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Director Signs Letter Calling for Independent Inquiry into Animal Tests

12th June 2013

Centre Director Professor Andrew Linzey has joined celebrities, politicians, scientists and academics calling for independent inquiry into the animal suffering uncovered at Imperial College London, one of the UK’s leading universities.

The letter and signatures can be viewed here.

Support for the call comes from Joanna Lumley, Morrissey, Chrissie Hynde, Moby, Jenny Seagrove and Twiggy. Other individuals to sign up include Jonathan Porritt, Peter Tatchell, Michaela Strachan and Mark Carwardine as well as leading academics such as Professor Roger Crisp, Professor Janet Radcliffe Richards, and Professor Robert Gardner. Politicians include Caroline Lucas MP, Graeme Morrice MP, Adrian Sanders MP, Penny Mordaunt MP, Henry Smith MP, Jim Dowd MP and Kerry McCarthy MP.

The call comes following an investigation carried out by the BUAV at one of the animal laboratories at Imperial College which documented a catalogue of shortcomings that caused even more suffering to the animals in its care than was allowed in the experiments. Findings included: breaches in and lack of knowledge of UK Home Office project licenses; staff incompetence and neglect that resulted in animal suffering and distress; unsupervised researchers – with little experience – anaesthetising and carrying out surgery on animals; a failure to provide adequate anaesthesia and pain relief and the controversial use of a guillotine to carry out live decapitation.

The UK Government and research industry repeatedly claim the UK has some of the highest welfare standards in the world for animals in laboratories, yet the secrecy surrounding animal research means we are unable to judge for ourselves. The BUAV investigation lifts the lid on this secrecy with a chilling insight into the day to day reality for animals in a UK laboratory with staff admissions of their own wrong-doing and incompetence.

BUAV Chief Executive, Michelle Thew states: ‘Our investigation raises significant and far reaching questions about animal research in the UK. Despite claims by the Government and research industry that the UK has the best system of regulation in the world, we have shown that the reality for animals is very different. Standards at this leading UK University were poor, with breaches of the regulatory regime and inappropriate licensing and enforcement by the Home Office. A full independent inquiry must be carried out’.

People can show their support by signing the BUAV petition here.
The BUAV investigative film can be viewed here.