Spread ‘peace and good will’ to all animals this festive season.
Posted 04 Dec 2023
Posted on the 11th January 2006
The Home office is this week accused by Animal Aid of operating a 'permissive regime that allows an unacceptable degree of self-regulation by animal researchers who are sanctioned, literally, to maim, poison and kill'.
The accusation comes as the national campaign group publishes a dossier of painful and gruesome animal experiments that were conducted recently in British laboratories. The revelations, says Animal Aid, demonstrate that the HO is failing in its statutory duty to regulate the activities of animal researchers. Drawn from the researchers’ own accounts published in scientific journals, the dossier describes how dogs, cats, rats and even chickens and ferrets were subjected to a range of torments, including injury to their spinal nerves, having their skulls opened, their livers damaged and being drained of blood. Genetically modified mice were spun around, burnt and nerve damaged. All the experiments were conducted by university researchers and were, therefore, funded by taxpayers.
The seven research teams responsible – based in London, Liverpool, Sheffield, Edinburgh and Oxford – have each been given an Animal Aid Mad Science Award (AAMSA). A special AAMSA has also been awarded to the Institute for Cardiovascular Research at the School of Medicine, University of Leeds. (See note 4) This was for 16 years of ‘curiosity-driven’ heart experiments involving around 100 dogs and some 25 inter-connected studies. The enterprise was funded, in large part, by the British Heart Foundation.
The factor common to all the experiments highlighted by Animal Aid – aside from the animals’ suffering – is the inability of the researchers involved to demonstrate that their experiments were likely to yield anything useful to human medicine. Yet all the projects – before gaining government approval – passed the Home Office’s so-called cost/benefit assessment, whereby the suffering of the animals was said to be outweighed by the likely medical gains.
Said Animal Aid Director, Andrew Tyler:
‘The majority of experiments conducted in this country receive no proper advance assessment but are given approval on the nod by a Home Office Inspectorate that is woefully under-resourced. There are simply not enough expert staff to read and properly assess the huge number of applications that come in from the thousands of licensed animal researchers. (See note 1, 2) The result is the kind of ugly and unwarranted cruelty we have highlighted in our new report.’