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Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assistance is provided for (a) prisoners being released after serving their sentence and (b) prisoners who are released as a result of their conviction being overturned. 
Beverley Hughes [holding answer 13 May 2002]: While there is no statutory obligation on the probation service to provide support on release to offenders who complete their sentences in prison, support can be provided to an offender seeking help, if local resources allow. The current position is the same in respect of prisoners released after a successful appeal against conviction. However, I am currently considering proposals for an advice service
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Beverley Hughes: There are nine privately managed prisons in England and Wales: Altcourse prison, Ashfield young offender institution, Doncaster prison and young offender institution, Dovegate prison, Forest Bank prison and young offender institution, Lowdham Grange prison, Parc prison and young offender institution, Rye Hill prison and Wolds prison.
Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many women in prison in the United Kingdom are convicted of (a) murder and (b) manslaughter of male partners and former partners; 
Provisional information shows that at the latest available date (31 March 2002) there were 3,533 males and 138 females in prisons in England and Wales that had been convicted of murder, and 583 males and 42 females that had been convicted of manslaughter.
Chapter Four of "Criminal Statistics England and Wales" contains further information on homicides and the relationship between the victim and the main suspect of the crime. Extracts of the 2000 edition are available at the website address: http://www.archive.official- documents.co.uk/document/cm53/5312/crimestats.pdf.
Angela Eagle [holding answer 14 May 2002]: The Home Office neither sponsors safety tests involving the use of animals, nor does it set any requirements for data produced by any such procedures. Examples of specific legislative requirements under which procedures on animals may be carried out include the Medicines Act 1968, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations, the Control of Pesticides Regulations, European Union Pesticides Directives, and the Food Safety Act. These requirements are matters for the relevant sponsoring Department.
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Where testing using animals is required, we ensure that the 3Rs are rigorously applied (the use of alternatives which replace animal use entirely, reduce the numbers of animals used, or refine the procedures to minimise suffering). In deciding whether to grant a licence for any regulated procedure, the 1986 Act also requires that the likely benefits of the programme are weighed against the likely adverse effects on the animals concerned (the cost/benefit assessment). We must also be satisfied that the procedures are likely to achieve the stated objectives.
In addition, in August 2000, we announced an interdepartmental concordat on data sharing to enable Government Departments to reduce the duplication of tests on animals. The concordat commits United Kingdom regulatory authorities to help resolve legal and other obstacles and encourage data sharing between clients and thereby reduce animal tests. Progress in implementing the concordat is currently being reviewed.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the extent to which animal tests provide a reliable model on which to estimate likely reactions in humans. 
Angela Eagle [holding answer 14 May 2002]: The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 requires that regulated procedures can only be authorised and performed if there are no scientifically suitable alternatives that replace animal use, reduce the number animals needed, or refine the procedures used to minimise suffering. The likely benefits to humans, other animals or the environment must be weighed against the likely welfare costs to the animals involved.
Although it has been suggested that information derived from procedures on animals cannot be extended to humans, these views do not reflect the consensus in the wider scientific community. This recognises that while there are physiological or bio-chemical differences between species, there are greater similarities. Species differences are taken into account within the design of research projects and the results of testing a new drug, for example, on animals can be used to predict the effect on humans.
Animal procedures are, in any case, only one element of the tests carried out to assess the efficacy and safety of products. Before animals are used, they will also have been subjected to a variety of other screening processes including the use of computers, cell cultures and other non-animal tests. Clinical trials in humans also play an important part. It is not justified, therefore, to single out animal experiments for criticism when unexpected results are seen in full-scale clinical use. The simple fact is that biological science is not exact. However, until other suitable alternatives are developed, animal tests will continue to play an important part in minimising the adverse effects to humans caused by unexpected reactions during clinical trials and use.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department further to his statement of 25 February 2002, Official Report, column 442 on the Yarl's Wood fire, if he will list the different expert sources that informed his decision not to fit sprinklers. 
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Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has collated on asylum seekers leaving the premises allocated to them under the National Asylum Support Service and moving to another area without housing support from NASS. 
Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the contract to carry out forced removals of asylum seekers whose applications have been refused. 
Where necessary, private security companies are employed to provide escort services. This ensures the safety and well being of the individual who is being removed, as well as that of fellow passengers.
The same carrier is required, under the Immigration Act 1971, to remove failed asylum seekers for whom there is evidence of inbound carriage. Where there is no evidence of inbound carriage, removal will take place at public expense.
As office holders, coroners have no entitlement to the statutory provisions for maternity leave, unless they are also employees. However, it is open to any coroner to negotiate contractual terms with the local authority who pays their salary, including in relation to maternity leave. The Department of Trade and Industry is currently undertaking a review of employment status in relation to statutory employment rights, and this is looking at certain groups excluded from employment rights legislation, including officeholders.
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part of overall rural proofing measures as set out in the Countryside Agency's report, "Rural Proofing in 200102". 
Ms Rosie Winterton: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 9 May 2002, Official Report, columns 274 and 275W.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when her Department will introduce measures to raise rural awareness through staff (a) training, (b) development and (c) secondments as part of overall rural proofing measures set out in the Countryside Agency's report Rural Proofing in 200102. 
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