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Air/Sea Ports

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which (a) airports and (b) seaports are manned 24 hours a day by (i) full-time immigration officials and (ii) full-time special branch officers. [205331]

Mr. Browne: The following ports are staffed by immigration officials 24 hours a day:


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Juxtaposed Controls

Other ports of entry are staffed to cover all services requiring immigration control. Small air and seaports are staffed on a targeted basis dependant upon the assessment of risk of passenger traffic arriving.

The deployment of Special Branch (SB) officers at seaports and airports is a matter for individual Chief Constables. Deployment will be based on a strategic assessment of each port, which will take into consideration the scale of passenger and freight movements, the routes served by the port, and the impact on counter terrorism, national security and serious organised crime. In some areas, principally at smaller ports, SB officers are deployed through a risk-based tasking and co-ordination process. At major ports there are significant permanent deployments.


Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many criminal injuries were caused by the use of an airgun in (a) the UK, (b) the North East and (c) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland in the last year for which figures are available. [204819]

Caroline Flint: The latest available information is for 2002–03 and relates to England and Wales. Information relating to Scotland and Northern Ireland are matters for my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

There were 2,377 offences in England and Wales where injury was caused by an air weapon. There were 84 offences involving injury in the North East region. Figures for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland are not collected centrally.

Off-licence Alcohol Sales

Ross Cranston: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions there have been for off-licence alcohol sales to people (a) already under the influence of alcohol and (b) under the age of 18 years in each of the last 10 years. [201595]

Paul Goggins: The Home Office Court Proceedings database gives the number of defendants proceeded against in England and Wales, 1994 to 2003, for the offences of: "Selling etc., intoxicating liquor to persons under 18 for consumption on the premises" (including "wholesaler selling intoxicating liquor to a person under 18") and "permitting drunkenness or riotous conduct on the premise, or selling liquor to a drunken person".
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Number of defendants proceeded against for certain offences relating to the sale of alcohol(5507180066), England and Wales 1994 to 2003

Offence description Statute YearProceeded against
Permitting drunkenness or riotous conduct onLicensing Act 1964, Sec 172;Licensing Act (Occasional199414
the premises or selling liquor to a drunken personPermissions)Act 1983, Sec 3 (Sch para 6)199519
Selling intoxicating liquor to persons under 18Licensing Act 1964, Secs 169 A&B; Licensing (Occasional1994138
for consumption on the premises(5507180067)Permissions) Act 1983, Schedule (Sec 3) para 4(1)1995198

(5507180066) These data are on the principal offence basis.
(5507180067) Includes "wholesaler selling intoxicating liquor to a person under 18".

Animal Experiments (Testing)

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what notification he has received regarding the funding of experimentation on primates in the UK by the US Air Force. [201069]

Caroline Flint: I am not aware of any projects—licensed or proposed to be licensed under the Animals (Scientific Procedures)Act 1986—for which funding has been obtained from the US Air Force.

Financial viability is only one of many factors taken into account when licensing decisions are taken under the 1986 Act, and the source of funding is not itself a prime consideration. Disclosure of that information by applicants is not an explicit requirement, and it is not necessarily known or recorded by the Home Office in particular cases. Data about the known funding sources is not held centrally.

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what research has been carried out into the cost to benefit ratio of experimental animal testing for the purposes of household products; [202833]

(2) what steps the Government are taking to restrict the most severe forms of experimental animal testing for the purpose of household products; [202834]

(3) what requirements are placed by his Department on UK companies to justify the experimental testing of animals for the purposes of household products; [202835]

(4) what action is being taken to limit the number of experimental animal tests carried out for the purposes of developing household products; [202836]

(5) how many experimental toxicity tests on animals have been carried out in the UK in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [202837]

Caroline Flint: The use of animals to test household products is to ensure environmental, workforce and consumer safety. This is one of the purposes for which
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such use may be licensed under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, and is to meet the requirements of national and international regulatory bodies.

Justification and assessments of applications for licences to undertake such work are on a case-by case basis. Each application has to be approved locally by an ethical review process before being submitted to the Home Office for decision, the whole process being designed to ensure that any animal testing is licensed only after it is deemed to be justified and the related animal suffering minimised.

A form of cost benefit assessment of each individual programme of work has to be undertaken before the Home Office can consider granting the necessary licence. This means that the likely benefits of the work—in terms of generating data for the purposes of risk assessment—must be balanced against the expected welfare costs to the animals involved. No animal testing is licensed without an expert judgment being made on that basis. More information about the statutory cost benefit assessment used in these and all other cases can be found at Appendix I of Guidance on the Operation of the 1986 Act (HC 321).

The 1986 Act additionally provides that animal testing can be licensed only if there are no non-animal alternatives and, where animals must be used, their numbers and suffering are to be minimised. This means that any animal testing judged to be necessary must involve the mildest available procedures for the purpose. Where more severe procedures are unavoidable—and it is unlikely procedures of substantial severity would be needed to test household products—they must be replaced by milder methods as soon as they are validated and then accepted by the regulatory bodies concerned. On the same basis, no animal testing can be authorised once non-animal replacements are developed and generally accepted. These constraints are reflected in a standard condition of project licences, compliance with which is monitored by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate.
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The information requested about the number of toxicity test procedures is contained in Table 25 of the annual publication "Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Great Britain, 2003", and Table 12 of each annual publication of "Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Northern Ireland", copies of which are in the Library.

I should add more generally that the Government recognise that there are concerns about this issue and are not complacent about it. We have regular discussions with the UK regulators concerned, and take a leading role in Europe in encouraging the development and adoption of alternatives to all forms of animal use in science. In May 2004 we established the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs), which will also be working with regulators on the acceptance of alternative methods for regulatory toxicology.

Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many licences have been issued for the testing of animals in laboratories in each of the last three years. [206203]

Caroline Flint: Comprehensive statistics regarding the licensed use in Great Britain of animals under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 are published annually. Copies of the publications for 2001, 2002 and 2003 can be found in the House Library (Cm 5581, Cm 5886 and Cm 6291 respectively).

These publications show that 601 project licences were granted in Great Britain in 2001 under the 1986 Act. The corresponding figures for 2002 and 2003 (the latest available published data) were 695 and 774 respectively.

Each year licences expire or are revoked, as well as granted. For completeness, and to give a more accurate idea of the overall amount of licensed work conducted, I should therefore add that there were 3,309 project licences in force in Great Britain at the end of 2001, and 3,180 and 2,977 at the end of 2002 and 2003 respectively.

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