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Animal Procedures

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Meg Hillier): I am pleased to inform the House that I have today placed in the Library the annual report of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate for the year 2007. This is the fourth annual report published by the Inspectorate.

Publication of the report honours a commitment given by the Government in response to a recommendation of the House of Lords Select Committee on Animals in Scientific Procedures in July 2002 that more information should be made available about the work of the inspectorate.

The report, published today, explains the inspectorate’s role in assessing, and advising Home Office Ministers, and officials, on applications for personal and project licences and for certificates of designation under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. It also provides details of the inspection system through which compliance
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with licence authorities granted under the 1986 Act is monitored, and about visiting patterns and practice and the number of visits carried out during the year.

The report explains the important role of inspectors in gathering and transmitting information on good practice and provides examples of the many events and initiatives to which the inspectorate made significant contributions during the year. In addition, this year’s report contains special features on the generation, breeding and maintenance of genetically altered mice and on the planning and construction of buildings in which scientific work involving animals is to be conducted.

I commend the report to the attention of Members.

Independent Police Complaints Commission

The Minister for Security, Counter-Terrorism, Crime and Policing (Mr. Tony McNulty): This is the fourth Annual Report from the IPCC. The report covers the work of the IPCC during 2007-08 and includes a discrete chapter on the discharge of their responsibilities in respect of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. The report also includes a chapter on deaths during or following police contact, which shows that there were 9 fewer fatalities in this period than in 2006-07 and 32 fewer fatalities than in 2004-05.

During this year the IPCC has made significant improvements in their performance having set some ambitious targets. I am pleased to see that they are committed to continuing to improve their performance further. In their role as statutory guardians of the complaints system, the IPCC have also in this period carried out a stock take of how far the current police complaints system has met its original aspirations when it was set up in April 2004; further information will be made available about this in due course.

The IPCC have a key role in increasing confidence in the police complaints system which will, in turn, impact positively on public confidence in the police.

Security Industry Authority

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Vernon Coaker): I am pleased to announce that the annual report 2007-08 and accounts of the Security Industry Authority (SIA) will be laid before Parliament today and published on 28 July 2008.

Copies of the report will be available in the Vote Office upon publication.

Criminal Records Bureau

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Meg Hillier): I announce that copies of the 2007-08 annual report and accounts for the Criminal Records Bureau have been laid before the House today. Arrangements are now in hand for their publication.


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Animal Welfare

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Meg Hillier): I wish to respond to the publication entitled “Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals—Great Britain—2007”, which was presented as a House of Commons Paper (933) today. Copies have been placed in the House Library.

This annual statistical report meets the requirement in the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 to inform Parliament about the licensed use of animals for experimental or other scientific purposes. It also forms the basis for meeting periodic reporting requirements at EU level. A hard copy is available and supplementary information with additional tables is also available on the Home Office website.

The statistical report shows an overall increase over the previous year of 6 per cent. in the number of procedures undertaken. The total number of procedures was 3.2 million, an increase of 189,500 over the previous year. There has now been a relatively small increase for the sixth year running and is the highest total since 1992. A number of factors, such as investment in research and development and strategic funding priorities, determine the overall level of scientific procedures.

Non-toxicological procedures accounted for about 87 per cent. of the procedures carried out. These included fundamental research in human and veterinary medicine to improve understanding of disease mechanisms and possible therapeutic options, and development of vaccines.

Most toxicological studies (78 per cent.) were for the safety and efficacy testing of new drugs and medicines and the majority of all procedures (87 per cent.) were performed in order to carry out legal or statutory requirements.

In keeping with previous years, those procedures that used mice or rats (or other rodents) were the great majority at 83 per cent. Those using fish amounted to 10 per cent. and those using birds, 4 per cent. The total of all procedures using dogs, cats, horses and non-human primates, that is, those species offered special protection by the Act, was less than 1 per cent. of the total.

Genetically normal animals were used in about 1.73 million regulated procedures, up 86,200 (5 per cent.) on 2006 figures. This increase is associated with mice used in fundamental studies. However, this is an overall decrease of 2.27 million (23 per cent.) since 1995. Genetically modified animals (nearly all rodents) were used in 1.15 million regulated procedures representing, 36 per cent. of all procedures for 2007 (compared with 34 per cent. in 2006 and 8 per cent in 1995).

