Horrific reality of vivisection revealed by sensational legal victory

Uncaged Campaigns has achieved an astonishing legal success by winning the right to publish the Diaries of Despair report and over a thousand pages of confidential documents. Uncaged Campaigns argued successfully that it was in the public interest to reveal the shocking truth behind one of Britain's most extreme programmes of animal experiments in recent history.

Grotesque experiments

Between 1994 and 2000, hundreds of higher primates were subjected to grotesque 'xenotransplantation' experiments. Hearts and kidneys from genetically engineered piglets were transplanted into the necks, abdomens and chests of monkeys and baboons captured from the wild.

The primates were then injected and force-fed massive doses of immune-suppressing drugs in a vain attempt to prevent the alien organs from being rejected. The results were truly appalling.

The research was conducted by a biotechnology company, Imutran Ltd, which is a subsidiary of the multinational drug firm Novartis Pharma AG, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge. The experiments took place at the controversial Huntingdon Life Sciences laboratories.

Unique revelations

The report and campaign are called 'Diaries of Despair' in recognition of the severe suffering inflicted on hundreds of primates revealed in the researchers' own detailed records.

The leaked confidential documents give a historically unprecedented insight into the disturbing world of vivisection. The main initial goal of the Diaries of Despair campaign is for the establishment of an independent judicial inquiry to investigate the incriminating evidence of Government malpractice and collusion, and to prevent such cruelty from being repeated.

A new era

The historic victory came after an arduous High Court battle. The Diaries of Despair were originally exposed by Uncaged Campaigns in September 2000, gaining national media coverage. Within a week however, Imutran had gained a temporary injunction banning Diaries of Despair, and a 'David and Goliath' struggle ensued as the company attempted to keep the information out of the public domain.

In autumn 2002, the Defendants were lining up a court hearing, claiming that Imutran and Novartis had failed in their duty to disclose key documents related to animal suffering and their relationship with the Government. The full trial was expected to take place in spring 2003.

In April 2003, a new Court order ratified an out-of-court settlement: Imutran and Novartis had surrendered in their attempt to suppress the Diaries of Despair.

Dan Lyons, author of Diaries of Despair and a joint Defendant with Uncaged Campaigns, comments:

"We have consistently argued throughout the proceedings that the clear evidence of horrific animal suffering and Government misconduct means that there is an overwhelming public interest in the publication of these confidential documents. Ironically, the fact that we have been forced to win a legal battle to publish the evidence simply confirms the scandalous implications of the documents.

"Now, for the first time in history, the public can discover the true scale of misery and distress caused by vivisection, and the corrupt politics that allows such atrocities to take place. We're entering a new era in the debate about animal experiments."

Now read on...


Baboon being prepared for pig heart transplant into neck
Credit: Organ Farm


The Ombudsman's investigation has been shambolic and strongly indicates a bias in favour of the Home Office. Click here to read our statement.



Credit: Organ Farm




In October 2002, Uncaged Campaigns received a second anonymous leak of documents, this time from within the Government's Home Office. These documents are normally strictly confidential. We have successfully fought for the right to publish them on public interest grounds.





Uncaged Campaigns logo