UK plans rules to hamper animal extremist efforts

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The UK government has confirmed that it plans to bring in new
legislation to deal with animal extremists, although the scope of
the measures is still under consideration, reports Phil

Science Minister Lord Sainsbury said this morning's Science and Technology Question Time in the House of Commons that new rules would be drafted, but also suggested that it may not pursue a single bill, as is sought by the drug industry.

"Government is not convinced by a single piece of legislation because it is probably going to be too slow to implement,"​ he said.

The BioIndustry Assocation, which represents the UK biotechnology sector, has been urging the government to introduce a bill that will definitively deal with the ongoing violence, home visits and intimidation that it says continues to be faced by those involved in medical research using animals.

Earlier this year, Cambridge University scrapped​ plans to build a primate research centre to conduct research into neurological disorders, a decision in part due to the rising costs of security needed to guard against animal extremist groups.

"We think it better to pick the key issues, the key problems, and legislate via attaching them to another bill,"​ Lord Sainsbury told the Commons, adding that there will be an announcement on the issue 'very soon'.

The BIA's chief executive Aisling Burnand welcomed this first formal confirmation of government intent with regard to legislation.

"It remains the case, however, that one all-encompassing single piece of legislation, as drafted and presented to government, could, with government support, be swiftly implemented,"​, she said.

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