§ Mr. Dalyell
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment she has made of the impact on the United Kingdom science base and the competitiveness of the United Kingdom's science-based industries of the burden of regulation on applications for research and development projects involving animals. 
§ Mr. Battle
[holding answer 27 July 1998]: It is important that the use of animals in regulated procedures is properly controlled to ensure that animals are used only where it is fully justified. Applications need to be carefully scrutinised and processed. There is a responsibility to ensure that alternatives which replace or reduce animal use, and which refine procedures to minimise suffering, are used wherever possible.
We do not consider that scientific research and the competitiveness of the UK's science-based industries is unduly hampered. The Animal Procedures Committee is carrying out a review of the operation of the Animals (Scientific procedures) Act 1986 which is due to be published later this year.