Dáil Éireann - Volume 478 - 01 May, 1997

Written Answers. - Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council.

158. Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Enterprise and Employment if he will confirm that the membership of the Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council will include an expert in animals welfare with a view to ensuring the implementation of the provisions of Article 5 on the accommodation and conditions for laboratory animals and in view of the provision of Articles 9 and 6, a person qualified to advise on ethical grounds as to whether scientific projects involving experiments on live animals should be permitted, or permitted only if they use non-animal research methods instead in view of the fact that EU Directive 86/609/EEC requires member states to designate a competent authority with access to expert advice to ensure that the aims and provisions of the directive are successfully implemented. [11783/97]

Minister for Enterprise and Employment (Mr. R. Bruton): The Minister for Commerce, Science and Technology, Deputy Rabbitte, announced the membership of the Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council on 24 March last. The role of the Council is to advise Government on the strategic direction of science and technology policy, embracing all aspects including scientific research, third-level education, technology and research and development in industry, financing of innovation, public awareness of science and technology and prioritisation of State spending on science and technology. Appointments to the council were made in a personal capacity and on the basis of particular expertise, including scientific disciplines which will be key to our industrial future, rather than as representative of any sectoral interest.

The council is not intended to supplant or cut across the work of any special expert groups in any particular area or to otherwise assume specific functions arising out of EU directives. In the case of the directive referred to in this question, responsibility for this lies with the Department of Health.