UK science tied-up in red tape

Gov't complacency on bureaucracy hurts research and animals, committee says

Anna Fazackerley(afazackerly@yahoo.co.uk)
Oct 20, 2003

Members of Britain's House of Lords committee on the use of animals in scientific procedures have slammed the government for not acting fast enough to reduce the bureaucracy currently constraining scientists in the United Kingdom. In a highly critical debate in the House of Lords last Friday (October 17) the committee's chair accused the government of reacting with “complacency” to its inquiry.

The select committee published its final report in July last year, following a yearlong investigation. It stated that while the United Kingdom had the toughest regulatory system in the world for animal experiments, it was not necessarily the best, and warned that excessive bureaucracy was holding back research.

In particular, it called for the simplification of project license applications. During its evidence sessions, the committee was shown applications stretching to hundreds of pages.

The chair of the committee, Lord Smith of Clifton, told the house last week:...

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