The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) is calling for an investigation into wrongdoing at Imperial College London following the release of footage obtained during an undercover investigation that exposed horrific cruelty to lab animals.
According to the BUAV, one of their investigators worked undercover for seven months at the college and documented a variety of problems ranging from the cruelty of the experiments themselves to the complete and utter disregard for animal suffering by researchers.
Michelle Thew, the BUAV’s Chief Executive, made this statement:
Despite claims made by the Government and research industry that the UK has the best system of regulation in the world, this shocking BUAV investigation shows that the reality for animals is very different. Standards at this leading UK University were poor with breaches of the regulatory regime and inappropriate licensing and enforcement by the Home Office. This investigation raises significant and far reaching questions about animal research in the UK. A full independent inquiry must be carried out as a matter of urgency. The public will expect no less.
Imperial College London, which is ranked sixth in U.S. News and World Report’s list of the World’s Best Universities, announced it will be commissioning an independent investigation and working with the Home Office after the story broke in the Sunday Times.
According to a statement from Imperial College:
Scientists and staff at Imperial work hard to ensure that animals are kept and cared for using the highest standards of husbandry, thereby causing least pain or distress.
The UK law which governs the use of animals is widely viewed as the most rigorous piece of legislation of its type in the world and the Home Office Inspectors who administer it maintain a continuous inspections programme of facilities where work is carried out.
If it weren’t so awful that would be laughable, considering the footage, but what else are they going to say? Animals are seen moving during surgery after being improperly anesthetized (intentionally and unintentionally), left to suffer in obvious pain for days and killed by disturbing methods that ranged from gassing and breaking their necks to beheading them with a guillotine …a guillotine.
The BUAV is now also criticizing the college’s “independent inquiry” which will be led by Professor Steve Brown, Director of the Medical Research Council’s Mammalian Genetics Unit for two reasons: Brown is a known supporter of animal research and the Medical Research Council funds animal research at Imperial College.
The organization has since delivered a letter to the Home Office with the support of MPs from all parties asking for a full investigation that is independent of both the Home Office and Imperial College, in addition to calling on the government to make good on its pledge to use reduce the number of animals used in research through its Broken Promises campaign.
For more information and updates on this investigation, visit Licensed to Kill.
Warning: Graphic Footage
Photo credit: Thinkstock
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