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"Atrocities are not less atrocities when they occur in laboratories
and are called medical research"
.
George Bernard Shaw

To see the pictures they don't want you to see about vivisection go to: www.animalexperimentspictures.com

Lab animal increase & failings
Last year saw a sharp increase in the number of animals used in safety tests and medical experiments in Britain, with a marked increase in the number of animals bred that had undergone genetic modification.  Some 4.1m procedures took place, an increase of 317,000. They included 379,000 tests on mice, 5,157 on sheep, and 1,203 on guinea pigs.  There were 545 experiments on primates, an increase of 22%. There were a further 1,500 tests on rabbits and 960 on pigs. However, the Home Office’s Animals in Science Regulation unit found 26 cases last year where strict rules on animal testing were broken. In one case, 5 newly weaned mice were left in a cage without food for 9 days. 4 died and the other was put down after technicians failed to spot they were starving. “No satisfactory explanation could be provided for this failure,” inspectors said. The testing laboratory, which is not named, was given a formal reprimand. In a second case, an untrained member of staff tried and failed to put down mice following an experiment, with one mouse found alive the following day. Other cases discovered by Home Office inspectors detailed in the annual report include: - A technician forgetting to give pain relief to 5 rats undergoing spinal surgery. Inspectors wrote: “He admitted that it was an oversight on his part.” - Mice being raised with tumours, with the size of the tumours exceeding that allowed under the licence. - 6 zebrafish being killed in a procedure that was not permitted under the project licence - 2,730 birds receiving an overdose after a technician mixed a chemical preparation wrongly. One died and 28 were put down. - One scientist was stripped of their licence to practise after they swapped the label on a cage for that of a different experiment, after the expiry date of the original project licence had expired. Their employer was unaware of the trick. 1 in 10 experiments were safety tests on new medicines, while 69,000 were for cancer research and 46,000 were experiments in genetics.
 

The UK’s National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) has allocated 20 grants to universities, specialist institutes and small-to-medium-sized enterprises to develop new testing methods, infrastructure and technologies.   

Stop testing household products
The MP for Brighton Pavilion, Caroline Lucas, has joined Cruelty Free International in calling on the Government to carry out its promise, made in 2010, of a ban on testing household products and their ingredients on animals.  Government has yet to make a final decision regarding the ban and now looks likely to do a U-turn, indicating that the ban would only cover finished products and not their ingredients. 
Lucas said: “It will be deeply disappointing if the Government fails to take action on this. I am proud that my constituency office is cleaned only with cruelty-free products. It’s time we ended testing these products and their ingredients on animals.”  Michelle Thew, chief executive, Cruelty Free International, commented: “The UK led the way in implementing a ban on animal testing on cosmetics. It is now time to do the same with household products and their ingredients. We thank Caroline for her support and urge the Government to implement this ban as soon as possible and take the cruelty out of cleaning.”  Cruelty Free International recently launched the Clean Up Cruelty – a UK campaign to tackle the issue, backed by brands whose products aren’t tested on animals.  

Wickham demo
About 100 people took part in a demonstration against Wickham Research Laboratories in Gosport on Sat 7th Sept. We met at Christ Church hall, for refreshments and a few speeches including from Jeanette McClunan and Sue Baumgardt (Dickens).  We then marched through the town and when we got to the waterfront we heard a speech from Animal Aid’s scientific consultant Dr Adrain Stallwood.  As a medical doctor he is well qualified to pass comment on animal testing which he described as “the lazy option”.  How right he is.  He also decried the fact that virtually no effort is put into developing medicines that don’t reply on animal experiments and the fact that legally they have to be tested on animals.  We then marched back through the town to the church hall.  How depressing that despite all the protests, petitions and promises from both political parties, animal experiments are on the rise.   

Sequani - On 15th Aug protesters held a demo outside Sequani Labs in Ledbury, Herefordshire, to remind the workers about the sort of business they work for.  Support from passing cars was good and businesses down the road took leaflets and postcards about the lab.  Ledbury is also being leafleted door to door.  Interested in having Sequani leaflets and postcards for stalls? Ring Pauline 01684 569244  

Research and Innovation in Science (IRIS) Science Fair, one of India's largest student science competitions, will not allow any kind of experimentation on animals from 2014 as its organisers have decided to put a ban on their use.  

Unethical L’Oreal
"Beauty product giant, L'Oreal, has made a lot of headlines lately, but not in the most positive way. From the presence of lead in their lipstick, to resuming animal testing to sell new products to the Chinese market, L'Oreal has found themselves in hot water with consumers who demand ethical practices and safer products. L'Oreal is no stranger to controversy. Founder Eugene Schueller, who formulated the first hair dye product in 1907, was a well-known Nazi sympathizer and, to this day, the company is embroiled in a legal battle due to the fact that its German headquarters are situated on land that was confiscated from a Jewish family during World War II. Holocaust survivor, Edith Rosenfelder, whose family was forced to sell their house and land to Nazi officials (and never saw the proceeds), has been in a legal battle to get her family's land back from L'Oreal for several years. Because legislation has been passed stating that all such transactions were illegal, and thus invalid, the land is technically owed back to the family. L'Oreal, however, has refused to relinquish the land, and the fight has been brought to the European Court of Human Rights.  The controversies have persisted throughout the years. In 2005, the Supreme Court of California found that a former L'Oreal manager was wrongfully terminated after she refused to fire a valued employee due to the employee being dark-skinned. The manager was ordered by L'Oreal executive, Jack Wiswall, to hire a blonde employee in place of the dark-skinned employee. In 2007 L'Oreal faced criticism by the British Advertising Standards Authority (BASA) for false advertising. L'Oreal's ad claimed that their "Telescopic" mascara would make eyelashes 60% longer, when the mascara formula did nothing to physically lengthen eyelashes. In 2011 L'Oreal once again fell under the microscope of BASA when they banned 2 ads by L'Oreal subsidiary, Lancome, for airbrushing actress Julia Roberts and model Christy Turlington in both of their ads. BASA again claimed "false advertising" due to the misleading touch-ups. Then there is the continued animal testing. L"Oreal is among the ranks of Mary Kay and Avon, the companies who have slyly claimed they are against unnecessary animal testing. Now that they are aiming to sell new products in China, they have resumed animal testing, but are lamenting that their hands are tied and they have no other options. They've also been craftily stating that they haven't tested "finished products" on animals since 1989, which really means that they still test ingredients. It is this continued practice of animal testing that led to such a large backlash when L"Oreal purchased noted anti-cruelty beauty product company, The Body Shop. Legions of devoted Body Shop fans were outraged to know that a company known for still testing on animals was the new parent company of a brand whose ethics they so appreciated. To date, L'Oreal owns a range of well-known brand names, including: Kerastase; Redken; Matrix; PureOlogy; Shu Uemura; Lancome; Yves Saint Laurent; Giorgio Armani; Diesel; Kiehl’s; Ralph Lauren; Stella McCartney; Clarisonic; Garnier; Maybelline; Essie; Skinceuticals.   

The Chinese government has announced that the country's main cosmetics regulation is to be revised. Humane Society International's Be Cruelty-Free campaign welcomes this move as the opportunity for China to move beyond animal testing in the cosmetics sector.   

Test tube brains
Scientists at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna have grown miniature human brains in test tubes, creating a "tool" that will allow them to watch how the organs develop in the womb and, they hope, increase their understanding of neurological and mental problems. Just a few millimetres across, the "cerebral organoids" are built up of layers of brain cells with defined regions that resemble those seen in immature, embryonic brains.  The scientists say the organoids will be useful for biologists who want to analyse how conditions such as schizophrenia or autism occur in the brain. Though these are usually diagnosed in older people some of the underlying defects occur during the brain's early development. The organoids are also expected to be useful in the development and testing of drugs. At present this is done using laboratory animals or isolated human cells; the new organoids could allow pharmacologists to test drugs in more human-like settings. The Guardian, 28 August 
 

Save the Harlan Beagles - On Sat 21st  Sept, BBC TV attended the Cambridge setting for the launch of EDM 263 at the Save the Harlan Beagles march for progress.  To hear the speech by Alex Irving go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEXmjTy057o  

False memories have been implanted into mice, scientists say. A team was able to make the mice wrongly associate a benign environment with a previous unpleasant experience from different surroundings. The researchers conditioned a network of neurons to respond to light, making the mice recall the unpleasant environment. Reporting in Science, they say it could one day shed light into how false memories occur in humans. The brains of genetically engineered mice were implanted with optic fibres in order to deliver pulses of light to their brain. Known as optogenetics, this technique is able to make individual neurons respond to light.  

The reporting of animal studies is biased, inflating the efficacy of drug candidates and pushing them into the clinic before they are ready. This is the verdict of new research, which finds that more treatments go from pre-clinical to human trials than ought to, wasting valuable resources and potentially putting trial participants in danger. Full article: www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/2013/07/failures-animal-testing-put-drug-trial-volunteers-danger  

JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments, has published 2 new methods for scientists to study and treat tumour growth. The methods introduce a lab-born, human tissue structure with replicated human biochemistry - offering scientists the opportunity to grow, observe, and ultimately learn how to treat biopsied human tumour cells. The University Hospital of Würzburg scientists behind the experiment have created a new version of the testing structures known as biological vascularized scaffolds (BioVaSc). Their 3-dimensional human-tissue structures are the first of their kind to be built with multiple human cell types. The structures offer 2 methods for study: a 3D static system for short term testing that is beneficial for microscopy imaging, and a dynamic system that introduces a flow-simulation to simulate actual conditions of the human body. This is especially helpful in long term studies of metastasis, or, the spreading of cancer cells through the human vascular system.  

Party pills - Thousands have turned out in 12 cities around New Zealand to protest the new law that allows the testing of party pills on animals. Protest organiser Angela Beer says estimates put the number who turned out in Auckland at between 3000 and 5000. She says there are better ways to test something that is not a life-saving drug, but simply used for recreation.  

