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The Animal Procedures Committee advises the British Home Secretary on matters related to animal experimentation in the UK. The function of the committee was made a statutory requirement by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (the Act), which mandates that it should have at least 12 members, excluding the chair. [1] There are currently 19 members.

Composition of members

The Act stipulates that at least two-thirds of the members have full registration as medical practitioners or veterinary surgeons, or that they be qualified in a relevant biological subject; that one member be a barrister, solicitor, or advocate; that at least half the membership should not have held an animal-testing licence during the last six years; and that the interests of animal welfare should be adequately represented. [2]

There is normally an academic philosopher on the committee, although this is not required by the Act. There are currently two philosophers: Dr. Stephen R.L. Clerk of the University of Liverpool and Professor Alan Holland of the University of Lancaster.

Members are appointed for terms of up to four years and may be re-appointed once. Apart from the Chair, members receive only expenses. [3]

Work of the committee

The committee advises the government on policy and practise, and examines some licence applications and alleged infringements with a view to advising the Home Secretary.

The licence applications the committee sees are so-called "project licences" involving the use of primates in "procedures of substantial severity," and the use of "wild-caught primates." [4]


As of June 2003, the committee members were [5]:

  • The Reverend Professor Michael Banner (chair), FD Maurice Professor of Moral and Social Theology, King’s College, London;
  • Professor Chris Atterwill, Director of Biosciences, Huntingdon Life Sciences;
  • Professor Donald Broom, Colleen Macleod Professor of Animal Welfare, University of Cambridge;
  • Professor Grahame Bulfield, Vice-Principal and Head of College of Science and Engineering, University of Edinburgh;
  • Professor David Clark, Honorary Senior Researcher Fellow, University of Kent at Canterbury;
  • Professor Stephen R.L. Clark, Professor of Philosophy, University of Liverpool;
  • Professor Robin Dunbar, Professor of Psychology, University of Liverpool;
  • Dr Michael Festing, research scientist, retired/freelance consultant
  • John Gregory, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London;
  • Professor Alan Holland, Professor of Applied Philosophy, University of Lancaster;
  • Dr Robert Hubrecht, Deputy Director of the University Federations for Animal Welfare;
  • Dr Maggy Jennings, Head of Research Animals Department, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals;
  • Dr Gillian Langley, scientific adviser, Dr Hadwen Trust;
  • Professor John Martin, University College, London and British Heart Foundation Chair of Cardio-Vascular Science
  • Robert McCracken, barrister
  • Professor Alan McNeilly, deputy director, Medical Research Council Reproductive Biology Unit, Edinburgh;
  • Graham Moore, consultant, Science Policy & Scientific Affairs, Pfizers Ltd
  • Dr Tim Morris, Head of Animal Ethics and Welfare, Department of Laboratory Animal Science, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals
  • Professor Dawn Oliver, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of London
  • Professor Genevra Richardson, Professor of Public Law, Queen Mary & Westfield College, University of London;


Further reading

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