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Animal Experiments

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 17 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department at how many of the establishments in the UK with a certificate of designation under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 there is at least one member of the animal care staff or licensee constantly on site. (158152)

[holding answer 15 October 2007]: The information requested is not held by the Home Office.

Primary responsibility for animals used in regulated procedures rests with the personal licensee concerned. Under personal licence standard conditions 12 and 15 set out in Appendix E to the published Guidance on the Operation of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (HC321) the personal licensee must ensure that animals are properly monitored and cared for and that suitable arrangements exist for the care and welfare of any animals during any period when the personal licensee is not in attendance.

In addition, certificate of designation standard conditions 4 and 9 set out in Appendix B to the guidance require that establishments must be appropriately staffed at all times to ensure the well-being of the protected animals and that they must be provided with adequate care and accommodation appropriate to their type or species. Further requirements are set out in certificate of designation standard conditions 10 and 12.

In practice, professional judgment is exercised on a case-by-case basis by the personal licensee, named veterinary surgeon and named animal care and welfare officer to decide the level of care to be provided, which could involve 24-hour monitoring.