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Animal Experiments: Primates

Volume 468: debated on Wednesday 28 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if she will publish the records of discussions within her Department which took place on the grant of a project licence to Professor Tipu Aziz permitting him to conduct scientific procedures on the primate Felix; (165387)

(2) whether the Animal Procedures Committee in granting a licence for experiments on Felix the primate took into account the extent to which those experiments had been (a) documented in scientific literature and (b) previously conducted on (i) non human primates and (ii) human patients.

I have no plans to disclose the records of discussions relating to applications for project licences under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. Any such records may include information provided in confidence the disclosure of which, other than in the discharge of functions under the Act, is prohibited by section 24 of the same Act.

Under section 20(2) of the 1986 Act, when considering any matter, the Animal Procedures Committee must have regard to the legitimate requirements of science and industry and to the protection of animals against avoidable suffering and unnecessary use in scientific procedures. I am confident that the Committee's advice on individual project licence applications takes full account of all relevant factors in line with this requirement.