Vivisection (basic statistics and committee proceedings)

C. Calvert made this Freedom of Information request to University of Bristol

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I write to request information concerning experimentation on or other work involving live animals undertaken by the University of Bristol, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Please would you provide me with the following information:

1. The numbers of regulated procedures within the meaning of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 carried out by the University, in each year for which you hold data.

2. A breakdown by species of the numbers of animals used in these procedures, in each year for which you hold data.

3. A breakdown of currently held project licences within the meaning of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 by maximum severity limits for procedures, for the unclassified, mild, moderate and substantial limits.

4. Minutes, reports and correspondence of the University Ethics of Research Committee and any Departmental or Faculty Ethics Committees, from the last three years, and any guidance issued by these committees at any time if it is currently in use, where these relate to experimentation on or other work involving live animals.

5. Minutes, reports and correspondence of the University Research Committee and any Departmental or Faculty Research Committees, from the last three years, and any guidance issued by these committees at any time if it is currently in use, where these relate to experimentation on or other work involving live animals.

6. The courses, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, currently offering the opportunity to participate or requiring participation in experimentation on or other work involving live animals.

7. The total estimated cost of research, teaching and training involving experimentation on or other work involving live animals, in each year for which you hold data, including some information relating to how the figure was arrived at and what expenditure is included.

8. Copies of the annual statistical returns of procedures carried out under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 submitted to the Home Office, in each year for which you hold data.

9. The numbers of animals procured and subsequently killed as surplus to the requirements of programmes of work, in each year for which you hold data.

I would like to stress that I am not interested in information that identifies individuals who are or were involved in animal experimentation. I am happy for you to redact names from information you release if you believe this to be appropriate. I have structured the request as a list of numbered specific enquiries so that if there are problems in fulfilling some of these, it should be possible for you to proceed with the others. Furthermore, I am happy for the phrase "each year for which you hold data", as found in several of the requests above, to be altered to "each of the last three years" if, and only if, this would prevent the cost of providing a response from exceeding the statutory limit.

I believe that this request is clear and reasonable. If you require any clarification from me in order to comply with the request, please contact me at the earliest opportunity. I look forward to receiving the information requested within 20 working days. If for any reason you are not able to provide the information within that time please write to me explaining why, and telling me when you expect to provide the information.

I am grateful for your time and assistance in this matter.

Yours faithfully,

C. Calvert

Matt Morrison, University of Bristol

Dear C.Calvert

This email is to confirm receipt of your recent Freedom of Information
request.

We will respond to your request as soon as possible and before the 20
working day deadline of 18th May 2009 (taking into account the May bank
holiday).

Best wishes

FOI Team

John Cross left an annotation ()

A response received from the public authority has been removed for Data Protection reasons. We intend to publish a redacted version later.

John Cross left an annotation ()

