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Animal Experiments: Primates

Volume 469: debated on Monday 10 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how often overseas centres, approved to supply non-human primates to human laboratories in the UK, are revisited by her Department's inspectors. (169543)

The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and the standard conditions placed on project licences allow for the sourcing of laboratory animals (listed in Schedule 2 to the Act) from abroad only if authorised and if no suitable animals are available in the United Kingdom.

Visits by the animals inspectorate are risk based, depending on the need to monitor standards of husbandry and care or the progress of improvements. When appropriate, they are timed to coincide with applications for acceptance or continued acceptance of an overseas centre. The Inspectorate will usually consider a visit necessary before giving advice on the continuing acceptability of a centre, and may regard a visit as appropriate if concerns about an accepted centre are raised.

On this basis, an overseas centre approved to supply non-human primates to designated establishments will be visited about every two to four years, depending on the findings from the previous visit, the need to reassess on site and whether animals are being supplied from the site. Between visits, interim assessments are made from information provided by other visitors and responses to specific questions on current care and accommodation