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Animal Experiments: Primates

Volume 507: debated on Thursday 11 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his Department takes steps to ensure that monkeys imported for scientific research from (a) China and (b) Vietnam have been bred in that country and not re-exported from a third country. (321326)

Appraisal of the breeding centres in China and Vietnam currently regarded as acceptable by the Home Office has not revealed any evidence that animals consigned to the United Kingdom have been bred other than at the Chinese or Vietnamese centre in question.

Following each shipment of non-human primates to the United Kingdom, the Inspectorate has access to the full-lifetime records of the individual animals to be used under project licence authority including details of their origin. Second and subsequent Inspectorate visits to overseas sources allow supplementary checks to be made of the reliability of the records provided to the United Kingdom users.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many companies in (a) China and (b) Vietnam are designated as breeding and supply establishments to supply non-human primates to the UK for the purposes of scientific research. (321341)

The Home Office has no authority to designate primate breeders or suppliers outside Great Britain. However, the use of any non-human primate from an overseas source under the authority of a project licence issued under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 requires prior approval which is given only if the conditions at the supplying centre, and at the breeding centre where the animals originate, if different, are acceptable to the Home Office at the time of the supply. There are three centres in China currently considered acceptable to provide non-human primates to UK designated user establishments and one in Vietnam.