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Animal Experiments: Porton Down

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 21st May 2020.

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Photo of Kenny MacAskill Kenny MacAskill Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Justice Team Member)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, further to Answer of 13 May 2020 to Question 43761, on Animal Experiments: Porton Down, for what reasons infant marmosets are not reared on site prior to re-homing.

Photo of Jeremy Quin Jeremy Quin The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

Infant marmosets are reared on site within their family group where the family are able to do this successfully. In captivity, larger litter sizes (for example triplets) are more frequent and some marmoset families are not able to successfully rear triplets. Optimal family group welfare is maintained, where appropriate, by euthanasia of some infants to reduce litter size down to a number that the family can rear. The decision to reduce litter size is made on a case by case basis, under veterinary supervision. It would not be appropriate to hand rear marmoset infants away from their families (on site or anywhere else) as their physical and psychological welfare needs could not be met in these circumstances.

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