Oral Answers to Questions — Atomic Energy Research (Animals)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 31st July 1952.

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Photo of Mr Charles Royle Mr Charles Royle , Salford West 12:00 am, 31st July 1952

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what supervision is exercised by his Department where experiments are made on animals in the course of atomic energy research.

Photo of Mr David Maxwell Fyfe Mr David Maxwell Fyfe , Liverpool, West Derby

The performance on any living vertebrate animal of any experiment calculated to give pain is subject to the restrictions imposed by the Cruelty to Animals Act, 1876. These include requirements that the experimenter shall hold a licence (and in many cases additional certificates) and that the experiment shall be carried out on registered premises open to inspection by inspectors under the Act.

Photo of Mr Charles Royle Mr Charles Royle , Salford West

I am no crank on these matters, but will not the right hon. and learned Gentleman agree that there is a difference between experimenting on live animals when it is in the interests of preserving life and when it is a case of the destruction of life? Can he give a more satisfactory assurance that there is adequate supervision by his Department at these research stations?

Photo of Mr David Maxwell Fyfe Mr David Maxwell Fyfe , Liverpool, West Derby

I will certainly look into the point, and if the hon. Gentleman has any special aspect of it to raise I will very gladly discuss it with him.

Photo of Mr Marcus Lipton Mr Marcus Lipton , Lambeth Brixton

Have the inspectors a right of entry into Harwell and other atomic energy establishments?

Photo of Mr David Maxwell Fyfe Mr David Maxwell Fyfe , Liverpool, West Derby

They have a right of entry into the premises concerned.