Advances in the opportunities to use genetically altered animals for new areas of biomedical research means that the trend of increased production and use of genetically altered animals has continued. It allows a more precise and often less invasive study of physiological studies and disease mechanisms that was previously possible. Most of the animals concerned are mice, which appear and live as normal. Many are only used in breeding programmes. In fact just over a third of all procedures in 2007 were accounted for by breeding procedures (37 per cent.) conducted in 2007, for the production of harmful mutant and genetically modified animals. Mainly mice (93 per cent.) and fish (6 per cent.) were used in these procedures.


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I should point out in relation to the statistics that the Home Office, as regulatory authority under the 1986 Act, does cap the overall amount of animal research and testing which takes place, the imperative being to authorise work which is justified whilst minimising the numbers of animals used and any animal suffering that may be caused.

Therefore we ensure, in carrying out our licensing function, that the provisions of the Act are rigorously applied in each programme of work. All animal use must be justified, and that for each particular programme of work the number of animals used, and the suffering caused must be minimised.

The statistical report and supplementary information can be found at: http://scienceandresearch.homeoffice. gov.uk/animal-research/publications-and-reference/statistics/?version=l

I am also pleased to inform the House that I have today placed in the Library the annual report of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate for the year 2007. This is the fourth annual report published by the Inspectorate.

Publication of the Inspectorate report honours a commitment given by the Government in response to a recommendation of the House of Lords Select Committee on Animals in Scientific Procedures in July 2002 that more information should be made available about the work of the Inspectorate.

The report explains the Inspectorate’s role in assessing, and advising the Secretary of State on applications for personal and project licences and for certificates of designation under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. It also provides details of the inspection system through which compliance with licence authorities granted under the 1986 Act is monitored, and about visiting patterns and practice and the number of visits carried out during the year.

This report explains the important role of inspectors in gathering and transmitting information on good practice and provides examples of the many events and initiatives to which the Inspectorate made significant contributions during the year. In addition, this year’s report contains special features on the generation, breeding and maintenance of genetically altered mice and on the planning and construction of buildings in which scientific work involving animals is to be conducted.

I commend the Inspectorate’s report to the attention of Members.

National DNA Database

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Meg Hillier): Further to the written ministerial statement made on 25 July 2007 announcing the establishment of an ethics group to provide Ministers with independent ethical advice on the operation and practice of the national DNA database (NDNAD), I am pleased to announce the publication today of its first annual report.

The report makes a number of recommendations around the processes involved in the taking, use and retention of DNA samples, and in particular those taken from volunteers. I have asked the National Policing
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Improvement Agency and the National DNA Strategy Board to let me have their considered comments on the report’s recommendations as soon as possible.

The ethics group report can be viewed on the website of the independent Forensic Science Regulator and I am arranging for a copy of the report to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Learning and Skills Council

The Minister for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education (Bill Rammell): I would inform the House that the Learning and Skills Council for England has today published its annual report and accounts for the period to 31 March 2008. Copies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Justice

Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Maria Eagle): The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 received Royal Assent on 26 July 2007.

The Act applies to companies incorporated under companies legislation, other corporations including public bodies incorporated by statute such as local authorities or NHS bodies; organisations incorporated by Royal Charter; limited liability partnerships and all other partnerships that are employers; Crown bodies such as Government Departments; and police forces.

An organisation is guilty of the new offence if the way in which its activities are managed or organised causes a death and this amounts to a gross breach of a relevant duty of care to the deceased. A substantial part of the breach must have been in the way activities were managed by senior management.

The majority of the Act was implemented on 6 April 2008, with the exception of section 2(1)(d) which makes the duty of care a custody provider owes to a person who is detained a relevant duty of care, and section 10 on publicity orders where we await guidelines to be issued by the Sentencing Guidelines Council later this year.

Procedures for caring for some of society’s most vulnerable or volatile people are highly complex. That is why it was made clear to Parliament when it passed this legislation that a period of three to five years would be needed for custody providers to prepare for implementation of Section 2(1)(d).

