News story

Appointment of a chair to the animals in science committee

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Dr John Landers has been appointed as chair of a new body that will advise the government on the use of animals in scientific procedures.

Dr Landers, a Senior Research Fellow at Oxford’s Hertford College and former university lecturer on biological and historical demography, will take up the appointment with the Animals in Science Committee (ASC) on March 1.

The ASC is an independent public body sponsored by the Home Office. It will provide independent advice about issues relating to the use of animals in scientific procedures within the context of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach said:

‘I look forward to working with Dr Landers and I am confident that his knowledge and expertise will be of great benefit to the Animals in Science Committee.

‘The UK has one of the most comprehensive animal welfare systems in the world to ensure animal testing is carried out humanely and only when necessary.

‘While we recognise the need to use animals in order to help develop potentially life-saving drugs and treatments, we are also working to reduce the use of animals in research.  As part of this ongoing work, we will continue to promote measures that will ‘replace, reduce and refine’ the use of animals in scientific testing.’

The ASC is currently in the process of being constituted and replaces the Animals Procedures Committee. Further members are due to be recruited, with the full committee expected to be in place by the spring.

Notes to editors

1. Dr Landers’ appointment is effective from 1 March 2013 and will be for three years in the first instance.

2. The ASC is a statutory non-executive advisory Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) sponsored by the Home Office. The ASC was established on 1 January 2013, and - as part of the transposition of a European Union Directive (2010/63) into UK law - replaces the Animal Procedures Committee.

3. The purpose of the ASC is to provide the Secretary of State for the Home Department and the Department of Health and Social Services for Northern Ireland, with independent advice about issues relating to the use of animals in scientific procedures within the context of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.

4. The appointment has been made in accordance with the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies, issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

5. The position is unremunerated.

6. Dr Landers has declared no political activity.

7. The ASC will formerly be constituted upon completion of the current recruitment campaign for the wider membership.

8. Media enquiries should be directed to Sally Henfield on 020 70 35 35 35.

BIOGRAPHY
John Landers is a Senior Research Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford and a quondam* Fellow of All Souls College. He was previously Lecturer in Biological Anthropology at University College London and University Lecturer in Historical Demography at Oxford. His academic speciality is Historical Demography with particular reference to the history of infectious disease mortality.
*(former)