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CAMBRIDGE MONKEY LAB PLANS WITHDRAWN BEFORE CASE GETS TO COURT
Posted 27 January 2004
Animal Aid and the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) have welcomed the news that Cambridge University has decided to drop their plans for a controversial primate research lab.
Animal Aid and NAVS are the organisations that have lodged a High Court Appeal over the decision of John Prescott to grant permission for the controversial laboratory, overruling the advice of his own Planning Inspector.
"Contrary to the University's claims", said Andrew Tyler and Jan Creamer, directors of Animal Aid and NAVS, "this decision is an acknowledgement that Cambridge failed at the Public Inquiry to demonstrate that these proposed experiments would be of any benefit to people. The Government's Inspector heard scientific evidence for and against animal experiments and advised that permission for the lab should be refused".
The proposed primate lab has attracted opposition from both inside and outside the University - the local council refused permission, Cambridgeshire police were opposed to it, as were residents, and groups such as the NAVS and Animal Aid.
The University's claim that their change of heart is due to spiralling security costs is plain nonsense. Both Cambridge and their supporters asserted during the Inquiry that security was not a problem at the chosen site, and security did not feature as an issue in the Planning Inspector's report.
"Cambridge simply failed to make the case for a national need for this laboratory" said Andrew Tyler and Jan Creamer. "This proposal was opposed by many within the university itself; over 130 MPs expressed their opposition, as well as the public, in opinion polls. In addition, it would have been a massive financial burden for a university that is already millions of pounds in debt. A centre of excellence in the field of brain research is better served using modern techniques such as brain scanning equipment."
Notes to Editors
Photographs and video of monkeys, and human volunteers, undergoing brain research in the UK, are available from NAVS.
Contacts: Andrew Tyler, Animal Aid. Tel 01732 364546.
Andrew Smith/Jan Creamer, NAVS: Tel 020 8563 0250, website www.navs.org.uk