We are publishing a report today which discusses the progress made to date by the various custody providers and what remains to be done. While implementing the Act provides a useful catalyst and driver, reducing deaths in custody is a core part of long-term work by the Government together with custody providers, and this long-term agenda is reflected in the report.


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The report includes developments in Northern Ireland for which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has responsibility under the Act.

Copies of the report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The report is also available in the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office and on the internet at: www.justice.gov.uk/publications/corporate-manslaughter -progress-custody.htm

Deaths in Custody

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Maria Eagle): In February this year I published the independent review of the Forum for Preventing Deaths in Custody (Official Report, 25 February 2008, Col. 68WS). I did so in order to canvass the opinions of those both inside and outside Parliament with an interest in this important area of work.

Ministers have now had the opportunity to consider both the recommendations of the review and the responses of stakeholders, and I am pleased to announce today that we have decided to implement the recommended reforms. We are therefore taking steps to set up a new tripartite body, to be known as the Ministerial Council on Deaths in Custody, incorporating senior decision-makers, experts and practitioners in the field. This extended, cross-sector approach to deaths in custody will allow for better learning and sharing of lessons across the custodial sectors, and will benefit from direct links to
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Ministers, as the ultimate decision-makers. The reforms underline our commitment to reducing the number of people who die in our custodial institutions and the new structures will be subject to review after three years to evaluate their impact.

The intention is that the new Ministerial Council will be in place by early 2009. Further information on the work of the forum to date, and copies of the independent review, are available on the internet at www. preventingcustodydeaths.org.uk. Copies of the independent review have also been made available in the Libraries of both Houses.

National Offender Management Service

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Mr. David Hanson): The annual report of Her Majesty’s Prison Service for 2007-08 (HC No 860) has today been laid before Parliament. The National Probation Service annual report has also been published today. Copies have been made available in the Libraries of both Houses, the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office.

The Prison Service report includes the financial accounts for 2007-08. The financial accounts for 42 probation boards were produced at the end of June 2008.

The performance of the National Offender Management Service against its targets for 2007-08 is shown in the table.

National Offender Management Service: Performance Against Targets 2007-08
Performance IndicatorAnnual PerformanceAnnual Target

Public Protection

No escapes of Category A prisoners

0

0

Rate of escapes from prison and prison escorts to be lower than 0.05 per cent. of the average prison population

0.008%

0.05%

Fewer than 1 in 20,000 escapes from prison and prison service escorts

1:75,345

1:20,000

At least 90 per cent. of OASys assessments (assessment, screening and full risk of harm analysis and sentence plan) must be completed or updated within five days following sentence or release on licence for all Tier 4 risk of harm cases (excluding PPOs).

96.5%

90%

Reducing Reoffending

At least 90 per cent. of OASys assessments must be completed or updated within appropriate timescales (five days following sentence or release on licence for all PPO cases)

96.4%

90%

Offender Management

At least 90 per cent. of OASys assessments (assessment, screening and, if appropriate, full risk of harm analysis and sentence plan) must be completed or updated within 15 days following sentence or release on licence for all Tier 1, 2 and 3 cases (excluding PPOs)

68.9%

90%

Safety Decency and Respect

Rate of self-inflicted deaths (SIDs) in prison not to exceed 112.8 per 100,000 prison population.

106.7 per 100,000

112.8 per 100,000

1.81 per cent. of serious assaults per overall prison population

1.73%

1.81%

The percentage of prisoners held in accommodation units intended for fewer prisoners does not exceed 24 per cent. of the average population in public prisons

25.1%

24%

The percentage of prisoners held in accommodation units intended for fewer prisoners does not exceed 34.5 per cent. of the average population in private prisons

34.9%

34.5%

Delivery of Justice

Achieve an average of 35 working days from the relevant unacceptable failure to comply to resolution of the case; and to resolve 60 per cent. of breaches of community penalties within 25 working days of the relevant unacceptable failure to comply (CJS measure).

43

35

54%

60%

70 per cent. of orders and licences successfully completed

68%

70%

46,300 Completions of unpaid work requirements

55,771

46,300

The rate of drug-misuse in prison is less than 10 per cent. - as measured by the random Mandatory Drug Testing (rMDT) programme (reported 1 month in arrears)(2)

9.1%

<10%


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