Say ‘NO’ to animal experiments at the Royal Veterinary College

Every year, Royal Veterinary College researchers conduct thousands of experiments on animals even though vets vow to heal not harm them. Whether these experiments are for human or veterinary medicine – and RVC researchers do both – such experiments produce data that cannot be relied upon. This is because the stressful, unnatural laboratory conditions and the artificial means of inducing illness distort the results – even when, for instance, dogs are used to develop a medicine for dogs.

Animal Aid is determined to do all we can to end the RVC’s involvement in vivisection.

Please join our campaign – every voice counts.

This telling image was specially created for Animal Aid by artist Mark Stafford. You can download it for free.

The scale of animal use at the Royal Veterinary College

Animal Aid has discovered, through Freedom of Information Act FOIA requests to the RVC and through other sources, that Royal Veterinary College researchers conduct thousands of animal experiments each year – more than nine thousand in 2014. Muscular dystrophy experiments on beagle-cross dogs attracted some media coverage, but a wide range of ‘procedures’ made use of cats, cattle, zebrafish, dogs and salamanders and other species.

Here are the RVC responses to Animal Aid’s FOIA request.

RVC Response 4th February 2016

RVC Clarification Response 11th February 2016

Examples of recent animal experiments conducted by RVC researchers

Dogs and Muscular Dystrophy

The RVC has bred a colony of dogs with a genetic flaw, leading them to suffer a canine version of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The project is aimed at finding remedies not for animals with this condition, but human sufferers. The young dogs are subjected to regular blood tests and muscle biopsies. In 2016 the experiments are to enter a new phase, involving the introduction of laboratory-manufactured strands of genetic material. The dogs will be killed when they are approximately 18 months of age to prevent their condition worsening.

Sheep and blood flow

Pregnant sheep were used to measure uterine blood flow. When halfway through their pregnancy, they were operated on to place a measuring device around each artery supplying the womb. Attached to these devices were cables that were tunnelled under the skin and emerged from the ewe’s side. Two further operations were performed to allow the collection of further measurements. At the end of their pregnancies the sheep were anaesthetised a third time, measurements were again taken and the sheep were killed. No mention is made of the fate of their lambs.

GM mice

In another experiment attempting to advance human medicine, genetically modified mice were used in muscular dystrophy experiments. For two weeks they received daily injections, before having their necks broken and muscle samples taken for analysis.

Making dogs sick

To develop an animal ‘model’ for studying the kind of nausea and vomiting experienced by some cancer patients on chemotherapy drugs, eight beagles were dosed with the anti-cancer drug cisplatin. This made them sick and nauseous.

Guinea fowl on a treadmill

Six guinea fowl were anaesthetised, had eight electrodes inserted into the muscles in one leg and, after they had regained consciousness, were made to run on a treadmill and to negotiate obstacles at different speeds and presenting varying visual formats. There was no mention in the paper of how this research would benefit animals or humans. Nor was there any mention of the fate of the birds after the research.

Gruesome sheep experiments

Five sheep were operated upon to remove and re-graft their wombs. These gruesome experiments were done to try to improve human fertility. Things were reported to have gone seriously wrong which resulted in one animal dying on the operating table and two animals suffering kidney failure. One procedure was abandoned as the sheep was an ‘inappropriate’ size.

Take action

Say ‘NO’ to animal experiments at the RVC: What you can do

Register your protest with the RVC Principal – it’s quick and simple

Order and distribute our campaign postcard and leaflets

Spread the word through social media, your local paper, friends and family

Animal Aid

Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 1AW +44 (0)1732 364546