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Animals (Scientific Procedures)

Volume 492: debated on Friday 8 May 2009

I have today published a consultation paper seeking views on the European Commission’s proposal published on 10 November 2008 for a directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. The proposed directive will replace Directive 86/609/EEC on which current United Kingdom legislation—the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986—is based.

The Government welcome the publication of the European Commission’s proposal for a revised directive. We support the Commission’s aim to harmonise the regulation of animal experimentation across the European Union. We also support measures to promote high welfare standards for laboratory animals and to promote the development and use of alternatives. At the same time we believe it is vital that regulation properly balances the protection of animals and the legitimate needs of science and industry while maintaining public confidence that animals are not allowed to suffer unnecessarily.

The consultation paper seeks views on the detailed and technical provisions of the draft directive with a view to informing the formal United Kingdom negotiating position. The consultation closes on 3 July 2009.

Copies of the consultation paper will be placed in the Vote Office and the Libraries of both Houses. It is also available on the Home Office website at: