic visits by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate. Approval is also conditional upon lifetime health records being supplied with the animals and made available to the Home Office upon request. Project licence holders must maintain and make available to the Home Office, on request, records relating to the non-designated centres from which the animals are obtained. Each batch of animals acquired from overseas must be separately authorised, and the transport arrangements must be acceptable to the Home Office. The Home Office must also be supplied with details of the health status of the animals on, and after, arrival at the designated establishment.
Requests to use animals of the types specified in schedule 2 to the 1986 Act from non-designated sources are generally treated on a case-by-case basis, the Secretary of State being able to grant exemptions to the requirement that they be obtained from approved breeders in the United Kingdom when he believes this is justified.
(2) what proportion of the regulated procedures conducted in Scotland in 2005 under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 were performed by (a) public health laboratories, (b) universities and medical schools, (c) national health service hospitals, (d) Government Departments, (e) other public bodies, (f) non-profit making organisations and (g) commercial organisations;
(3) how many of the regulated procedures conducted in Scotland in 2005 under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 involved (a) cats, (b) dogs, (c) rabbits, (d) horses and other equids, (e) new world primates and (f) old world primates; and how many involved (i) genetically modified animals and (ii) animals with a harmful genetic defect;
(4) how many (a) mice, (b) rats, (c) guinea pigs, (d) hamsters, (e) rabbits, (f) horses and other equids, (g) sheep, (h) pigs, (i) birds, (j) amphibians, (k) reptiles, (l) fish, (m) cats, (n) dogs, (o) new world primates and (p) old world primates were used in regulated procedures conducted in Scotland in 2005 under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986;
(5) what proportion of the project licences granted under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 that were in force in Scotland at the end of 2005 were in the (a) mild, (b) moderate, (c) substantial and (d) unclassified severity banding;
(6) how many infringements of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 were recorded in Scotland at the end of 2005; and how many prosecutions resulted.
Comprehensive statistics of scientific procedures on living animals in Great Britain of animals carried out under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 are published annually. Copies of the publication for 2005 (Cm 6877) can be found in the Library.
The data is not collected, stored or presented in a way enabling it to be easily broken down between England, Wales and Scotland as the 1986 Act is administered by the Home Office for the whole of Great Britain (it is administered separately in Northern Ireland). A special exercise has therefore been conducted to isolate the information requested in relation to Scotland.
During 2005, 408,794 regulated procedures under the 1986 Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 were carried out in Scotland.
During 2005, in Scotland, universities and medical schools carried out 62 per cent. of the regulated procedures under the 1986 Act, Government Departments 3 per cent., other public bodies 15 per cent. and commercial organisations 20 per cent. Public health laboratories, NHS hospitals and non-profit making organisations did not carry out any regulated procedures.
During 2005, in Scotland, there were four regulated procedures involving cats conducted under the 1986 Act, 1,723 involving dogs, 6,938 involving rabbits, 69 involving horses and other equids, 79 involving new world primates, 1,306 involving old world primates, 128,561 involving genetically modified animals and 11,048 involving animals with a harmful genetic defect.
During 2005, in Scotland, 267,960 mice, 49,284 rats, 2,944 guinea pigs, 774 hamsters, 3,016 rabbits, 69 horse and other equids, 5,294 sheep, 941 pigs, 7,854 birds, 238 amphibians, 56,993 fish, four cats, 1,308 dogs, 46 new world primates and 864 old world primates were used in regulated procedures under the 1986 Act. No reptiles were used.
During 2005, in Scotland, 39 per cent. of the project licences granted under the 1986 Act that were in force at the end of 2005 were in a mild severity banding, 57 per cent. in moderate, 2 per cent. in substantial and 2 per cent. in an unclassified severity banding.
Five infringements of the 1986 Act were reported at designated establishments in Scotland during 2005. No prosecutions resulted.