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House of Commons Hansard
x
23 March 2010
Volume 508
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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many animals of each species involved in procedures died as a result of those procedures at (a) Porton Down and (b) other establishments for which he is responsible in each of the last five years. [322457]

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The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) returns the numbers of procedures undertaken involving animals at DSTL Porton Down to the Home Office on an annual basis, the numbers of procedures returned for last five years are detailed in the following table. This is the only designated defence establishment for such procedures.

Numbers of DSTL procedures returned to the Home Office

Guinea Pig

Ferret

Mouse

Pig

Rabbit

Rat

Sheep

Non-human primate

Total

2005

661

60

20,016

127

3

195

2

54

21,118

2006

545

0

15,986

123

0

335

4

52

17,045

2007

647

0

17,095

74

5

359

2

75

18,257

2008

254

0

10,404

113

2

549

0

55

11,380

2009

190

0

7,698

96

30

5

0

149

8,168

A very large proportion, approximately 95 per cent. of the total number of animals involved in the procedures either died during the procedure, or were humanely culled at the end of the procedures, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986:

http://www.archive.official-documents.co.uk/document/hoc/321/321-xa.htm

Sections 3D, 14 (3) and 15 (2) detail the requirement for specific approval to keep animals alive after the completion of any regulated procedure.

A small number of animals, are approved for re-use in further procedures. An example of re-use was the herd of goats retained at Alverstoke for use in the hyperbaric research programme supporting the Ministry of Defence’s Submarine Escape Rescue and Abandonment System. This programme ceased in November 2006, as formally announced in a written ministerial statement on 6 February 2008, Official Report, column 70WS.