University of Liège - ULg (Belgium) Not only dogs and cats are killed for science at The ULg section of the Faculty of Veterinary, pigs and sheep are used in medical experiments such as cardiac surgery. Not to help the animals, but to test new techniques for human cardiology...  In the same laboratory of ULg- GIGA (neuroscience),a researcher likes to treat canaries birds with hormones to see the effect on their sexual behaviour... Supposedly to help people who have problems in their sex life.  This gentleman has written a few books in which he wants to prove that homosexuals have a brain disorder.  Materials and Methods Details: 6 adult canaries (Serinus canaria, 4 males and 2 females) of mixed-breed origin were obtained from a local breeder (Noorderwijk, Belgium). 2 adult female Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) from an in-house breeding colony (University of Liège, Belgium), and 3 adult C57BL6 mice (Mus musculus 2 males and 1 female) from the central breeding colony at the University of Liège, Belgium were also used. "All experimental procedures complied with the relevant Belgian laws concerning the Protection and Welfare of Animals and the Protection of Experimental Animals!! Experimental protocols were approved by the Ethics Committee for the Use of Animals at the University of Liège (protocol number 926).  

Proposals for a large-scale facility in the village of Grimston on the Holderness coast, which provoked a huge outcry, were rejected by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, following an appeal by the developers last year. Now Yorkshire Evergreen, which is owned by US firm Marshall BioResources, has re-entered the fray with fresh proposals "to meet the UK demand for research animals (dogs and ferrets)."  But the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection is planning a new campaign - and say they are confident they will win public backing.  The last plans proved hugely controversial, attracting 28,000 signatures on an online petition.  

SHAC witch hunt by authorities continues

A group of animal rights activists denied plotting to cause disruption to Huntingdon Life Sciences when they appeared in court.  Emma Phipps, Emily Hepburn, Stephen Parker, Lorna Potter, Debbie Vincent, Alexis Bathory, and Anton Gijsen were allegedly involved in 18 clashes at HLS in Cambridgeshire. They are said to have targeted suppliers and contracted partners of the controversial animal testing laboratory in a bid to cause maximum disruption between Oct 25, 2011, and May 19 last year. All 7 defendants spoke only to confirm their names and deny conspiracy to cause a breach of contracted obligations when they appeared at Southwark Crown Court. Judge Alistair McCreath remanded them all on conditional bail and fixed the trial for Sept 8 next year. They are all due to return to the court for a pre-trial hearing on July 7 next year.  Cambridge News



The failure of animal tests
In a recent essay I asked, "Should animals be used to test party pills?" I concluded that the answer is "No" and noted there are many different views on whether or not nonhuman animals should be used to test drugs that are meant to be used solely or primarily by human animals. And, there's a good reason for debate and scepticism. It's well known that the vast majority of drugs that pass tests on animals do not work on humans. To quote from the report, "The FDA reports that 92% of drugs approved for testing in humans fail to receive approval for human use. This failure rate has increased from 86% in 1985, in spite of all the 'advances and refinements' intended to make animal tests more accurate." If we look at these data in another way, only about 8% of drugs that pass tests on nonhuman animals also supposedly work on humans. Hundreds of thousands of people die annually from drugs that work on animals. Now, a recent essay in New Scientist magazine by research scientists Kathy Archibald and Robert Coleman called "How human biology can prevent drug deaths" presents some updated data that lead the authors also to conclude that we can do significantly better to protect humans by not using animals to test drugs. This essay begins, "Adverse drug reactions are a major cause of death, killing 197,000 people annually in the European Union and upwards of 100,000 in the US. Little coverage is given to such grim statistics by governments or pharmaceutical companies, so patients and their doctors are not primed to be as vigilant as they should be, and adverse drug reactions (ADRs) remain seriously under-recognised and under-reported." The authors reiterate the 92% failure rate because of drug toxicity, and also note, "in 2006, 6 people enrolled in a UK trial of the drug TGN1412 were hospitalised after developing multiple organ failure. Many clinical trials are now conducted in India, where, according to India's Tribune newspaper, at least 1725 people died in drug trials between 2007 and 2011. Clearly, there is an urgent need for better methods to predict the safety of medicines for patients as well as volunteers in clinical trials." Furthermore, a recent study showed that "animal tests missed 81% of the serious side effects of 43 drugs that went on to harm patients."  Researchers Archibald and Coleman wonder why governments and drug companies continue to use and to defend their incredibly poor records using animal tests while there are new technologies readily available that will result in increased patient safety and decreased use of animals. Indeed, the organization Safer Medicines of which Kathy Archibald is the director has been told by the UK Dept of Health and the prime minister that "human biology-based tests are not better able to predict adverse drug reactions in humans than animal tests".  While the US National Research Council has recognized the need to replace animal tests with "more efficient in vitro tests and computational techniques" there's clearly a major problem in the UK where governments and drug companies deny there's a significant problem with animal testing.  If governments and drug companies paid attention to the data it would be a win-win situation for all of the animals, human and nonhuman.  The  New Scientist essay to which I'm referring is a very important one because the conclusion that animal tests do not work is not merely being put forth by people advocating for animal protection, but also by respected scientists who want to see drugs do what they're purported to do for humans who need them and who also care about the animals who are unnecessarily killed because of the stubborn denial of the inadequacy of animal tests by those who continue to advocate for them in light of strongly contradictory data. If governments and drug companies paid attention to the data it would be a win-win situation for all the animals, human and nonhuman.  Dec 20 Marc Bekoff, Ph.D. in  Psychology Today

Footnote: The article mentioned above by Kathy Archibald and Robert Coleman in New Scientist can be read at: http://tinyurl.com/abj4okr  Unfortunately it doesn’t allow copy and paste from the page so I can’t reproduce it here without arduous retyping!!  

Air Canada wins fight
In some excellent news for this festive season, Air Canada have won their battle with the Canadian vivisection industry to finally dispel a 1998 ruling by the Canadian Transportation Agency, (CTA), that forced Air Canada to transport primates for the research industry. The ruling comes just in time for Air Canada’s Caribbean season, so flights that would have returned from the Caribbean stocked with animals stolen from the wild will now carry nothing more sinister than their paying passengers’ luggage.  

Mazor monkey farm to close
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein decided to back an initiative by Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan to ban the import and export of monkeys to Mazor Farm (BFC) and limit its activities to medical research in Israel only.  Erdan welcomed the decision, saying: "Banning the trade of monkeys bolsters animal rights and sends a very clear message: Trading animals for profit is wrong." Since Israeli research institutions need only a few dozen monkeys a year, the Mazor farm will no longer be economically viable. Erdan's initial move to limit BFC's operations was met with legal hurdles, as the Environmental Protection Ministry's own legal counsel expressed concern that the move may infringe on the freedom of occupation rights of businesses that trade animals. Erdan than asked Weinstein to rule on the matter, focusing specifically on the export and import of monkeys by BFC. The minister said that the limitation will have to impact on research facilities in Israel. "Closing Mazor Farm stems from moral, ethical and educational reasons – all of which are meant to minimize the harm and suffering of wild animals," Erdan said in his brief. "Israel should not be a centre for monkey trade for other countries," Erdan stressed, "Especially since the local demand in Israel is so low that it does not morally justify the existence of a farm whose main business is large-scale exports," he added. Still, while the AG ruled that the Erdan's ministerial jurisdiction allows him to make extensive changes to the volume of animals trade for research purposes, there was no legal justification to bar such action altogether. The ruling states that the import and export of monkeys for research purposes will be barred, and that BFC's breeding operations must be limited to medical research in Israel only. Weinstein ruled that the limitation on the export and import of monkeys will be applied gradually over the next 2 years. "This 2-year period takes into consideration the needs of research facilities in Israel, as well as those of Mazor Farm, to adjust to these changes," he said. The AG also ruled that the new regulations must be anchored by the proper legislation; and ordered the Environmental Protection Ministry to update the relevant international bodies of the changes, as required by various international research treaties Israel is a part of. Israel's animal rights group welcomed the decision, saying it was "Putting an end to one of the cruellest ways in which animals in Israel are treated. Mazor Farm has been a black stain on Israel's society since the early 1990s. "We will continue to pursue the issue for the 2 years until the ban takes effect, to stop the farm's cruel and corrupt trade in monkeys." The decision, the statement added, "Sends a clear message to anyone who abuses animals for a living – the Israeli public will no longer tolerate cruel practices, only because a handful of people make their living off them, even if it's out of the public eye. This is a happy day for anyone who has morals and scruples." Anabel Zamir, a leader of the animal rights campaign against the Mazor Farm, welcomed the ruling, but noted that "The attorney general is still allowing animal trade for profit, under the state's sponsorship, for the next 2 years, without mandating proof that any such trade will be done for life-saving purposes. That's very disturbing." BFC was unavailable for comment.  www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4328868,00.html  

Hunger strike for monkeys
Anabel Zamir, an activist, from the Struggle for monkeys in Israel campaign, recently went on hunger strike demanding the closure of the Mazor Farm, a breeding centre for primates used in vivisection.  For 21 years the Mazor Farm, a private company in Israel, has imported macaque monkeys captured from the wild in Mauritius.  The monkeys are flown to Israel in very poor conditions.  On arrival at the Mazor Farm they are branded with an ID number and then bred to produce monkeys to be exported to laboratories throughout the world.  Infants are separated from their mothers and sold for a profit of about $3,000 each.  Israel does not have the ability to monitor this trade nor to know where or for what purposes the monkeys are used.   Struggle for monkeys in Israel is an independent campaign set up in Feb 2012 in order to close the Mazor Farm.  It is not affiliated to any animal-rights organization and its sole purpose is to stop the greed-driven monkey trade in Israel.  The hunger strike took place in front of the house of Gilad Erdan, the Israeli Minister of the Environment, who at the beginning of 2012 was given responsibility for examining the possibility of stricter wildlife trade policies in Israel, including further examination of the Mazor Farm's activities.  The protesters demanded the finalization of legal proceedings on the future of Mazor Farm, since if a decision is not made before the elections on 22 January it could be delayed indefinitely.  On 17 December protesters received an official reply from the Minister promising to speed up the decision process and to make sure it gets legal standing before any change of government.  As these were Anabel's demands, the hunger strike was called off after 7 days.   

Medical research without animals
Barrett’s Oesophagus is a pre-malignant condition which is a complication of chronic gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. In the UK alone, approximately 8,000 new cases and 300,000 worldwide of oesophageal cancer are diagnosed each year. It is amongst the 10 most frequent cancers in the world and the prognosis for the disease is poor, with a mortality rate of 80%. Only 10% of sufferers survive for 5 years or more.  Current research uses a large number of animals including mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, cats, ferrets, baboons and dogs. The number of animals used ranges from 3 to 200 per experiment, and these experiments cause severe pain, the results from animals have a low translation value with respect to humans. In other words, what "works" in animal experiments rarely works in humans. The Dr Hadwen Trust (DHT) has recently awarded funding to research into the development of a model which will allow the study in an environment that more closely resembles the human condition.  The research is being carried out at Dundee University using 3D cell monolayers which will be exposed to oesophageal bacteria and acid/bile reflux.  This will allow the study of cellular processes in an environment more closely resembling the situation in humans and thus evaluate the effectiveness of preventative therapeutic strategies.  To see more of the research work being carried out around the country using DHT funding go to the website: www.drhadwentrust.org  You can make a donation by texting HADW01£ and either 5 or 10 to 70070 on your mobile phone. Or telephone 01462 436819.

