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Animal Experiments

Volume 474: debated on Monday 21 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she plans to take to reduce the number of animals used in the testing of food additives. (199669)

The testing of food additives is carried out to satisfy the requirements of the Food Safety Act 1990, for which the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has responsibility, and is an example of specific legislative requirements under which procedures on animals are carried out. The number of animals used varies from year to year and depends on the requirements of industry and the regulators concerned. In the circumstances, it would not be appropriate to place a limit on such testing. However, the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 requires that the procedures authorised must cause the minimum possible suffering to the smallest number of animals of the least sentience and we will continue to ensure that these requirements are met in all categories of animal use, including the testing of food additives.