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Departmental Responsibilities

Volume 456: debated on Tuesday 6 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether (a) his Department and (b) his non-departmental public bodies have any role in animal (i) health and (ii) welfare. (118213)

The information is as follows:

(a) This Department supports the best use of science within Government, in animal health and welfare as in other areas.

This Government established in May 2004 the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) to provide a centre for the promotion, development and implementation of the 3Rs in animal research and testing. The centre is funded by the Home Office, Medical Research Council, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Wellcome Trust, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, The Dow Chemical Company, SC Johnson, Syngenta and Unilever.

(b) Research into animal health and welfare is funded by Research Councils, through directed and responsive mode schemes. Animal health and welfare is one of the three major themes in the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council's 2005 strategy for research in its institutes. The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has a responsibility under the Conservation of Seals Act 1970 to monitor British seal populations which it discharges through its sponsorship of the Sea Mammal Research Unit. Some of NERC's research and collaborative centres also study the health of fish and bird populations.

Any research funded by the Research Councils that necessitates the use of animals is undertaken in accordance with the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and the accompanying regulations.