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Animal Experiments: Primates

Volume 477: debated on Friday 20 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which overseas primate supply or breeding facilities which export primates to the UK for the purposes of scientific research her Department has (a) inspected and approved and (b) not inspected in the last two years; what country each is in; and if she will make a statement. (210716)

10 overseas centres are currently accepted to supply non-human primates to designated user establishments in the United Kingdom. Of these, four, in China, Vietnam and the Netherlands, have been visited by Home Office inspectors since June 2006. The remaining centres in the Netherlands, Israel, Mauritius and the United States of America have not been visited in that period.

The acceptability of an overseas centre supplying non-human primates to UK designated establishments is reviewed at least once every two years. This biennial review takes into consideration all available information including full details of the breeding centre, submitted to the Home Office on a standard pro-forma, responses to specific questions on current care and accommodation, routine reports submitted by users following receipt of each consignment of animals and, where possible, informal reports from users who have visited the centre.

Normally, centres will be visited 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. Visits by the Inspectorate are risk based, depending on the need to monitor standards of husbandry and care or progress of improvements.