Animal Experiments

Home Department written question – answered on 25th June 2012.

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Photo of Mike Hancock Mike Hancock Liberal Democrat, Portsmouth South

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent research her Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the efficacy of animal experiments.

Photo of Lynne Featherstone Lynne Featherstone The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Government has not commissioned or evaluated any formal research on the efficacy of animal experiments. This is for a number of reasons. Put simply, animal research is already routinely subject to a number of stringent tests. First and foremost, unless an experiment is judged to be potentially efficacious it cannot be licensed under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. Where an application relates to ongoing work, inspectors will assess the evidence of benefits from previous work in advising on authorisation. Also, local ethical review processes in licensed establishments review the conduct of the work undertaken under licence at their establishments.

In addition, research councils and charities evaluate the research projects carried out under the 1986 Act for which they provide funding. Work funded by pharmaceutical companies is subject to internal scrutiny within those companies, and the safety and efficacy testing needed before people are exposed to new drugs is evaluated by the relevant regulators.

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