HC Deb 17 June 1991 vol 193 cc22-4W
Mr. Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he accepts the Medical Research Council's recommendations that(a) the establishment of Home Office inspectors needs to be increased, and (b) their role to be re-examined with a view to their being more involved in the monitoring of the treatment of animals during experiments.

Mrs. Rumbold

I refer the hon. Member to my reply of 11 March 1991 to a question from the hon. Member for Glasgow, Pollok (Mr. Dunnachie) at column335.

Mr. Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many non-purpose bred animals were supplied to the Charing Cross and Westminster medical schools within the last year; by whom they were supplied; and for what specific experiments they were supplied.

Mrs. Rumbold

It is not normally our practice to provide such detailed information about individual scientific procedure establishments, but I have the agreement of the medical school to say that no such animals were supplied within the last year.

Mr. Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures he plans to take in order to detect contraventions of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 by personal and project licence holders.

Mrs. Rumbold

The controls to ensure the proper conduct of animal procedures within scientific user establishments operate at a number of levels. Certificate holders for establishments designated under section 6 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 are answerable to my right hon. Friend for ensuring that the requirements of the Act are fully observed. In addition, the management of research projects and the control of the application of procedures to animals are achieved through conditions attached to project and personal licences. In many cases, project licences are discussed with inspectors

Table A: Number of deaths in prison by year and by ethnic origin 1 January 1981–14 June 1991
Year White West Indian Indian Pakistani African Arab Mixed Total
1981 58
1982 61
1983 64
1984 65
1985 59
1986 58
1987 80
1988 80
1989 71 3 3 1 1 180
1990 82 3 1 1 87
19912 27 2 2 1 32
1 Ethnic origin not recorded for one prisoner.
2 To 14 June.

Table B: Deaths in police custody or otherwise with the police 1 January 1981–14 June 1991
Year Metropolitan Police Other forces (England and Wales) Total
1981 27 22 49
1982 27 28 55
1983 18 25 43
1984 15 19 34
1985 14 23 37
1986 15 26 41
1987 28 26 54
1988 30 38 68
1989 37 36 73
1990 20 41 61
19911 8 16 24
1 To June 14.

and advice is given before a formal application is made. Project licence holders and personal licensees are answerable to certificate holders and to the Home Office.

Infringements of the Act, or of licences issued under it, come to light generally during visits made by inspectors, when they observe procedures being carried out, discuss the progress of the research and examine the records which are required to be kept. Most visits by inspectors are unannounced.

The appendix to the "Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Great Britain", gives the number of infringements dealt with each year, together with details of the action taken.