 

Spotlight on ethical issues of laboratory animals
We’re always hearing how research will move abroad if we deter animal experiments here.  Well… seems they’re worried in India too!

Bio-medical scientists from all over India who gathered recently to discuss the efficacy of using animals for research laid emphasis on ethical and welfare issues relating to laboratory animals and called for evolving a balance between experimental animal studies and alternative methods such as models and computer simulation.  Scientists, researchers, policy-makers, animal breeders, veterinarians, activists and representatives of pharmaceutical units taking part in the national conference felt that the guidelines and regulations in the field issued amid a raging debate on the use of animals and alternatives were often contradictory and affecting higher education and drug development. The 3-day conference on “Use of animals and alternatives in bio-medical research with emphasis on drug development” was organised by the Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS) in Rajasthan University’s Zoology Dept. CAS emeritus medical scientist N. K. Lohiya told The Hindu that the demand being raised by certain activist groups for developing alternative approaches might lead to elimination or a drastic reduction in the use of animals in the laboratories. “The principal concern in the scientific community is about its impact on the quality of research and development of medicines.” Prof. Lohiya, who is also president of the Indian Society for the Study of Reproduction & Fertility, said the participants also expressed concern over the proposed amendments to the existing legislation governing the use of animals for teaching and research and regulating the functioning of animal houses in various institutions. Researchers attending various sessions in the conference pointed out that the animals were already housed, bred and experimented under standard conditions by strictly enforcing ethical and regulatory guidelines. The experimentation is covered by provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and the Breeding of and Experiments on Animals (Control & Supervision) Rules framed under the Act. Among others, Indian Council of Medical Research Director-General V. M. Katoch, Indian National Science Academy president Krishan Lal and Union Environment & Forest Ministry's Committee for the Purpose of Control & Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA) member-secretary Anjani Kumar addressed the conference.  It was pointed out that only a fraction of trials on animals for drug development were taking place in India and the country’s economy would be adversely affected if they were stopped by banning the use of animals. Non-human primates, rabbits and mice are mainly bred and used as laboratory animals in the country.  The Hindu  Dec 26th  

Animals and battlefield training
People around the world were shocked recently when news broke that the Danish Ministry of Defence has medical personnel participate in an archaic training drill – callously nicknamed ‘Danish Bacon’ by UK military doctors who also attend the course – in which live pigs are shot with high-velocity bullets to inflict life-threatening, multi-organ injuries and bone fractures. The Ministry of Defence is violating the law and perpetuating the myth that shooting animals helps save human lives on the battlefield. The truth is that having military personnel try to repair the wounds of pigs who have been violently injured on a firing range does not help humans. During my 7 years of active duty as a US navy hospital corpsman – including as a member of the US Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan’s Special Medical Operations Response Team – I never trained on any live animals. My own comprehensive training in the Navy included videos, immersive drills with lifelike simulators and moulage scenarios with human actors. And I have never been unprepared to treat life-threatening injuries to fellow service-members. This is not just a matter of personal opinion. Earlier this year, PETA US and current and former US military doctors published a study in a prestigious military medical journal showing that 22 out of 28 NATO nations do not use any animals for military training. Germany, whose armed forces are among the majority that have confirmed that they don’t use animals, has even repeatedly denied applications by the US army and its contractors to conduct military training on animals on the grounds that it would violate German and EU laws requiring the use of alternatives to animals whenever available. Likewise, the NATO Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine, designated as the primary source of expertise for the NATO Alliance’s medical community, has also confirmed that its battlefield medical courses do not use animals. It wrote to PETA US that it “does not use animals, alive or dead, or animal models for any training or course or is involved in any partner course doing so. Where needed for specific training, appropriate human patient simulators are used.” These laudable decisions to use only modern non-animal military training methods are supported by scientific research. More than a decade’s worth of studies by military and civilian trauma experts show that lifelike simulators – the best of which “breathe”, “bleed”, and are made of artificial human skin, fat and muscle – better equip trainees to treat human traumatic injuries, in terms of both skill acquisition and psychological preparedness. This is because there are vast differences in anatomy and physiology between humans and pigs that make the former extremely poor models for human injuries, especially given the superior human-based simulators available. For example, the pressure required to apply a tourniquet effectively to the small amputated legs of pigs is enormously different from what is needed to stop the haemorrhagic bleeding of a human’s arms or legs. Likewise, pigs have much thicker skin than humans and the anatomy of their internal organs, blood vessels and airway is unlike humans, so repairing blast or gunshot wounds that these animals have sustained does not simulate the skill needed for saving human lives. Indeed, in a 2009 internal email obtained by PETA US, a deputy surgeon with US Army Europe candidly admitted to colleagues that “there still is no evidence that trauma training on animals saves lives”. In view of this mounting evidence, it is perplexing that defence minister Nick Haekkerup would state, as he recently has to the media, that “if you did not complete the exercises, it would mean a greater risk that some of our soldiers were either more maimed or died from gunshot wounds, because they faced less experienced doctors.”  It is feasible for Denmark to train its armed forces without harming any animals, and there are also legal requirements to do so. Danish animal protection law states that “animals must not be used for experiments when the use of cell, tissue or organ cultures or other methods are deemed to be equally appropriate”. Similarly, EU regulations state that “member states shall ensure that, whenever possible, a scientifically satisfactory method or testing strategy, not entailing the use of live animals, shall be used instead of a procedure.” There is no scientific, ethical or legal justification for harming and killing animals in military trauma training exercises. The preference for and widespread use of sophisticated non-animal training methods by military and civilian facilities around the world is proof that these methods are viable full replacements for the use of animals.  For the sake of animals, service people and the civilians relying on troops for life-saving medical treatment, ending the use of animals in military training is a morally sound policy decision. Matt Freeman Copenhagen Post Jan 4  

Shocking rise in warfare experiments

The number of animals being used for military experiments has increased by more than 1,000 in the last 3 years. Almost 10,000 pigs, rabbits, monkeys and rodents were used in top-secret tests at the Porton Down military research base in Wiltshire in 2011, it has emerged. The figures were revealed by junior defence minister Philip Dunne in response to Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock who raised concerns about the facility in parliament last month.  The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection highlighted 'disturbing and cruel' experiments which include live pigs being blasted with explosives and forced to inhale mustard gas, monkeys being infected with anthrax and guinea pigs being killed with nerve agent. And the number of procedures being carried out is on the up. Mr Dunne listed the number of animal procedures undertaken at DSTL Porton Down over the last 3 years. The figure has risen from 8,452 in 2009 to 9,582 in 2010 and 9,882 last year. Currently 21 licensed animal procedures are under way at Porton Down Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL).  6 of the projects cover work funded directly by US defence agencies. Mr Hancock said he was shocked by the statistics which, until now, were never made generally public.  He said: 'I was shocked to learn that almost 10,000 animal experiments are taking place at Porton Down every year, including ones inflicting substantial levels of suffering.  'The details were not included in the annual statistics published by the Home Office and many people will be totally unaware that this suffering is occurring.  'It is important that the Ministry of Defence routinely gives more information on its use of animals so the public can be fully informed.'  Mr Dunne stressed that DSTL operates in 'strict accordance' with the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act.  'All the research projects that involve animals are licensed by the Home Office. As part of the licensing process, the researchers have to convince the Home Office that the work is required, that the results cannot be obtained without the use of animals and that every step has been taken to minimise pain and suffering to the animals involved,' he said. But BUAV chief executive Michelle Thew said: 'It is alarming that almost 10,000 animal experiments for military purposes took place in 2011 and that many animals were subjected to the most extreme suffering categorised by the Government.  'Some of the animal research conducted at Porton Down was even funded by the US defence agencies.  'The BUAV is calling for an end to the use of animals, including monkeys and pigs in these gruesome experiments. We need to ensure the safety of soldiers and civilians but the answer does not lay in blowing up or exposing animals to lethal chemical warfare and nerve agents.'  All scientific experiments on animals, including those at Porton Down, have to be licensed by the Home Office under the proviso that suffering is minimised as much as possible. Procedures are graded according to the severity of harm or suffering they inflict. Of the 21 'active' projects at Porton Down, 4 are 'unclassified', 3 are 'mild', 6 are 'moderate' and 8 are categorised as 'substantial'. A moderate procedure may cause animals a 'noticeable degree of pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm', according to the Home Office definition.  Substantial severity 'may cause a major departure from the animal's usual state of health or well-being with significant or prolonged animal suffering'.  The Mail 18th Dec 

 

Ending military training on animals 
President Obama has just signed into law a bill that includes language requiring the Dept of Defence to create a strategy and timeline by March 1, 2013, for replacing the shooting, stabbing, and dismembering of animals in military training drills with human simulators and other modern non-animal methods.  This is a milestone moment in PETA’s ongoing campaign to stop the military from tormenting thousands of live animals each year in these archaic trauma exercises!  When this lifesaving provision was first inserted into the National Defence Authorization Act last year, PETA and its supporters sprang into action with e-mail and call-in campaigns to urge members of Congress to support the important measure. We now know that they took our concerns seriously and acted on them!  To bolster our efforts to urge the Dept of Defence and Congress to address this vital issue, PETA released disturbing, never-before-seen undercover video footage this past year showing live goats who had their limbs broken and cut off with tree trimmers in a military training drill. A PETA complaint based on the video led to federal citations for animal welfare violations and prompted Congress to request an investigation into the contractor that conducted the cruel training. PETA also co-authored a study showing that 75% of the U.S.'s NATO allies do not use any animals in their military medical training programmes, instead employing superior non-animal methods such as humanlike simulators. Tens of thousands of PETA members and supporters—including high-profile military veterans Oliver Stone, Bob Barker, and Gideon Raff—have written to the Dept of Defence asking the agency to modernize its training programme by replacing its deadly animal laboratories with more effective, human-relevant simulation tools.  

