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Animal Rights Protest at University Over Live Drugs Testing

Published on: 27 Apr, 2021
Updated on: 30 Apr, 2021

By Hugh Coakley

Animal rights campaigners called for an end to live animal testing in a protest (April 24) outside the University of Surrey, with 10 protesters waving placards and banners on the university roundabout. Passing car-drivers tooted horns in support.

Animal rights protesters at the University of Surrey’s Stag.

The demonstration, among 100 actions planned at 75 locations across the UK and the world, marked the World Day for Animals in Laboratories 2021.

Tom Gale-Batten, from the Surrey Animal Liberation Alliance (Sala), said: “The breeding, use and killing of animals is a terrible injustice we inflict on them. In 2019, 3.4 million experiments were inflicted on animals with more than half of all them at universities.”

He called the testing “archaic”, with research showing “many new drugs developed and passed as safe and effective in animals never lead to any human benefit due to ineffectiveness or unexpected toxicity when trialled in humans”.

The University of Surrey publishes data annually on the number of animals they use “for scientific procedures, breeding and those humanely killed for tissue only”.

Data from the University of Surrey’s website showing animals “used for scientific research and humanely killed”.

A university spokesperson said: “The use of animals in research has contributed to the understanding and treatment of major diseases and has been crucial to developing lifesaving breakthroughs such as vaccines, cancer drugs, and insulin.

“Thankfully, there is an increasing number of alternatives to the use of animals in research, techniques our university is committed to developing and using where we can.

“All use of animals in research at our university follows a strict ethical approval process overseen by our Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body and the Animal in Science Regulation Unit.”

The university is a signatory to the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research in the UK and committed to the 3R principles of:

  • Replacing the use of animals with alternative techniques or avoiding use of animals altogether;
  • Reducing the number of animals used to a minimum; and
  • Refining how experiments are performed to ensure animals suffer as little as possible.

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