Response to FOI request – April 2009

[pasted from a document emailed by the authority]
1. The numbers of regulated procedures within the meaning of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 carried out by the University, in each year for which you hold data.
Answer: this information is not held centrally by the University but is held by
the individual licence holders. To collate this information from all licence
holders across the Designated Establishment would exceed the cost/time limit
as set out at s.12 of the FOIA and in the Freedom of Information and Data
Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 (Statutory
Instrument 2004 No.3244).
2. A breakdown by species of the numbers of animals used in these
procedures, in each year for which you hold data.
Answer: as with question 1, this information is kept by individual licence
holders and to collate this information from all licence holders across the
Designated Establishment would exceed the cost/time limit as set out at s.12 of
the FOIA and in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate
Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 (Statutory Instrument 2004 No.3244).
3. A breakdown of currently held project licences within the
meaning of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 by maximum
severity limits for procedures, for the unclassified, mild,
moderate and substantial limits.
As of 20th April 2009:
Maximum severity limit of protocol in % of project licences
a project licence
Unclassified 1.3
Mild 21.9
Moderate 67.9
Substantial 8.9
4. Minutes, reports and correspondence of the University Ethics of
Research Committee and any Departmental or Faculty Ethics
Committees, from the last three years, and any guidance issued by
these committees at any time if it is currently in use, where these
relate to experimentation on or other work involving live animals.
Answer: minutes of the Ethical Review Group (ERG - dealing with all issues
related to use of live animals) from the last three years attached along with
some extracts from the minutes of the University Ethics of Research
Committee (UERC). References to the ‘Animal Group’ in the UERC minutes
relate to the Ethical Review Group.
Some information in the ERG minutes has been redacted. All personal
information has been removed in accordance with section 40(2)(a) of the
Freedom of Information Act. This is not just names or initials but also
information that could be used to identify a person e.g. work with a specific
species that only a very small number of scientists work with or a company
name that could identify the company director.
Information relating to locations and rooms has also been redacted under the
health and safety exemption at section 38(1)(a) and 38(1)(b) of the Freedom of
Information Act given the well publicised incidents in recent years involving
animal rights protesters and universities, Oxford University in particular. The
public interest has been considered in applying this exemption and while it is
accepted that the University should be transparent and open in its committee
minutes and decision making processes, the health and safety of University
members of staff is paramount and outweighs the public interest in disclosure
in this case.
5. Minutes, reports and correspondence of the University Research
Committee and any Departmental or Faculty Research Committees, from
the last three years, and any guidance issued by these committees
at any time if it is currently in use, where these relate to experimentation on or
other work involving live animals.
Answer: nothing held by the Research Committee.
6. The courses, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, currently
offering the opportunity to participate or requiring participation
in experimentation on or other work involving live animals.
Answer:
Courses in which students may be offered the opportunity to undertake work
that involves living animals, which may or may not fall under the jurisdiction of
the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, 1986 include the following:
Undergraduate courses in Faculty of Medical and Veterinary Sciences:
- Animal Behaviour & Welfare
- Veterinary Cellular and Molecular Science
- Veterinary Nursing and Bioveterinary Science
- Veterinary Science
- BVSc with Pre-Veterinary Year
- Physiology and Pharmacology
- Neuroscience
- Anatomical Science with Veterinary Anatomy
Undergraduate courses in Faculty of Science:
- Biology
- Zoology
Postgraduate courses in Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
Molecular Neuroscience
Personal Licence training courses(to meet the requirements for training
required by the Home Office) offered by the University
7. The total estimated cost of research, teaching and training
involving experimentation on or other work involving live animals,
in each year for which you hold data, including some information
relating to how the figure was arrived at and what expenditure is
included.
Answer: This figure could not be calculated accurately within the cost/time
limit as set out at s.12 of the FOIA and in the Freedom of Information and Data
Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 (Statutory
Instrument 2004 No.3244).
8. Copies of the annual statistical returns of procedures carried
out under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 submitted to
the Home Office, in each year for which you hold data.
Answer: As per questions 1 and 2, individual project licence holders make their
own returns to the Home Office and to collate this information from all licence
holders across the University would exceed the cost/time limit as set out at
s.12 of the FOIA and at Statutory Instrument 2004 No.3244.
9. The numbers of animals procured and subsequently killed as
surplus to the requirements of programmes of work, in each year for
which you hold data.
Answer: Again, this information is with the individual project licence holders
and to collate this information from all licence holders across the Designated
Establishment would exceed the cost/time limit as set out at s.12 of the FOIA
and in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and
Fees) Regulations 2004 (Statutory Instrument 2004 No.3244).

FOI Team, University of Bristol

14 Attachments

Dear C.Calvert

I am writing in response to your Freedom of Information request dated 16th
April 2009 regarding work involving live animals at the University of
Bristol.

I have attached a document providing answers to your questions and there
are further attachments in relation to some of your questions.

Copyright in the information you have been given belongs to the University
of Bristol. This material must not be copied, distributed, modified,
reproduced, transmitted, published (including published on the Internet or
an intranet), or otherwise made available in whole or in part without the
prior written consent of the copyright holder.

If you are not satisfied with the University's response to your request you
may ask the University to review the response. If you wish to do this
please write to the Information Rights Manager, University of Bristol,
Senate House, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TH, enclosing a copy of your
original request and explaining your complaint. Please include an address
for correspondence. The full complaints procedure is set down at
http://www.bris.ac.uk/foi/publicinfo/rev...

If you are still not satisfied with the outcome of the internal review you
may also contact the Information Commissioner at:

Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Best wishes

FOI Team
University of Bristol