Parliamentary Questions and Answers

Question No. 116

To ask the Minister for Agriculture and Food the extent of licences which exist for laboratories which use live animals in tests and experiments; and if he will review these licences in the context of developments in the testing of drugs and other products which no longer require the use of live animals. [29351/03]

Trevor Sargent

WRITTEN REPLY (3rd December, 2003)

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh):

The main body of legislation governing animals used in tests and experiments at European level is Council Directive 86/609 and at national level, the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876, as amended, and regulations made thereunder. The legislation comes under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health and Children.

My Department has some involvement in the area of clinical field trials under pharmaceutical legislation where the focus is protection of human health. Accordingly, under the Animal Remedies Regulations 1996, my Department grants licences for the conduct of clinical field trials on animals for the purpose of determining quality, safety and efficacy of veterinary medicinal products prior to lodgement of applications for a marketing authorisation. All applications for such licences must be accompanied by a valid licence under the Cruelty to Animals Act or confirmation of exemption from same.

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