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Animal Experiments

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the Answer of 26 June 2008, Official Report, columns 442-43W, on animal experiments, whether licences that authorise procedures of such severity that death would ensue would require an animal to be euthanased immediately; whether the licences require 24-hour care so that euthanasia can be carried out immediately; whether severity limits are allocated to such licences; whether such licences fall within the band classified as substantial; for what purposes such licences are given; and if she will make a statement. (220608)

The Home Office does not authorise death as an experimental endpoint in project licences granted under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. Where an earlier endpoint has been set to ensure that animals are killed before death would occur, euthanasia would be applied as soon as the animal exhibits predetermined signs, such as abnormal behaviour, appearance, body weight changes, body temperature changes, abnormal clinical findings or observations or laboratory investigations. Monitoring arrangements would also be required to ensure that such signs were identified promptly. Where appropriate, these may include 24-hour care.

Severity limits for such procedures may be either moderate or substantial, depending on the point at which the endpoint is to be applied, and would be set in accordance with the guidance provided in paragraph 5.42 of the published Guidance on the Operation of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (HC321).

Common examples of project licences of this nature include those authorising regulatory toxicology and safety evaluation studies, some vaccine efficacy tests, certain models of disease and major surgery.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals 2006, for what specific purposes macaque monkeys were used. (220865)

Table 1 of the Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals: Great Britain 2006 identifies the primary purpose of the procedures in which macaques were used. Further information regarding target body systems, non-toxicological field of research, use for production of biological materials, toxicological purpose and type of toxicological test is provided, respectively, in tables 4, 6, 7, 9 and 11 of the publication.