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Animal Experiments

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 8 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make it mandatory for holders of licences to use animals in scientific procedures to provide abstracts for publication on her Department's website. (176884)

The current form of application for a project licence under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 requests that applicants provide in their own words short abstracts of their research proposals to be displayed on the Home Office website. We publish the abstracts to contribute to greater openness, public understanding and debate about the use of animals in science and we actively encourage applicants to provide them. However, abstracts are provided on a voluntary basis and the applicants own the copyright. Compliance with this initiative has generally been good and abstracts have been displayed for 83 per cent. of the project licences granted since the beginning of 2006 to December 2007 and there are currently just over 1,110 published abstracts in total. I consider the current voluntary system to be both proportionate and to have achieved its objective and I have no plans to make the provision of abstracts mandatory.