In 2004 despite the (then) labour government's assurances that they would be reducing animal testing in this country, they went ahead, despite virulent protest from animal rights campaigners, to build the largest animal testing facility in Europe. This being housed within what is supposed to be the centre of learning and enlightenment, Oxford University!
Oxford University began work to build their new £18 million animal torture lab in early 2004, just weeks after the announcement by Cambridge University that they were to abandon their plans to build Europes largest primate lab due to the protests that had been held against them and their rising security costs.
Right from the beginning Oxford University have been less than truthful about this new building and what will happen inside, the animals are kept locked away within what is a virtually a fortress.
At the beginning of 2004 the university claimed that it was to be an ˜animal hotel. They said that NO experiments would be carried out there and there would be NO primates. These statements were to mark the start of a series of lies and misinformation that has proven to be JUST THE BEGINNING. In August 2004 a leading Oxford Professor claimed that the monkeys being experimented at Oxford on lived the life of riley and that there was no pain or stress involved. These words are from a researcher who has routinely inflicted brain damage on highly intelligent and sensitive creatures and whose own published papers describe how after one experiment the monkeys required intensive nursing to keep them alive.
Here is an example of one of their "scientific experiments":
Scientists from the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Newcastle and the University of Western Ontario (Canada) teamed up to conduct a long-term study of brain behaviour in two male macaque monkeys. Both monkeys underwent brain surgery to implant electrodes, which recorded brain activity. The implant was held in place by stainless steel screws, a head bolt and dental cement.
The monkeys were seated in a sound-proof room, in a purpose-built ˜primate chair“ an apparatus that restricts body movement. During each experimental session, the restrained monkey was exposed to a stream of pictures. His task was to hold his stare until he saw a fish. All of the experimental brain and eye recordings were computer-controlled, as was the delivery of a juice reward. An incorrect stare or no response on the part of the monkeys resulted in no reward being given. In all, the monkeys underwent 67 experimental sessions. What happened to them after the sessions was unrecorded.
It has been proven over and over that animal research is not only completely misleading but downright dangerous, giving false results and enabling the giant pharmaceutrical companies to get their products released onto the market by supposedly showing that these products are safe on rats or primmates.
The following is a selection of statements submitted to the public inquiry at Cambridge regarding animal research:
* 'No species can function as a reliable biological model for another species. Even the chimpanzee, our closest relative in evolutionary terms, is no model for research on the human brain.' - Professor Claude Reiss, Director of Alzheim' R&D - representing Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine.
* 'It is ethically problematic, to say the least, to willingly waste money on primate experimentation such that more clinically relevant human research must go underfunded.' - Lawrence Hansen MD, Professor of Pathology and the Neurosciences, University of California San Diego School of Medicine.
With stem cell research developing fast and more and more scientists taking a stand against animal testing, why now invest billions into this hideous facility? With a history of inaccurate results being produced by "testing on animals" such as the marketing of thalidimide and many many other "errors" it has been proven countless times that animal testing is barbaric, outdated and unethical. Above all it holds medical and scientific research back instead of advancing it. This lab is a disgrace to Oxford and to science and to human beings. For more information please see SPEAK campaigns website.