Dáil Éireann - Volume 313 - 29 March, 1979

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Animal Experiments.

11. Mr. Moore, Mr. Cogan, Mrs. Desmond and Mr. P. Barry asked the Minister for Health when the statistics will be available relating to experiments performed in the State during the year 1977 under the provisions of the Cruelty to Animals Act, 1876; if he envisages that in future years there will be a lapse of 12 or more months before the release of such statistics instead of about six months as hitherto; and if so if he will give the reason for the change of policy.

[837] Mr. Haughey: Statistics relating to experiments performed in the State during the year 1977 under the provisions of the Cruelty to Animals Act, 1876, are available. The last returns for that year from holders of licences under the Act were received in November 1978 and enabled final figures to be compiled for 1977.

Up to the present, returns for 1978 have been received from 142 licence holders and the remaining 57 are being pursued in so far as the present communications difficulties allow. I expect total figures for 1978 will be available by the end of June next. I should add that there has been no change of policy as regards collection of these returns.

12. Mr. Moore, Mr. Meaney, Mr. L'Estrange, Mr. French and Mr. B. Desmond asked the Minister for Health when he expects to receive the Medical Research Council's observations regarding the intensification of the research for alternative techniques that would replace the use of animals in research.

Mr. Haughey: The examination of this matter by the Medical Research Council is continuing and, while I cannot state specifically when a report will be submitted to me, I am assured that it will be completed as quickly as possible.