The Kennel Club (KC) has welcomed the release of a Home Office consultation to review the level of secrecy involved in legislation on scientific experiments on animals.
The organisation said it also believes greater transparency surrounding experiments is needed to protect animal welfare.
The consultation – which is reviewing section 24 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA) – is a “step in the right direction” in increasing transparency and ending the ban on sharing information on animal experiments, said the club.
Current provisions under the section mean the Home Office cannot disclose or release information surrounding animal experiments received under ASPA – even when the provider has no objection. Also, individuals who share this information risk committing a criminal offence carrying up to two years’ imprisonment and an unlimited fine.
The KC secretary Caroline Kisko said: “The Kennel Club calls on the Government to amend section 24 to facilitate the sharing of information on animal experiments, which will promote openness and transparency in the industry – something that is, of course, paramount when animal welfare is involved.
“Section 24 prevents the public from being openly informed about what is being done in animal experiments and the justification for these tests.
“However, The Kennel Club does accept the need to retain confidentiality clauses that protect intellectual property, as well as the health and safety of particular people and places involved in animal research.”
The KC will be submitting a response to the consultation, she said, calling for information to be disclosed “to assist public understanding of the use of animals in scientific experiments”.
“Such a change would help reaffirm the Government is genuinely dedicated to its commitment of promoting a more open and transparent environment surrounding animal testing,” she said.
The deadline to respond to the consultation is June 13. Visit the consultation’s website for more information or to respond.