National Anti-vivisection Society

 

National Antivisection Society

NAVS Answer Guide to UK Government Consultation on the Review of Section 24

Posted: 14 May 2014. Updated: 16 May 2014

To assist you with participation in the UK Government’s consultation on the review of section 24 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, the NAVS has provided this answer guide to help guide you in your response to key questions we would like you to answer in the consultation.

Please note that the preferred option of the Government is to repeal Section 24 and amend ASPA by creating a criminal offence of malicious disclosure of information about the use of animals in scientific research and include a statutory prohibition on disclosure of information relating only to people, places and intellectual property. The NAVS is opposed to this option and is supporting Option 3 “Repeal Section 24 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA)” and the suggested responses below reflect this.

Find out more about the consultation and how to participate online

Please ensure your response is completed by 13th June. Thank you!

***********************************************************

Please respond to the following questions which support repeal of Section 24


1: Do you believe we should retain Section 24 in its current form?
Suggested response: No

2: To what extent do you believe, if at all, that this option meets the government’s primary objective of increasing openness and transparency about the use of animals in scientific research?
Suggested response: Not at all

3: To what extent do you believe, if at all, that this option appropriately clarifies who and what is covered by the legislation?
Suggested response: Not at all

4,5 - No need to answer

6: To what extent do you believe, if at all, that this option meets the government’s primary objective of increasing openness and transparency about the use of animals in scientific research?
Suggested response: Not at all

7: To what extent do you believe, if at all, that this option appropriately clarifies who and what is covered by the legislation?
Suggested response: Not at all

8 - No need to answer

9: Do you agree that the additional statutory prohibition on disclosure is necessary to protect certain types of sensitive information?
Suggested response: Not at all

10 - No need to answer

11: To what extent do you believe, if at all, that this option meets the government’s primary objective of increasing openness and transparency about the use of animals in scientific research?
Suggested response: Very much so

12: To what extent do you believe, if at all, that this option appropriately clarifies who and what is covered by the legislation?
Suggested response: Very much so

13: To what extent do you believe, if at all, that this option provides appropriate protection for sensitive information (eg, people and place details and intellectual property)?
Suggested response: Very much so

14, 15, 15, 17 - No need to answer

18: With regards to options 2a and 2b, in what instances do you believe disclosure of information about the use of animals in scientific research is malicious?
Suggested response: Blackmail or selling information on drugs? Certainly NOT undercover investigations of laboratories highlighting not only breaches and violations but also standard laboratory practices such as euthanasia.

19 - No need to answer

20: Do you consider that Section 24 of ASPA, being a statutory bar and an absolute exemption, provides greater protection for intellectual property than other qualifying FOIA exemptions?
Suggested response: No, it hinders openness and transparency and is unnecessary as protection is provided by the Freedom of Information Act.

21: Are there are any other views or comments that you would like to add in relation to the review of Section 24 that were not covered by the other questions in this consultation?
Suggested response: In order to have openness and transparency, access to project licence applications should be possible prior to licences being granted in order for interested parties to see exactly what is happening to animals and why.

22: Which of the following best describes the organisation or professional interest that you represent? Please state the name of the organisation in the box below.
Please select: A member of an animal protection organisation OR A member of the public

© National Anti-Vivisection Society