Research chimps get sanctuary
The world will soon be much brighter for 113 chimpanzees now held in Lafayette, Louisiana’s New Iberia Research Centre (NIRC) as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced its 2-part plan to retire them all to the comfort and safety of Chimp Haven, NEAVS’ federal sanctuary. The decision is a major revision to the NIH’s original plan to send only 10 to Chimp Haven and retire the rest to another lab. NEAVS/Project R&R has been closely involved in the fate of the NIRC chimps, advocating for sanctuary for all of them, and is the first to step up with a matching grant of $100,000 to Chimp Haven to help cover costs for needed construction to welcome the chimps. NIH’s 2-phase plan to get them to sanctuary starts in Jan 2013, when half of the chimpanzees will be moved in small groups to Chimp Haven into available housing and existing social groups as appropriate. This first phase will take about 6 months. For the second phase, expected to take 12-15 months to complete, approximately $2.3m in construction funds is needed. NIH has said it will work with Chimp Haven and animal protection organizations to secure all funding. Sadly, 4 other chimpanzees were evaluated by both Chimp Haven and New Iberia veterinarians who determined they were too sick for transfer. In failing health, they are permanently protected from use in research. 8 of the chimpanzees are mothers with young offspring who will remain together during the move.  The soon-to-be new Chimp Haven residents will almost double the sanctuary’s population – but there are still those waiting. Knowing that 109 of the approximate remaining 488 federally owned chimpanzees currently held in U.S. biomedical labs can soon rest does not allow us to. It is our duty and our labour of love to keep working until all chimpanzees live surrounded by fresh air, sunlight, trees, and all the other comforts an enriched sanctuary life provides. The NIH’s decision marks the beginning, not the end, of our goal: to get them all out of labs and safe in sanctuary. NEAVS/Project R&R will continue to vigilantly and effectively work on behalf of all the rest who are counting on us. For more information on all our programmes, visit NEAVS.org and ReleaseChimps.org.  

Israel bans animal tested products
Israel now officially bans the import, marketing and sale of any cosmetics, toiletries or detergents whose manufacturing process involves animal testing.  The Knesset originally passed the law in 2010. The new regulations took effect on Jan 1st. MK Eitan Cabel, who serves as head of the Knesset's Animal Rights Lobby, promoted the legislation, which states that "Israel will no longer allow the import and marketing of cosmetics, toiletries or detergents that were tested on animals. "Animal testing in the Cosmetics Industry inflicts horrific suffering on these animals. Each product requires between 2,000-3,000 tests, and animals die in agony."   The law makes certain exceptions for items produced for medicinal products, which are not categorized as drugs; and follows the guidelines set by the EU, which enacted a similar ban in 2004.  MK Cabel said that the law represents "A true revolution in animal welfare in Israel. We've come a long way in the last Knesset term and this law in the pinnacle of our efforts. "I hope we'll create a change in perception that will end animal testing altogether."  The new law was enacted as an addition to a law enacted in 2007, which banned animal testing in the Israeli Cosmetics Industry altogether.  

India to ban cosmetic testing  
India, in a landmark move, is planning to impose a blanket ban on testing cosmetics on animals. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BSI) is revising the standard IS 4011 — the method of safety testing for cosmetics. Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) Dr G N Singh told TOI that the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) is examining the feasibility of banning animal testing of `cosmetics.
 

Bears were used to test ejector seats
When the U.S. Air Force was designing its first supersonic jet bomber in the 1950s, it turns out bears were an essential part of the process, helping to test the plane’s new ejection seats during the Cold War, according to i09.com.  The website has put together a summary of the role bears played in testing the supersonic Convair B-58 Hustler. Apparently, because Himalayan and American black bears are reasonably close in size to humans, they were deemed acceptable substitutes, after a team of humans died in an early ejection test.  So, while Chief Warrant Officer E.J. Murray became the first human to successfully eject from a B-58 at nonsupersonic speeds on Feb. 28, 1962, it was a 2-year-old, female black bear that made it into the history books for the first successful supersonic ejection from the aircraft. That occurred about a month later, on March 21.  The bear was ejected from the plane at 35,000 feet above Edwards Air Force Base at a speed of Mach 1.3. It took nearly 8 minutes for the capsule containing the bear to reach the ground safely. Io9 describes the ejection system: “In the new system, a pre-ejection handle yanked the pilot's legs in close and closed a scalloped shell that enclosed him while still allowing rudimentary control of the plane. The actual ejection handle sent the capsule up with a rocket burst, automatically deploying a parachute. The capsule was designed to float, and contained food and survival supplies.”  Statistically, the bears actually fared better than their human counterparts: While a team of humans died in an early ejection test of the B-58, no bears died during the later test runs. However, in an extremely unsettling twist, the bears were euthanized so their bodies could be examined after the ejection tests.  

The number of animals used by Irish universities in live scientific experiments is to drop following changes to the law. From January 1, an EU Directive will mean alternative testing methods should be used if they can produce equally valid results. Health Minister Dr James Reilly has introduced the changes to encourage institutions to explore alternative experimentation. The Independent.ie. 22 Dec  

The new EU Directive governing animal experiments across the Union has passed its final hurdle en route to becoming UK law. Committee stage debates this month in both the Houses of Lords and Commons left several key questions unanswered, but the legislation will nonetheless be formally signed off today (Dec 18) by Home Office Minister Lord Taylor. The mechanism used to ‘transpose’ EU Directive 2010/63 has been to introduce changes to the existing 26-year-old national statute. The new domestic law will, therefore, be called the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 Amendment Regulations 2012. It will essentially mean business as usual for animal experimenters in the UK. Animals in laboratories will not benefit from stricter controls on their use and abuse, but nor will existing restrictions on what can be done to animals be relaxed in any major way. However, a significant number of EU member states have historically exercised very few controls in this area, and standards and safeguards for tens of thousands of animals in such countries will be substantially better. Although the amended Act comes into force at the beginning of 2013, there are still a number of battles to be fought. These relate to the contents of the guidelines that govern day-to-day activities in animal labs, as well as to questions of public accountability. Animal Aid, alongside other animal protection groups, will be pressing the Home Office on both these fronts. Important guideline-related objectives include ensuring that the requirement to stick to the severity limits (the degree of pain and anguish that can be inflicted on animals) is set out in plain terms in the licence granted to experimenters. A key accountability matter is membership of the so-called Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Bodies (AWERBs). The equivalent bodies currently in action are supposed to preview, at a local level, proposals for new vivisection programmes, prior to those plans going for ultimate approval to the Home Office. Animal Aid is pressing for the guidelines to insist that all AWERBs have a genuinely independent element in what is at present a cosy tick-box system.  The future of ‘thematic reviews’, as allowed for by the new legislation, is also a matter of vital concern. Such reviews offer the potential to formally assess and eliminate whole categories of experiments where they can be demonstrated to be of no value. This coincides neatly with the Coalition Government’s pledge to work to reduce the number of animal experiments. We must ensure that the Home Office works speedily to meet this obligation and that it recognises the potential that thematic reviews offer for doing so.  We are also determined to ensure that the millions of genetically modified mouse victims of laboratory breeding and experimental programmes receive, at the minimum, official recognition. At present, an enormous amount of suffering and death does not even reach the official statistics. Our research shows that GM mice are suffering unimaginably brutal treatment in laboratories across the UK, during breeding programmes and actual experiments.  So far, those responsible and their government facilitators have succeeded in painting a benign picture of fruitful research on animal ‘models’ who merit little public concern (‘they’re only mice’). Animal Aid will be publishing a major new report in the New Year revealing the truth about this cruel and scientifically bogus enterprise. The task before all of us, thereafter, must be to serve as unapologetic and bold advocates for a massive and growing group of animals who have been callously sidelined for far too long.  Animal Aid  

Shocking report on university experiments
A rhesus monkey, named Petra, kept in a botched brain study with screws and a piece of acrylic waste buried in her head. Mice having their toes cut off without a drop of anaesthesia. Others dying of thirst. Birds cut open without anaesthesia. All of this, and much more, at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), which experimented its way through 800,000 animals last year.  This “chilling, even gruesome” story is told by the 
San Francisco Chronicle after studying inspection reports by the U.S. Dept of Agriculture, which monitors all the vivisection labs in the country. (Inspectors are required to conduct just one unannounced inspection each year.)  UCSF is one of the biggest labs in the country. The vast majority of the animals in their experiments are mice and rats. But the Animal Welfare Act doesn’t apply to them since rodents are among the animals not considered to be "animals".  Even so, UCSF paid out $92,500 in fines 7 years ago after various incidents of abuse and neglect were uncovered. The SF Chronicle quotes a scientist at UC San Diego:  "You would think that UC would clean up its act and not have these deficiencies anymore. But $92,000 is chump change for them because these research grants bring in millions - it's the cost of doing business," said Lawrence Hansen, a neuropathologist at UC San Diego who sued UC in 2007, saying state money was being used to support animal cruelty. A Superior Court judge called it a federal issue and dismissed the case.  "I don't disapprove of the use of all animals in research, as long as the animals don't suffer," said Hansen. "What they're doing to these monkeys is so inherently cruel and painful that it's impossible to do it without causing a great deal of pain and suffering."  The newspaper focuses on the rhesus monkey in the botched brain study:  The female monkey that UCSF researchers named Petra arrived at the lab in March 2008. In December, researchers studying Parkinson's disease implanted a device in the monkey's skull so that gene therapy could be delivered directly to her brain. The device remained in place for 7 months and was removed in July 2009. As is common practice, said UCSF, the veterinarian left screws in the monkey's skull. Soon the monkey became lethargic and picked continually at the spot on her head. The veterinary staff treated her with antibiotics and painkillers. That didn't work, so a month later veterinarians tried to repair the wound surgically. That didn't work either, and in Sept they removed the screws. It still didn't help. Her wound still unhealed, the monkey remained in the study. A year later, in Oct 2010, the veterinarians and principal researcher tried again to figure out the cause of the monkey's persistent wound. This time they found a piece of acrylic that had been left in her head from the 2008 implant. A federal inspector arrived unannounced days later and snapped a photo of a miserable-looking monkey, a wide, red wound at the top of her head. Researchers euthanized Petra 3 weeks later, on Nov. 16, 2010. The study in which Petra was involved received a $2.1m grant from the National Institutes of Health. UCSF refused to be interviewed for the SF Chronicle’s report. Instead, spokeswoman Barbara French sent a “statement” saying: "The university takes very seriously the care and use of the animals it studies, beginning with ensuring that as few animals as possible are used in research." We would tend to call that more or a mis-statement than a “statement.” Then again, as George Bernard Shaw once wrote, "Anyone who doesn't hesitate to vivisect wouldn't hesitate to lie about it."  Earth in Transition. 27 Nov  

