Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion, Green)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to her Department's publication entitled “Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Great Britain 2011”, published on 10 July 2012, what the precise nature was of the procedures in which cats were used; what the aims were of such procedures; what the reasons are for the increase in the number of procedures involving cats between 2010 and 2011; what the evidential basis is for the statistics on the sources of cats used in procedures set out in Table 2, on page 24; and if she will make a statement.
James Brokenshire (Old Bexley and Sidcup, Conservative)
Cats (along with dogs, non-human primates and horses) are given special protection under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and may only be used if no other species is suitable or it is not practicable to obtain animals of any other species that are suitable for the purposes of the relevant programme of work.
Of the 235 procedures using cats reported in the “Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Great Britain 2011”, 227 were of mild severity and eight of moderate severity. Details of the precise aims and nature of those procedures are not held centrally. Total procedures using cats rose by 26% in 2011, a rise of 48, mainly in studies relating to cat health and nutrition.
The annual return of procedures submitted by project licence holders provides the evidence base for the sources of cats set out in Table 2, on page 24 of the 2011 annual statistics.