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Animal Welfare Advisory Committee

Volume 514: debated on Wednesday 21 July 2010

I am pleased to announce an early contribution to this Government’s commitment to reduce the costs of bureaucracy following a review of public bodies sponsored by the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

All of the bodies have been reviewed against the technical, impartiality and transparency tests. We have concluded that they are all still needed, except for the Animal Welfare Advisory Council (AWAC). The AWAC was formed in 1996 to provide independent scientific advice to the Secretary of State for Defence on the care and welfare of animals used in procedures for defence research purposes in the United Kingdom. The AWAC is not responsible for monitoring compliance with animal welfare regulations since this is done by the Home Office and their independent Animal Procedures Committee (APC). Consequently the AWAC has not met since 2007. We have consulted with all interested parties and it has been agreed that the AWAC will be dissolved immediately. We are confident that the Home Office and their independent APC will ensure that the MOD continues to take the issue of animal health and welfare seriously and complies fully with all animal welfare regulations.