Every week that the Government is operational, there is the prospect for MPs to ask questions and the Ministers will respond to them. The “TheyWorkForYou” website publishes the questions and answers and they also include a piece at the bottom of the page which is entitled “Does this answer the above question?” and occasionally people do respond to say yes or no. It is very rare for the responses to go much further than 1 to 3 people responding. As it happens these questions that were submitted by Henry Smith, the Crawley MP which were dealt with back on Wednesday by the George Freeman Minister of State for Science, Innovation and Technology who is shown in the photo here. There is one question which was responded by George and 7 people claimed the answer was not adequate. There was also three questions which were responded together by George on one page and 60 people have claimed it was not adequate although one person has stated it was adequate. Here are the questions and answers and they are available from here for the individual question and from here for the three questions. All of these 4 questions and these two answers are in the headline of Animal Experiments.
First Question and answer
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what steps his Department is taking to support innovation in developing new non-animal technologies and approaches in science.
Answer: The Government is committed to the development of alternatives to using animals in scientific procedures and through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funds the National Centre for the 3Rs (NC3Rs), which works to drive the uptake of non-animal technologies. The NC3Rs, UKRI and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory have developed a Non-Animal Technologies Roadmap setting out a 2030 vision and strategy for how non-animal technologies could be used to replace the use of animals in research across a number of sectors. The NC3Rs also has set out its strategy to increase the focus on animal replacement technologies.
Second three questions and only one answer
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology,
if she will make an assessment of the potential for increasing the (a) development and (b) use of alternatives to experiments on animals.
what steps her Department is taking to help increase the use of non-animal (a) technologies and (b) approaches in scientific research.
what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing funding for research into technology to replace the use of animals in research and testing.
Answer: The Government is committed to the development of alternatives to using animals in scientific procedures and continues to actively support and fund the development and dissemination of the 3Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement) for the use of animals in scientific procedures. This is achieved through UK Research and Innovation’s funding of the National Centre for the 3Rs, which works nationally and internationally to drive the uptake of non-animal technologies, and through research into the development of alternatives by Innovate UK, the Medical Research Council, and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.
It seems very clear that at least 60 people are opposed to these answers so what will happen now?