Brown Dog campaign  Lots of information for actions against vivisection http://www.brown-dog.info/

REACH exposed
The EU chemicals testing programme REACH (registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals) is a well-intentioned but scientifically flawed attempt to protect human health and the environment from the effects of toxic chemicals. This is the conclusion reached in a report published in the peer-reviewed journal Medicolegal and Bioethics.   The report suggests that: • EU health authorities are out of step with modern toxicology; • That current animal test requirements are invalid for predicting human response; • That REACH will result in a pointless animal massacre; and • That public health and the environment will continue to be at risk from the effects of toxic chemicals. 
Principal author of the report Andre Menaché states: “Although REACH does put the burden of proof on manufacturers to demonstrate the safety of their products, it then “scores an own goal” by obliging manufacturers to conform to invalid test methods to predict human health outcomes.” He adds: “The fact that EU citizens have not been given the opportunity to grant or deny their consent before being exposed to the toxic burden that now contaminates us all has legal as well as public health implications. The presence of nearly 300 industrial chemicals in umbilical cord blood of newborn babies is testimony to a failed strategy of pollution control, when EU health authorities should be focusing their efforts on pollution prevention.”  The report calls for the following measures to be implemented without delay:  • Significantly increase the biomonitoring of EU citizens and make the results publicly available; • Toxic risk assessment of chemicals based on modern toxicology, not animal tests; and to be conducted in an independent and transparent manner; • Prioritisation for a ban and avoidance of harmful chemicals found in adult and umbilical cord blood and urine samples  • Public policy based on pollution prevention, rather than pollution control. Link to the article: http://www.dovepress.com/articles.php?article_id=10625  

REACH – alternatives ignored
In April 2012, as a result of your continued support, Humane Society International (HSI) submitted technical proposals to cut the number of animal tests required by Europe's notorious 'REACH' chemicals regulation. REACH’s adoption in 2007 signalled the start of an animal-testing nightmare for millions of animals. Lawmakers promised that animal testing would be carried out only as a last resort and that test requirements would be updated regularly to reflect technical progress.  But the sad reality is that we - and the animals - are still waiting.  Internationally accepted alternative methods that could spare millions of animals are being ignored. Please sign our petition to be delivered to the European Commissioners responsible for REACH asking them to implement HSI's proposals to make full use of animal-testing alternatives.  We're calling for alternatives to cruel lethal-poisoning tests, in which animals are forced to breathe chemical fumes or have them applied to their skin at doses high enough to kill, and to reproductive toxicity tests, which use 2,600 mother rats and their babies to test just one chemical for its effects on mating and fertility. Our proposed alternative testing strategies have already been accepted by EU authorities in the biocide and pesticide sectors because they achieve the same level of protection for human health and the environment whilst reducing animal use.  Now we need chemical regulators to follow suit. Every day the Commission delays taking action, more animals suffer and die needlessly.  Please take action today!
http://tiny.cc/rd8cnw  

Gateway to Hell
Please check out the campaign website and spread the news that G2H is back:
www.gatewaytohell.net For those of you who aren't familiar with the Gateway to Hell campaign, it is a militant anti-vivisection campaign focused on the disruption of the supply of animals to laboratories, with the emphasis being placed firmly on those who transport and supply the animals with the objective to prevent their transportation and subsequent abuse in experiments. With laboratory animal shipments becoming increasingly difficult, the prices of lab animals is on the rise and the vivisection industry descending into a state of hysteria and panic, there's never been a better time to formally re-launch the campaign to squeeze the last collaborators out of this evil business. Some of the highlights from the campaign launch are: 1. A new cyber-action to confront Air India over their duplicitous betrayal of the animals by revoking their policy on the transportation of lab animals: www.gatewaytohell.net/air-india-resumes-shipping-laboratory-animals/  2. A global week of action focusing on Air France-KLM, which will run from the 1st - 8th Dec: www.gatewaytohell.net/air-france-klm-week-of-action/   3. A call for action against United Airlines, another company that revoked a policy not to carry lab animals, and also Vietnam Airlines who are responsible for shipping thousands of primates from S.E. Asia to Europe and the USA are also in the spotlight: www.gatewaytohell.net/top-targets/  4. A collection of increasingly hysterical missives from the vivisection industry, discussing the dire state of lab animal transports and suggesting laughable efforts to improve the public image of animal experimentation: www.gatewaytohell.net/our-network/in-the-news/  More news will follow, but for now please check out the site, spread the word, start preparing actions and let's ensure that 2013 is the year where the shipment of lab animals becomes almost impossible!  

Jet Airways has assured People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India in writing that it does not and will not transport animals destined for laboratory experiments. In a reply to PETA’s letter inquiring about Jet Airways’ policy regarding shipments of animals to laboratories, Mohammad Ali El Ariss, Jet Airways’ vice president of cargo, stated: “We refuse to carry live animals for experiments.”  

Lab animals drown
After superstorm Sandy flooded New York University's medical research laboratories, first accounts were of Herculean rescue efforts. But critics are asking whether the laboratories did everything they could - and whether they followed government guidelines - to protect the research animals. Thousands of animals, mostly mice housed in the basement of one NYU Langone Medical Centre building on the East River in Manhattan, died during the storm.  All told, said NYU spokeswoman Jessica Guenzel, the biomedical facility lost 7,660 cages of mice and 22 cages of rats. Each cage houses between 1 and 7 animals, she said. "This happens again and again and research labs never learn," said Fran Sharples, director of the Board on Life Sciences at the congressionally chartered National Academy of Sciences (NAS).  "Anybody with half a brain knows you do a site-specific analysis" to understand the risk of disasters, she said, "and it's really stupid to put your animals in the basement if you're in a flood zone."  It's not as if scientists didn't have recent lessons in the risk of natural disasters to biomedical research, she said. In 2001, tens of thousands of mice and scores of monkeys and dogs were lost when Hurricane Allison struck Houston; and in 2005, some 10,000 lab animals drowned when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Scientists contacted by Reuters say there was a double whammy. Flooding that overwhelmed the basements drowned some animals, while toxic fumes from breaches in the diesel fuel tank and lines that supplied back-up generators killed others.
 

Taking one giant leap backwards, NASA has called on researchers to submit funding applications for projects which may involve the use of primates, dogs, cats and other animals, provoking condemnation from NAVS and ADI. The purpose of the research is to study how the environment in space affects biological processes, enabling NASA to develop “a safe, productive human presence in space for extended periods”.  

Animal rights activists want to take the University of Minnesota to court over its alleged secrecy in animal testing. The Animal Legal Defence Fund and Minneapolis resident Isaac Peter filed a lawsuit against the University of Minnesota, accusing its Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of violating the state’s open records and open meetings laws.  

GM rat experiments slammed by scientist
Jean-Francois Narbonne has issued a statement clarifying the position of the Pro Anima Scientific Committee: "The project involving rats fed OGM is utterly scandalous. It is vital that Gilles-Eric Seralini be discouraged from mounting any new project involving the study over a
period of 2 years of rats fed OGMs". He stipulates: " I myself was involved, along with other researchers, in the development of several experiments on OGMs in 1995, which we ultimately rejected as being completely ill-adapted to the goal of understanding the effects of OGMs. We subsequently recommended alternative fields of analysis, for example molecular microbiology." Narbonne goes on to denounce what he regards as an obvious and totally outrageous manipulation by the various media, adding that he had asked Seralini, as far back as 2005, to abandon his method as being patently ineffective. To no avail, "as it turns out there were as many tumours on the controls as there were on the subjects.  "This result was already known ahead of time. Seralini used groups of 10 rats. Completing a live study over a period of 2 years would have necessitated using groups of 50, for a total of 1000 rats! More significantly, there exist techniques that specifically do not require the use of live animals, such as: genomic, proteomic, metabolomic." Most significantly, these latter methods have been proven to be more effective than any 2-year study involving live animals in detecting the differences between OGM and non-OGM plants. Employing an alternative method, would have spared the rats from suffering and at the same time would have guaranteed far better-targeted results. Narbonne adds that "at a time when we have already clearly succeeded in developing the means to replace so-called 'classic' methods within the framework of REACH, it seems totally incongruous that a researcher sing the praises of a method using thousands of live animals in long-term experiments that today are considered to be obsolete. If, indeed, toxic substances are existent in OGMs, the use of techniques involving 'omics' as well as biological trials are far more effective. Using these methods, it is currently possible to detect mutations, cancer-inducing cells, or endocrine anomalies in far smaller quantities than those affecting live subjects. For example, the threshold of detection of an strogennomimetic (as found in BPA's or phtalates) is in the order of extremely few pg/kg. The Seralini project clearly demonstrates the underlying inefficacy of long-term live experiments in the study of OGMs.  We at Pro Anima are intent in expressing our fear that this type of 2-year study could continue to be utilised on the grounds that the majority of the researchers who are opposed to this approach are necessarily "in Monsanto's pocket".  

