NEWS RELEASE

Pressure mounts for inquiry into Government collusion in horrific primate research

Hundreds of pages of documents obtained in two leaks reveal Government complicity in promoting horrific pig organ transplant experiments on monkeys and baboons at the controversial Huntingdon Life Sciences testing labs.

An extraordinary legal victory followed a two-and-a-half year 'David & Goliath' struggle to overturn a court injunction hastily granted to Novartis that banned publication of the documents. However, Sheffield-based anti-vivisection group Uncaged Campaigns successfully argued that evidence of Government collusion and malpractice meant that there was an overwhelming public interest in the disclosure of the documents. The stunning information is published today at www.xenodiaries.org and reported in a major piece in The Observer (p.3 - "Exposed: secrets of the animal organ lab" ).

The documents reveal:

  • Government licensing of severe primate suffering, breaching legal limits
  • Active collusion between Government and the company to downplay suffering and evade regulations
  • Failure of Government to enforce the legally required cost-benefit assessment - allowing horrendous pain and distress despite the consistent lack of progress in the research
  • Breaches of Huntingdon Life Sciences' licence conditions - ignored and hidden by Government
  • Misleading Parliamentary answers by Ministers concealing tragic breaches
  • Research personally authorised by Ministers
  • Inaccuracies and bias in the Government's internal cover up of the allegations

Despite the injunction, the call for an independent inquiry into the scandal has already received support from the RSPCA and over 100 MPs across the party spectrum. Lib Dem MP Norman Baker is to write to the Home Affairs Select Committee to ask them to investigate the evidence of Government malpractice.

Dan Lyons, director of Uncaged Campaigns, comments:

"The documents demonstrate without a shadow of a doubt that the government has deliberately connived to help researchers avoid the rule of law, resulting in the infliction of truly harrowing suffering on animals in deeply flawed series of experiments that led up a blind alley for six years.

"Ministers and officials have conspired to mislead Parliament and the public, and have shown contempt for due process. There is an urgent need for an independent inquiry to get to the bottom of this horrific affair. The legal victory and the damning evidence will result in huge pressure on the Government to end systematic bias in policy on animal research."

Notes for editors

Uncaged Campaigns, 20 April 2003

 

Baboon operation
Credit: Organ Farm

"There is an urgent need for an independent inquiry to get to the bottom of this horrific affair. The legal victory and the damning evidence will result in huge pressure on the Government to end systematic bias in policy on animal research."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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