Peaceful vigil at Royal Veterinary College as victims of animal research increase

Posted on the 20th February 2017

On Saturday 18th February, Animal Aid staff and supporters held a peaceful vigil outside the Royal Veterinary College's Campus in Potter's Bar in order to raise awareness about the College's programme of animal research.

Since early 2016, Animal Aid has raised awareness among the public about the extent of animal experimentation at the College; in 2014 more than 9,700 procedures were conducted on various animal species and in 2015 this number had risen to more than 11,000*, an increase of almost 14%. The species involved included guinea pigs, mice, dogs and fish.

Animal Aid has previously highlighted horrific experiments conducted at the College which involved five sheep being operated upon to remove and re-graft their wombs. Conducted to help human fertility, the experiments were reported to have gone seriously wrong. The five ‘procedures’ resulted in: one early death, one ‘abandoned’ operation and two animals suffering kidney failure.

Previous research at the College included:

  • A colony of beagle-cross dogs being purpose-bred with a genetic flaw which leads to them suffering a canine version of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. These dogs were to be killed when approximately 18 months old – a tenth of the life expectancy of a healthy beagle.
  • Guinea fowl being forced to run on treadmills, the birds first having had electrodes inserted into their leg muscles
  • Pregnant sheep being surgically mutilated to study uterine blood flow.

Animal Aid’s Anti-Vivisection Campaign Manager, Jessamy Korotoga, said:

‘Animal Aid and thousands of members of the public have contacted the College concerning their animal research programme. Our petition to the College currently has almost 7,500 signatures, which shows the strength of feeling there is amongst the public about this issue. Each of these signatories, along with Animal Aid, are telling the College that we expect a veterinary college to heal animals, not to deliberately harm them.

We believe that by causing animals to suffer pain and distress, the RVC is doing the opposite of what people expect of it. We are urging the College to cease all animal research on both scientific and moral grounds.’

Notes for Editors:

  • * The FOI request revealing the number, and species, of animals involved is available on request.
  • For Animal Aid’s previous analysis of the animal research programme and associated issues, please visit our website
  • Photographs taken at the vigil are below
  • To arrange an interview, please call 01732 364546

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