Medicines Agency fails to grasp modern science
The UK medicines regulator, the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) appears to be out of step with global scientific opinion that better methods are needed to improve the safety of new medicines. Although current methods include computer models and in vitro tests, they rely mainly on tests in animals. The MHRA’s mission is “to enhance and safeguard the health of the public by ensuring that medicines and medical devices work, and are acceptably safe.” In order to fulfil their statutory duty, the onus is on them to be alert to the most predictive technologies available and – where there are clear advantages over current methods – to mandate their use. There are many exciting new technologies on offer, which promise to predict various aspects of drug safety more reliably than animal tests and some of the older in vitro tests – but unless they are included as requirements in safety testing, they will continue to be overlooked, and their enormous potential to save lives will be wasted. In the US, several government initiatives are underway to tackle this important issue. The Predictive Safety Testing Consortium was established to address the problem that: “The tests that are used to determine drug safety today have not changed in decades.” They openly admit that “Companies have developed newer safety testing methods, but these are not generally accepted by the FDA [Food and Drug Administration, the US medicines regulator] or EMA [European Medicines Agency, the European medicines regulator] as proof of safety because the tests have not been independently validated by a third party.” Yet the MHRA insists that animal tests are irreplaceable and is extraordinarily dismissive of 2 of the most exciting breakthrough technologies in drug testing: microdosing and ‘body on chip’ devices, saying that they are “not superior technologies”. This contradicts much published scientific opinion, such as a 2010 review of microdosing, which concludes: “There are some scientists who look at new methods such as microdosing with considerable suspicion, failing to recognise that their current tools are flawed. The biggest obstacle to building microdose studies routinely into the critical path of drug development is not scientific but social and economic. It requires scientists to be thinking outside the box. Once this mental hurdle is overcome, microdosing will become routine and as a result the efficiency of drug development will improve.” and a 2012 article, which explains: “A major problem in the pharmaceutical industry right now is that the drug development model is actually broken. It just does not work. It takes many, many years to get a drug to market, it’s incredibly expensive, innumerable animal lives are lost – and then the results from animals usually don’t predict what happens in humans. So this is a huge cost to the economy and to the pharmaceutical industry. Our proposed solution is to do studies with human cells – but not just cells in a dish—cells that exhibit organ-like structures and functions."  Of course, neither microdosing nor ‘body on chip’ devices can supply all the information necessary: each only contributes part of the jigsaw. But a combination of such powerful techniques with other advances, such as virtual organs, virtual patients and even virtual clinical trials, promises to provide more reliable information than currently used methods. Since adverse drug reactions are one of our leading – and increasing – causes of death and disability, there is clearly an urgent imperative to improve the current system. Please write to the MHRA to ask one simple question: When is the MHRA going to require that pharmaceutical companies use the best methods available to ensure the safety of medicines, both for patients and for volunteers in clinical trials – who currently bear the brunt of potentially dangerous medicines that have not always been tested for safety in humans as far as technology allows? Please do not mention animal suffering, as this will allow them to ignore this key question.  Letters should be addressed to: Professor Sir Kent Woods, CEO MHRA, 151 Buckingham Palace Rd, London SW1W 9SZ or emails addressed to
info@mhra.gsi.gov.uk with “FAO Professor Sir Kent Woods” in the subject line.  

Wickham Labs demo
Animal rights campaigners brought Fareham town centre to a standstill when they held their annual march against Wickham Labs on 15th Sept. Campaigners marched carrying banners and chanting Close Down Wickham labs and No more torture no more pain, Wickham Labs are to blame.  They were corralled along the route by dozens of police officers who clearly had nothing better to do that afternoon!! Speakers at the rally included Andrew Knight and André Menaché, both veterinary surgeons. Jeanette McClunan of Stop Wickham animal Testing said “It did attract a lot of attention and I always like to think that people go home and reflect and take in what it’s all about.”  The lab moved out of Wickham and is now based in Barwell Lane, Gosport, but has kept the same trading name.  After the march protesters went to the labs for a further demonstration.  Apologies for late report on this demo – my cats knocked the paperwork down the back of the radiator!!!

Update:
I have since heard that William Cartmell, the “vet” who started Wickham labs, has been struck off of the veterinary register.  

‘Over the top’ policing
Animal rights protesters have criticised the police for being ‘over the top’ during a recent demonstration. Police officers visibly outnumbered members of Stop Wickham Animal Testing (SWAT) during their annual march against the controversial Wickham Labs. But police have refused to reveal how many officers were involved in the operation following a Freedom of Information request from The News. About 60 protesters took part in the march through Fareham town centre in Sept. Jeanette McClunan of SWAT said: ‘They definitely outnumbered us. ‘We always have several meetings with the police in advance, and this time they were concerned about having it in Fareham. ‘The last thing any of us is going to do is to step out of line at these demonstrations because if anyone is arrested it gives us negative publicity. ‘The level of policing was completely over the top.’ The News asked Hampshire Constabulary how many officers took part, how much it cost the taxpayer. Rebecca Warhurst of the joint information management unit said in a statement: ‘Disclosure of officer information is likely to provide a tactical insight into how events of this nature are policed and the level of resourcing that is dedicated to this type of protest. ‘Armed with this type of intelligence information, individuals may be able to determine the likely level of policing input at future comparable events and use this sensitive operational information to compromise policing activity and the law enforcement function.’ Blah blah blah  

Unwanted monkeys slaughtered
A BUAV investigation has uncovered the appalling slaughter of hundreds of monkeys at the Noveprim primate breeding farm in Mauritius. Shocking images show discarded dead monkeys stacked in piles on the floor or dumped in bins like garbage. Other images show mutilated bodies in a skip awaiting incineration. This is taking place on the holiday island of Mauritius where ­monkeys are plucked from the wild then exported to UK firms, which pay up to £260 for each one they buy. The barbaric slaughter is set to continue throughout October and November, allegedly because overseas laboratories are requesting primates weighing less than 3.5kg. The majority of monkeys being killed are adult males weighing over 4kg although the BUAV has learned that Noveprim is also killing pregnant females and baby monkeys because the farm no longer has a use for these animals. Noveprim is a major exporter of monkeys to the UK, Spain and the USA. The company is approved by the UK Home Office to supply monkeys to UK laboratories. The company is 47% owned by Covance UK, a research and vivisection organisation based in Harrogate, North ­Yorks.  Official figures show that in 2011, 518 monkeys were ­exported to the UK from Mauritius. In 2010, that increased to 1,059. Only the US bought more. Thousands of live tests are carried out each year in UK labs. 75% of the monkeys are used for toxicology tests on new drugs. Despite this slaughter, Noveprim continues to have traps for wild monkeys. BUAV is calling upon the Prime Minister of Mauritius to take immediate action to halt these killings and for the monkeys to be released back into the wild where they belong to live out the rest of their lives freely. They also demand the UK Government to ban the import of monkeys from Mauritius. A major investigation carried out by the BUAV in September 2010 obtained shocking evidence of the cruelty and suffering
involved in the trapping and breeding of the wild monkeys on the island.   TAKE ACTION!  1. Write to the Prime Minister of Mauritius urging him to stop the slaughter: Dr. The Honourable Navinchandra Ramgoolam. Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius, New Treasury Building, Intendance Street, Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius Email: primeminister@mail.gov.mu  2. Write to Mauritius High Commission in the UK calling for the slaughter to stop: His Excellency Mr Abhimanu Kundasamy, Mauritius High Commission, 32-33 Elvaston Place, London  SW7 5NW. Email: londonmhc@btinternet.com  3. Write to the UK Home Office calling for a ban on the import of monkeys from Mauritius: Lord Taylor of Holbeach, Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State, Home Office, Direct Communications Unit, 2 Marsham St, London SW1P 4DF  Email: public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk  Also go to: www.thepetitionsite.com/695/795/855/stop-killing-monkeys-for-being-too-large/?z00m=20443480  

Opposition to animal use growing
Public opposition to the use of animals in medical research is growing and trust in both scientists and the rules governing the controversial practice is falling, new government-funded research shows.  37% now class themselves as "objectors" to the practice. Their number has been rising steadily since the 29% recorded in 2006 and 35 % seen in 2010, though is still lower than the 39% found in 2002, according to the latest research into public attitudes on the issue by Ipsos MORI. Objectors either do not support the use of animals in experimentation because of concern for animal welfare (32%) or believe the government should ban experiments on animals for any form of research (21%), or both. They are more heavily female (41%) than male (33%) and more likely to be those aged 15 to 24 (55%) and also those in the lowest socio-economic class ranked as DE (51% compared to 23% of ABs). That hardening of attitudes is part of what Ipsos MORI called a "significant" shift away from people endorsing the need for use of animals in such projects. While 85% of the 1,026 Britons aged 15 and older questioned "conditionally" support the practice, this is down from the 90% found in 2010, according to the poll, which the Dept for Business, Innovation and Skills paid for.  "In 2012, the public are less trusting of scientists not to cause unnecessary suffering in the animals involved (47% now, 54% in 2010), but are also less alert to the possibility of experiments being needlessly duplicated (51% now, 61% in 2010)." While 54% trust the government's inspectorate and 53% think Britain's rules governing animal experimentation, 43% do not trust the regulatory system – down from 56% in 2010. But overall 40% said they wanted to know more about animal experimentation before forming a view. The findings have prompted scientists, medical research charities, drug firms and universities to pledge to be more open about the use of animals in experiments in a bid to gain more widespread public support.  Professor Sir John Tooke, president of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said they were "concerned" at the poll's results. Stephen Whitehead, chief executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, said that, while two-thirds of people still accepted the use of animals for medical research, the 10% should be "a wake-up call". Britain's life sciences community need to be "more forthright about the fact that without animal research, the bio-pharmaceutical sector cannot continue to innovate new treatments", he added. Sir Mark Walport, head of the Wellcome Trust, Britain's biggest charity, denied "complacency" among scientists had led to falling public support. He blamed a continuing "environment of intimidation" which, at its most extreme, constituted "terrorism", he said. Whitehead said crashing of websites and other illegal tactics had deterred some people involved in conducting or helping animal experimentation. The poll also found that 9% believe it is acceptable for protestors to occupy research facilities or disrupt firms providing services to such research centres, 8% see roadblocks as acceptable and 2% and 1% respectively see destroying property and physical violence in the same light. David Willetts, the science minister, confirmed that talks are going on with airlines and ferry companies about resuming the import of some live animals which are specially-bred overseas for use in trials into conditions such as Alzheimer's disease. "The government is committed to working to reduce the use of animals in scientific research, but we do recognise that there remains a strong scientific case for the careful regulated use (!!!) of animals in scientific research and that this does play a role in ensuring new medicines are safe and effective", he added.  

Responding to this drop in support for the use of animals in research in the UK, the country’s leading research universities, medical charities and drugs companies launched a new transparency initiative aimed at winning over members of the public to the need for animal research. A total of 15 universities, 4 pharmaceutical firms, and groups such as Cancer Research UK, Parkinson’s UK and the Motor Neurone Disease Association issued a declaration on openness in the use of animals in medical research. “Where possible, we use cells grown in a lab, computer models and human volunteers. When this isn’t possible, research may involve animals,” the declaration reads. “When we need to use animals, we strive to reduce the number needed, and seek to develop viable alternatives.” Penny Hawkins, of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said: “If the scientific community really wants to address these concerns, it will have to be more honest about the harms caused to animals – which can be very severe – and not just talk about the potential benefits of research.” “Talk is cheap. It’s time to deliver.”  

