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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the answer of 11 November 2009, Official Report, column 435W, on Wickham Research Laboratories: Animal Experiments, whether she now requires licence-holders under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 to obtain her consent before carrying out an animal test for an identified product or substance, where their test is (a) for quality control purposes and (b) other types of regulatory testing; and if she will make a statement.
Before any animal test is carried out under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA), it is a requirement that it must be part of a programme specified in a project licence. No animal tests may be performed under ASPA without this prior consent.
It remains Home Office practice to authorise specified programmes as opposed to individual tests. However, if authority is requested to carry out an animal test where an alternative test, not involving the use of an animal, has been validated and accepted by regulatory bodies in international test guidelines, applicants are required to provide evidence as to why the non-animal alternative cannot be used. This evidence would usually be for an identified product or substance or class of products or substances.