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Animal Experiments

Home Department written question – answered on 27th 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 research she has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the (i) accuracy and (ii) reproducibility of in vitro tests for botox toxicity in the last 12 months; and if she will make a statement.

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

The Home Office has not commissioned or evaluated research on the accuracy and reproducibility of in vitro tests for botulinum toxicity in the last 12 months.

We continue to authorise the use of animals for the potency testing of botulinum toxin products as international and United Kingdom regulations relating to the safety and efficacy of medicines require that they are tested for potency. This form of testing is kept under regular review and only licensed where there is no alternative.

The Home Office and all others concerned with conducting and regulating such testing, including the designated laboratories and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, are committed to using alternatives to animals as soon as it becomes practicable to do so.

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