Controversial Oxford animal lab opens in secrecy

Posted on the 11th November 2008

This week, political campaigner and Animal Aid patron Tony Benn joined a peaceful demonstration outside the newly opened Oxford University animal research laboratory.

The new £20 million centre opened on November 11, after a sustained four-year campaign of opposition. This was a sad day for the countless animals who will suffer and die in the new facility, as well as a wasted opportunity to advance science by embracing new, more relevant, non-animal technologies.

Work on the new animal facility at Oxford University began in 2004, shortly after antivivisection campaigners – including Animal Aid, which played a central role – succeeded in halting plans for a new primate lab at Cambridge University. Many antivivisection campaigners quickly turned their attention to Oxford’s proposed new animal centre and a high-profile battle ensued.

Despite the odds that piled up against them, including an injunction that seriously restricted their lawful right to protest and Tony Blair, then Prime Minister, pledging his support for the facility, animal campaigners kept up their fight against the laboratory to the very end. Even now, the struggle to save animals from pointless suffering and death will continue, with regular protests still occurring outside the university.

Animal Aid is deeply disappointed that so much money, time and, of course, so many animals’ lives, will be wasted on outdated research methods that harm patients as well as animals.

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