EU Directive on Animal Experimentation debate
Neil Parish calls for reassurance from the Government that efforts to harmonise EU rules will not result in watering down our existing strong rules on animal welfare.
Neil Parish (Tiverton and Honiton) (Con): My last report in the European Parliament, before I retired from it, took the directive through to First Reading. One of the problems in getting the agreement of 27 countries is that the regulations often have to be reduced in order to get them agreed by all member states. I would like to put it on record that I believe that we have some of the best research, done under the best welfare requirements in the world, and I do not want to see that watered down. In many cases I like to see the reduction of regulation, but on this occasion it is essential to keep our strong rules in place, because we are dealing with animal welfare and the quality of the science. I want that reassurance from the Government.
Damian Green: By the time I sit down, I hope that I will have provided my hon. Friend with that reassurance. He, too, deserves congratulations, on taking legislation to that stage in the European Parliament, which I suspect is more complex and difficult than anything we try to do in this Parliament.