40 dead animals demo
Today we presented 40 dead animals, taken from rubbish bins of vivisection labs, in front of the Austrian parliament. see:
www.vgt.at/presse/news/2012/news20121018y.php  Yesterday we showed the animals in the main square of the Lower Austrian capital www.vgt.at/presse/news/2012/news20121017y.php  Tomorrow we are in Graz, Saturday Bregenz, Monday Linz, Tuesday Klagenfurt. and Wednesday Innsbruck.  Martin Balluch  

Students pose with dead cats
Students at Newport Harbor High School in California openly posed for photographs with dead cats, posted them on Facebook, and solicited comments from their friends. The photographs were taken during a science class dissection that uses cats obtained from biological suppliers. One or more children reportedly deposited a severed cat’s head in a student’s locker. A photograph of a cat’s decapitated head was also posted on Facebook. A detailed online conversation followed in which one student suggested, presumably jokingly, that she had killed her own cat. Other students joined in with other inappropriate comments. PCRM wrote to the president of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education and asked that the students involved be referred for psychological evaluation, that the teacher be reprimanded and counselled, and that classroom activities involving animals be suspended. PCRM also wrote to Facebook and requested the company remove any photographs or posts involving abuse, cruelty, or callousness toward animals in the future, in accordance with its graphic content policy, which states that “any inappropriately graphic content will be removed when found on the site. Sadistic displays of violence against people or animals, or depictions of sexual assault, are prohibited.” The use of animals for science classroom dissection is not only cruel and psychologically damaging, it is unnecessary for optimal science education. In 2008, the National Association of Biology Teachers and the National Science Teachers Association revised their position statements regarding the use of animals in the classroom to acknowledge the value and endorse the use of computer-based dissection programs for all levels of science education, and to encourage science teachers to be prepared to provide those programs. Earlier this year, the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society similarly revised its position statement.
PCRM  

The University of Connecticut paid $12,429 in fines last month for animal welfare violations, the U.S. Dept of Agriculture announced. The fines are for 10 violations observed during inspections between 2008 and 2010, mostly involving the treatment of rabbits at a research facility at the UConn Health Center. 16 Oct  

Animal-rights activists are targeting UC San Francisco over testing of a lab monkey who was kept in a medical study for more than 23 months after developing complications due to a surgical procedure, in violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act.  From 2008 to 2010, a female rhesus macaque named Petra was the subject of neurological studies aimed at learning more about Parkinson’s disease. But according to a federal inspection report, the primate suffered for months after hardware removal surgery failed to extract a small piece of drug-injection apparatus from inside her head. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals now wants UCSF to return $2.1m in federal grant funding from the National Institutes of Health, in accordance with the agency’s own policies. “NIH has an opportunity to make a clear statement that grant recipients cannot engage in noncompliant activity and expect to keep federal tax dollars,” PETA’s letter states. The agency has yet to respond to PETA’s request. This is not the first time UCSF has faced scrutiny over animal issues. In 2007, a committee of physicians sued the school over about 75 U.S. Dept of Agriculture citations it received between 2001 and 2003. The school characterized the sanctions as minor, and ultimately the suit was dismissed by a San Francisco judge who said federal regulators - not judges - are in charge of monitoring animal experimentation. In the case of Petra, UCSF documents indicate that the situation required intensive monitoring as the monkey removed her own fur and continually irritated the surgical incision by picking at it, at times causing bacterial infections and leaving dried blood in her cage. After a federal inspector photographed the monkey during a routine check in Oct 2010, the USDA issued an order to the lab Jan. 5 telling it to rectify such animal practices within 3 months. But by that time, Petra already had been euthanized.  UCSF spokeswoman Jennifer O’Brien declined to say whether UCSF would willingly return the public grant money.  She said the university “takes very seriously its responsibility for the humane treatment of the animals it studies.”  She added that researchers were concerned about the monkey’s problems and kept the condition “largely under control without ever fully resolving it.”  O’Brien said experiments on the monkey yielded progress in the field by leading to the development of a human gene therapy clinical trial for Parkinson’s disease. She said Petra had always been slated for euthanasia following the tests.  

Windows in mice bellies
Scientists investigating the spread of cancer cells have are surgically implanting windows into the bellies of live mice. The glass portholes stitched directly into the rodents' abdominal walls are intended to help researchers track how cancer cells spread to form secondary tumours. This process, known as tumour metastasis, is currently not well understood.  This has been done again and again  – and still no cures

 

 

Will airlines be forced to fly lab animals?
Israel's 7 universities have petitioned the courts to order El Al Israel Airlines Ltd to fly laboratory animals, including monkeys, for biomedical trials. The universities are protesting El Al's decision to stop carrying laboratory animals for trials. The petition states that, over the past year, "El Al has begun to raise difficulties for institutions of higher education that request monkeys for research purposes. El Al has on several occasions refused to bring animals to Israel, and in an extreme case, even refused to carry a shipment of sea snails from California to Bar Ilan University. "These trials are essential to save human lives, the development of pharmaceuticals, and finding treatments for various diseases… They are critical for the development of compounds and vaccines for curing diseases, correcting flaws, fertility treatments, the prevention of epidemics, and advancing surgical techniques."   The universities said that the trials were conducted in accordance with the law and with the full permits and supervision, similar to the prevailing laws in various countries. They added that they were committed to the animals' well-being. "The use of test animals in Israel is relatively less than in the world, and the number of monkeys used in experiments is much less relative to the world."  The universities contend that El Al does not have the right to put itself above the law. "The legislature has already regulated the issue of animal experimentation, allowing research, and did not ban the import of monkeys for research," the petition states. El Al said in response that it had not yet received the statement of claim.
Globes. 4 Jan  Strange that they’re not getting their monkeys from Mazor Farm near Tel Aviv  

March to oppose beagle breeder
About 150 people, many wearing dog masks, marched through Hull to draw attention to the proposed Bantin & Kingman beagle breeding unit in Grimston which has been turned down by planning but has been sent to government minister Eric Pickles for a final decision. There were speeches by Luke Steele (NAVA), Deborah Minns (Local Resident & Activist), Andrew Tyler (Director - Animal Aid), Dr Victoria Martindale (Anti-Vivisectionist and Doctor).  The application to extend the facility was refused permission by East Riding Council in June, but, after a successful appeal by the company, the decision will now fall to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles. He is due to reveal the outcome on March 8. Deborah Minns, one of the organisers of the local campaign against the expansion, said: "People don't want this on their doorstep. "We don't want East Yorkshire to be known for having the biggest beagle facility in the UK. "It is also about putting ourselves in another species' shoes. What gives us the right, as humans, to treat them in that way?" The application was refused by E. Riding Council over concerns about traffic issues, with councillors saying they could not consider moral issues. Almost 30,000 people have signed a petition organised by the BUAV calling for the plan to be refused on moral grounds. Ricky Gervais has also thrown his support behind the campaign. However, the company has said properly monitored animal experiments are permitted in the UK because they are vital for medical research. Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they.  

Stunt demo at Air France-KLM UK HQ
On Wed 21st Dec London Animal Rights held a surprise protest at Air France-KLM's UK HQ, near Heathrow, as part of the global week of action against them. Activists delivered a 'corpse' into the reception to remind them of the thousands of individuals who die because of their continued support of the vivisection industry. Dressed in bloody lab coats, 2 of the activists carried and delivered a "dead body" of one of the animals who had died in transit during a recent journey. Many of the animals destined to die in laboratories won't even make it that far. It has to be said that maybe they are the lucky ones of those bred or caught for vivisection. Workers in the offices looked on as the corpse, in a body bag, was placed in the reception area of the building and activists spoke of the horrors that animals being transported will face and the suffering that they have to endure during the journey. The stunt lasted for around 15 minutes before police arrived, the protesters having already decided to leave of their own accord. The 15 minutes was all that was needed, however, to give the workers a visual reminder of what their company is responsible for and to, once again, inform them of the reality of vivisection. If it wasn't for the part that transportation companies willingly play in assisting in the torture and murder of millions of animals every year, the vivisection industry would be having a much harder time. Video of the action: http://youtu.be/TRN99sUPR_w
 

Rats used in alcohol research
A chemical from seeds from the tree Hovenia Dulcis was first used as a hangover cure in the year 659.  Rats who've consumed the drug can consume vast quantities of alcohol without passing out, show few signs of a hangover - and don't become alcoholics, even after weeks of solid drinking, say researchers. Rats respond to alcohol in a very similar way to humans. The UCLA researchers now aim to find out if the compound will work in humans. The researchers began their study by looking at herbal compounds that supposedly had 'anti alcohol' effects. They rapidly homed in on the Asian seed. They tested one ingredient - called DHM or dihydromyricetin in the rats.  The rats were given the equivalent of 15 to 20 bottled beers in 2 hours. (how did they administer that?) Most animals passed out, and remained motionless when flipped over. When given DHM, the rats could 'handle' their drink better. They took longer to get drunk and seemed to sober up in about 15 minutes. The compound seemed to help rats dealing with hangover anxiety, too.  Rats recovering from a binge seemed to perk up when given the compound. Perhaps most importantly for medical professionals, the chemical seems to stop rats wanting to drink.  Although rats on DHM can drink more, they don't.  'When you drink alcohol with DHM, you never become addicted,' says the lead researcher, Jing Liang in research published in Journal of Neuroscience.  The drug appears to work by blocking a brain receptor. Other promising anti-alcohol drugs have targeted the same receptor - but also caused seizures. So this is the vital, lifesaving research they always talk about? What about liver damage?
 

Empathetic rats - Researchers at the University of Chicago sought to find out whether a rat would release a fellow rat from an unpleasantly restrictive cage if it could. The answer was yes. The free rat, occasionally hearing distress calls from its compatriot, learned to open the cage and did so with greater efficiency over time. It would release the other animal even if there wasn’t the payoff of a reunion with it. Astonishingly, if given access to a small hoard of chocolate chips, the free rat would usually save at least one treat for the captive. The researchers came to the unavoidable conclusion that what they were seeing was empathy - and apparently selfless behaviour driven by that mental state. What psychologists term “pro-social behaviour” hasn’t been formally shown in non-primates until now.  

And clever dingoes have been filmed performing a series of feats described by scientists as evidence of “unbelievable intelligence”. In experiments performed by researchers in Melbourne, one dingo was filmed moving a table to use as a step-ladder to reach food. Another opened a gate latch with his nose to reach a female partner.  

