WRITE TO YOUR MP ABOUT THE EDM
EDM 516, entitled 'Imutran Ltd', states:
"That this House calls upon the Government to
establish an independent inquiry to investigate the conduct and
regulation of pig-to-primate organ transplant research performed
by Imutran Limited at Huntingdon Life Sciences, as reported in the
Daily Express and in the 'Diaries of Despair' report published on
21st September 2000, in order to investigate the level of compliance
with the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and accompanying
regulations; and to consider the adequacy of the Home Office' regulation
of the research programme and its response to the concerns raised
in the Diaries of Despair reports and to make recommendations concerning
the regulation of animal experimentation."
Please ask your MP to sign EDM 516: Imutran Ltd. Use the sample
letter below, or use the information in the introduction
and briefing to write your own. If your
MP is unable to sign (parliamentary convention prohibits ministers
or parliamentary private secretaries from doing so) please ask them
to air their concerns regarding this issue to either David Blunkett
or Angela Eagle. The EDM is a really important part of this campaign
as it provides a vital step in pressuring the Government to take
the necessary action against Imutran and Huntingdon Life Sciences,
and countering their callous attitude to animals imprisoned in laboratories.
"I have today received a very detailed briefing
from Uncaged Campaigns which sets out in great detail as to why
this Early Day Motion is important. I therefore have no hesitation
in signing it."
This is a quote from an MP who was lobbied by an Uncaged supporter.
Click here to read the briefing. (This
is also available as a PDF
If you are not sure who your MP is, you should either contact your
local council's electoral department, or try this link: www.parliament.uk/directories/directories.cfm.
Some MPs can be directly emailed via the Parliament website.
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
EDM 516 - Imutran Ltd
I am writing to you to ask you to sign Early Day
Motion 516, entitled "Imutran Ltd." The motion calls for
an independent inquiry into the Diaries of Despair scandal following
the leaking of details of the most extreme programme of cruel animal
experimentation to take place in the UK in the last decade. The
animal experiments in question involved the transplantation of genetically-modified
pig organs into hundreds of higher primates - the 'cousins' of human
beings. The research was sponsored by the biotechnology company
Imutran Ltd (part of Novartis Pharma) and took place at Huntingdon
Life Sciences (HLS).
The documents reveal a number of issues of grave
concern, particularly in connection to the potentially illegal severity
of animal suffering caused and the relationship between the Government
and the animal-testing companies that are supposed to be regulated
by the Government.
In addition to deaths en route to the UK, the researchers'
own words reveal the horrific consequences for the primates, despite
UK and European regulations that prohibit 'severe' suffering: "...
severe anaemia..."; "...cervical abscess eroding the internal
jugular vein leading to haemorrhage and collapse of the animal...";
"... collapsed and died because of bronchopneumonia...";
"Five animals had to be killed because of gastrointestinal
toxicity, resulting in severe diarrhoea..."; "...transplant
'swollen red' and 'seeping yellow fluid'..."; "...huddled...
shivering... unsteady... in spasm... shaking... grinding teeth...
These effects were predictable results of the traumatic
surgical procedures and the extremely high doses of experimental
immunosuppressive drugs which caused cancer, internal bleeding,
infections and complication due to chemical toxicity - but still
could not prevent rejection of the foreign organ. Indeed, scientists
advising the Government on this matter (i.e. the UKXIRA) have recently
concluded that the research had lead up a "blind alley"
and that whole organ xenotransplantation was unlikely ever to succeed
(incidentally, a view that critics such as Uncaged Campaigns have
been promulgating for several years). The evidence of the potential
for new viruses to cross the species barrier via xenografts is another
major concern that decreases the likelihood of net benefits flowing
from xenotransplantation. Yet, a cost-benefit assessment of the
research is supposed to be a key aspect of the licensing process.
In addition to demonstrating the cavalier and disdainful
attitude of the Government to the rule of law, the documents also
reveal that Government ministers have misled Parliament in order
to protect Imutran and HLS from criticism when mistakes and breaches
of regulation have occurred.
Please note that the RSPCA has also recently voted
overwhelmingly in favour of asking the Government to establish such
an inquiry. The combination of deliberate regulatory failure and
Government dishonesty and malpractice gives rise to the urgent requirement
for an independent judicial inquiry into this affair. It is transparently
clear that the recently completed review by the Chief Inspector
is a fix which lacks independence, thoroughness and integrity.
It is vitally important that Parliament holds Government
to account when evidence of regulatory bias and failure is uncovered.
This is particularly the case when the victims of those failures
are innocent animals subjected to the most horrific forms of research.
EDMs are one of the few ways that concerned members of the public
can work with their MPs to raise issues of public interest that
the Government may not be keen to deal with adequately.
If you require any further information about the
need to sign EDM 516, then please refer to the briefing on the subject
which you will have received from Uncaged Campaigns, the publishers
of the Diaries of Despair report, who will be more than happy to
Please forward any replies you receive from MPs. Don't be surprised
if you receive a hopelessly inadequate, or misleading reply. BE
PERSISTENT! We need your support and participation to achieve this
as quickly and as effectively as possible.