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Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps her Department is taking to reduce the number of animals used in scientific procedures; and if she will make a statement. 
Meg Hillier: The licensing system under the Animals (Scientific procedures) Act 1986 is demand-led and provides the Home Office, as regulator, with no mechanism for reducing animal use. Instead the Act requires that the procedures authorised must cause the minimum possible suffering to the smallest number of animals of the least sentience. The Act also requires that, before a project licence is issued, we must weigh the benefits to humans, other animals, or the environment against the costs to the animals involved. A licence cannot be granted if the work could be carried out without using animals. The overall amount of animal research which takes place is determined by a number of factors, including the economic climate and global trends in scientific endeavour.
We are, however, fully committed to encouraging the development and use of alternatives to animal experimentation where this is possible. The establishment of the national Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) by the Government in May 2004 and continued contributions to its funding by the Home Office demonstrates our ongoing commitment in this area. The NC3Rs provides the opportunity to
co-ordinate and stimulate research and good practice in the 3Rs (reduction, replacement and refinement). It is able to fund high-quality research and facilitate the exchange of information and ideas, the identification of knowledge gaps, and the translation of research findings into practice to benefit both animals and science. The Centre submits an annual report to the Minister for Science and Innovation on its activities and that report is available on their website at www.nc3rs.org.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions she has had with (a) Animal Concern, (b) the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and (c) People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on animal welfare matters. 
Officials from the Home Office have had discussions with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on matters relating to animal welfare within the context of the use of animals in scientific procedures. These topics have, for example included, discussions on regulatory testing and the use of rodents in carcinogenicity (cancer) studies, the use of non-human primates in testing and research; and a number of matters relevant to the ongoing revision of European Directive 86/609/EEC which is transposed into United Kingdom law through Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what steps are being taken to combat groups that use violence as a means of protesting against cruelty towards animals; 
Mr. Coaker: The Government are committed to eradicating the threat of animal rights extremism and have in place a robust inter-departmental strategy to achieve this. The strategy is centred on an improved law enforcement approach, with additional resources provided to the police to tackle animal rights extremism, a central team set-up to drive forward police action nationally and legislation enacted to protect animal research organisations. The result has been a significant fall in illegal extremist activity, and many significant convictions of animal rights extremists in the past 18 months, with others awaiting sentence and other major investigations ongoing. The Government will maintain pressure on animal rights extremists and, in co-operation with law enforcement agencies and extremist targets, will continue to develop protective measures against the extremist threat.
While the Government are clear that cruelty to animal is unacceptable, it is equally clear that the targets of animal rights extremism in the vast majority of cases are involved in wholly lawful activities. The
UK bioscience and medical research sector, the main target of animal rights extremists, complies with the most rigorous regime in the world for animal testing, designed to minimise suffering and ensure the highest welfare standards, and is at the forefront of developing new medicines and treatments for life-threatening conditions including cancer, malaria and cystic fibrosis.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment the Government have made of whether the Animal Liberation Front should be proscribed as a terrorist organisation. 
Mr. Coaker: The figure for the maximum number of recorded breaches of a single antisocial behaviour order is not available. The ASBO breach rate for the period 1 June 2003 to 31 December 2005 (latest available) was 47 per cent.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many antisocial behaviour orders were issued in each London borough to (a) males and (b) females aged (i) under 12-years-old, (ii) 13-years-old, (iii) 14-years-old, (iv) 15-years-old, (v) 16-years-old, (vi) 17-years-old and (viii) 18-years-old and over in each of the last five years. 
|Number of antisocial behaviour orders ISSUED at all courts in the Greater London Criminal Justice System (CJS) area, by gender, age group and year|
|Gender and age group||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||Total issued|
Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
As reported to the Home Office by the Court Service.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many breaches of antisocial behaviour orders resulted in custodial sentences in each London borough in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Coaker: The latest data available for breaches of antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) and custody are for 2003. The figures show that only 134 people in total in England and Wales between 2000 and 2003 were sentenced to custody for breach of ASBOs alone. In all other cases, they were convicted for other offences at the same time.
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many failed asylum seekers were detained in Armley Prison in each of the last eight months; how many are being so detained; and how many cells are occupied by failed asylum seekers. 
Any failed asylum seekers detained in prisons are serving criminal sentences. Figures relating to the number of foreign national detainees at any given prison change regularly for a number of different reasons including, for example, removal from the UK, or on transfer to other prison establishments or, upon completion of their custodial sentence, to Immigration Removal Centres.
Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps the police are taking to investigate the actions of police officers preceding the murder of Banaz Mahmod Babakir Agha. 
Mr. McNulty: On 13 June 2007 the Independent Police Complaints Commission undertook to conduct an Independent investigation of the Metropolitan Police Services response to matters involving Ms Banaz Mahmod Babakir Agha. The IPCC will, where appropriate, make their findings public at the conclusion of their investigation.
|Proportion of staff with disability30 June 2007 (percentage)||Total number of staff|
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in her Department have been (a) disciplined and (b) dismissed for (i) inappropriate use of the internet while at work and (ii) using work telephones to access premium rate telephone numbers in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Byrne: The total number of Home Office staff, including those within the Border and Immigration Agency, the Identity and Passport Service and the Criminal Records Bureau, who were disciplined for misuse of the internet between 1 July 2006 and 30 June 2007 is 26. This includes any misuse of IT including misuse of the internal e-mail system. As fewer than five members of staff were dismissed for inappropriate use of the internet, specific information about those individuals is withheld on confidentiality grounds.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much the Department paid in fees to recruitment agencies for (a) temporary and (b) permanent staff in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Byrne: The Department inclusive of its Executive agencies; the Borders and Immigration Agency, the Criminal Records Bureau and the Identity and Passport Service, does not hold this information centrally for (a) temporary and (b) permanent staff and to provide this information would be at disproportionate cost.
In relation to temporary staff, recruitment fees are not uniform across recruitment agencies and are incorporated within daily rates. It is not always possible to identify these as a discrete element of the daily rate.
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