Stena stops transport of animals to Irish labs
NAVA were recently leaked information showing that laboratory animals were regularly being exported to Dublin through the Port of Holyhead in N. Wales. The shipments were conducted on a weekly basis, with unmarked vans loaded with animals driving through the port and onto Stena Line ferries. We immediately contacted Stena Line, the operators of Holyhead Port and the owners of the ferries being used, regarding instigating an embargo on the transportation of animals for vivisection. Within days of our concerns being voiced, the company investigated the matter and today we received a statement: “….to be consistent with our existing livestock policy we will be extending the policy so that it covers the carriage of all live animals.”  Our gratitude is sent to Stena Lines for their swift response and for acting for the progression of science without the use of animals. The majority of animals used in Irish laboratories are bred in the UK and this decision will certainly put a foot in this archaic trade. Without animals for vivisection, researchers will be left to move over to other forms of research that are more accurate to human medicine and curing disease.
 

Roku and Hex are the world’s first chimeric monkeys. But their birth has caused an ethical storm, with critics accusing scientists of disregarding the welfare of the animals.   Named after the fire-breathing creature in Greek mythology composed of parts of multiple animals, chimeras are organisms made up of cells from 2 or more genetically distinct sources. Twins Roku and Hex, whose respective names come from the Japanese and Greek for ‘6’, have been created with genetic material from 6 monkeys. Researchers from Oregon Health and Science University in the U.S. extracted cells from 6 macaque embryos and combined them into a single embryo in a laboratory before implanting it into a surrogate mother monkey. 3 male babies were born using this process – Roku and Hex, who are twins, and Chimero. However, to reach this stage, dozens more embryos were experimented on, and some surrogate pregnancies were aborted. While most animals only contain cells in which the genetic material from their 2 parents has mixed together, the chimeric monkeys’ bodies contain 6 different types of cell – holding distinct DNA from each biological parent. Although many mice and some rabbits, rats and farm animals have been born this way, no one has created chimeric monkeys before.  The researchers say that Roku and Hex are healthy and that their birth opens up ‘enormous’ possibilities for science because of monkeys’ intelligence and close biological links to humans.  They say the technique could help us learn more about IVF and contraception, and growing human organs from scratch. But critics of the study, published in the journal Cell, say that techniques such as these take a high toll on animal welfare and question what sort of experiments the monkeys will be put through in future. The BUAV called the research 'deeply disturbing.' Dr Jarrod Bailey, the organisation’s scientific consultant, said: 'Using such highly sentient animals in this research raises enormous ethical concerns and imposes a heavy welfare burden, resulting in severe suffering to many animals.' 'As few genetically modified animals show the ‘desired’ characteristics, many will be killed even before any research can take place, while others will die of severe and unrelated malformations caused by the genetic modifications.' 'The monkeys who do exhibit characteristics of ‘interest’ are destined to suffer greatly by their very nature, and via the experiments to which they will be subjected.'  Daily Mail 6th Jan

Animals dumped in lake
An investigation has been launched after the bodies of dozens of dogs, cats and rabbits were found dumped in an Italian lake. Officials suspect the dogs were bred for illegal fights, but other animals had single knife wounds which some suggest may have been inflicted during a bloody mafia initiation ceremony. There are also fears the dead animals may have been bred for international export to supply labs conducting experiments - in recent years the mafia is said to have made millions from the supply of animals for this reason. The latest discovery was made at Frezza lake in countryside near Naples, an area traditionally a stronghold of the local mafia known as the Camorra.  Vets are carrying out postmortem examinations on the animals at a specialist centre in Naples and prosecutors are waiting for a full report on the macabre discovery. An initial investigation has revealed that none of the dogs have the compulsory microchip inserted under their skin as Italian law insists which has further fuelled suspicions the animals were bred illegally. Italian animal defence group AIDAA said they had no doubt that the Camorra was behind the grizzly discovery of the corpses and suggested that some had been killed by 'would-be new Camorra members as a sign of their willingness to kill.' AIDAA President Lorenzo Croce added: 'We know that the Camorra is running dogfights for illegal gambling and holding dogs in what can only be described as canine concentration camps until they are ready to fight. 'Other animals are also being used in international trafficking for vivisection purposes - we believe that this discovery is just the tip of the iceberg and there are many other dumping sites around the region.' According to AIDAA, dog rackets provide the Camorra with annual profits of between 6m -7m euros.

U.S. lab investigated for horrific abuse of test monkeys 
A U.S. laboratory has been accused of severe cruelty to monkeys after a whistleblower went to PETA with images and accounts of disturbing abuse.  PETA urged the federal Animal Plant and Inspection Service to investigate the U.S. headquarters of Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories in Washington after an ex-employee came forward. The anonymous whistleblower recounted incidents of horrific treatment of the animals who suffered from repeated abuse, torment and torture at the laboratory headquarters in Everett.  When it came to drawing blood from the monkeys, the former employee said they would 'wince, scream, tremble and shake, and try to defend themselves.  'Eventually, many of the monkeys stop fighting and reacting … it is like the life is gone from them.' She said they were routinely bruised but not treated for injuries.  PETA launched an official complaint which charged that Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories violated the Animal Welfare Act for a number of reasons.  PETA Vice President Kathy Guillermo said in a statement: 'With this video, the public can plainly see what desolate, traumatized lives of deprivation these monkeys lead. 'We're calling on the USDA to launch an immediate investigation and hold SNBL accountable if these very serious allegations of animal abuse are borne out.'  The controversial lab has repeatedly come under fire for alleged violations, including the 2008 scalding death of a monkey whose cage was run through a high-temperature washer while the monkey was inside. The company has not responded to requests for comment.  
Mail 6th Dec  

Wild caught primates in US labs
Catching and selling Silver River monkeys is lucrative.
For the past 14 years, Scott Cheslak has roamed the forests along the Ocklawaha River, the Florida Greenway and sometimes Silver River State Park, quietly plucking rhesus monkeys for sale to research laboratories. On his annual visits he traps between 20 and 30 monkeys using a dart gun or cages. Until recently, he took them back to Morgan Island, a 3,000-monkey habitat where Alpha Genesis Inc. sold the primates. This year, he's freelancing and will sell the monkeys himself. It's a lucrative business, but a controversial one that raises the ire of animal rights groups and could inflame the passions of local nature lovers who have grown accustomed to seeing the spindly primates begging for food along the banks of the Ocklawaha. For their part, state wildlife officials support Cheslak's efforts because they consider the monkeys a nuisance and a potential health and safety hazard. The Florida Dept of Environmental Protection, which manages Silver River State Park, has not allowed him to hunt on its land for the past 3 years, but the agency reversed itself this year and allowed Cheslak to take monkeys again. He also has trapped monkeys for the Silver Springs Attraction, he said. The attraction did not return telephone calls for an interview.  It's unknown how many rhesus monkeys are on state lands locally. They are non-native and not protected, said Joy Hill, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesperson. Hill said for Cheslak to capture monkeys, he needs only to obtain a $150 permit from her agency. It is up to state officials to decide which state lands he can hunt on. Ocalo.com. 5 Jan  

Monkey breeding facility rejected
The commonwealth Supreme Court has ruled against the monkey-breeding facility planned for the Pueblito del Carmen sector in Guayama, the Committee against the Establishment of the Macacos Monkey Breeding Facility has announced.  “This is the best Christmas gift that we have received in the past years. This is needed to return the tranquility and safety to residents of Guayama and nearby towns,” said Committee Spokesman Wilson Nazario. The Supreme Court's ruling was 5 to 3. The committee contends Bioculture, the company that pushed the project, misused the permitting process. “Bioculture made of fool of the permit process with the government's support. The government, in an unprecedented move, awarded the permits in a fast track manner, something that raised suspicions,” he said in a press release. “There was misbehaviour inside the offices of the Rules and Permits Administration. It was proven in court that Bioculture obtained the permits by providing false information when in reality they were planning a full facility to house dangerous monkeys and use them for experimentation,” he said.
 

Indian dissection ban
A staggering 19m insects and animals belonging to a variety of species will be saved every academic year when the ban on dissection in laboratories for undergraduate and postgraduate is fully implemented. The University Grants Commission (UGC) last month issued guidelines asking the universities to phase out animal dissection in laboratories for experimentation purposes, and instead promote the use of modern methods.
The Hindu. 10 Dec  

University of Michigan Ends "Cruel" Cat Lab
After more than a year of campaigning by PETA and supporters, and a day after the release of a shocking PETA exposé, the University of Michigan announced that it has ended the use of cats in its Survival Flight intubation training laboratory. More than 100,000 people, including Michigan natives Iggy Pop and Lily Tomlin, called on them to replace crude and cruel live-animal experiments.
 

Rats starved to death
The animal activist group Stop Animal Exploitation Now accused Princeton University of allowing at least 10 laboratory rats to die of starvation. According to the account by an anonymous former laboratory employee, the rats were not given food or water in what was perhaps a miscommunication between animal staff and research staff.
 

Where Vivisectors Commit Their Crimes
Subsequent to winning our lawsuit against the University of Florida on Dec 30, 2011, we are now in possession of thousands of veterinary records documenting the horrors to which non-human primates are subjected within this institution. We have definitive proof that monkeys have been locked away in their underground dungeons, in some cases for decades, in cages the size of a dishwasher. They’ve been captured from their homes in the wild or bought from the likes of Charles River and Alpha Genesis. All have been tormented relentlessly. Many have died at the gloved hands of their terrorists. On Fri Jan 13 (and continuing throughout 2012), we will begin to make these veterinary records public. We have already begun to disseminate them privately to students, activists, and the media. The veterinary records document how monkeys are consistently “knocked down” with Ketamine and other controlled substances to be transported from their “holding cages” to “experimental cages” within the “Communicore Building (CB).” www.negotiationisover.net/2012/01/08/leaked-documents-floor-plans-of-uf-labs-document-where-vivisectors-commit-their-crimes/

Novo Nordisk stops quality testing use of animals
zx`    As of 28th Nov Novo Nordisk will no longer use living animals to test the quality of the batches of medicine coming out of production lines. These tests have for years been required by health authorities as part of their approval of the products. “……..We have been working for more than a decade, in close collaboration with regulatory authorities around the world, to eliminate obsolete tests or develop and certify new laboratory assays that can be used instead of animals to evaluate the consistent quality of our marketed products,” says Exec Vice President and Chief Science Officer, Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen. Novo Nordisk has a commitment to the 3R principles to 'Reduce', 'Refine' or 'Replace' the use of animal testing within the pharmaceutical industry. Therefore, a task force was established more than 10 years ago with the ambitious aim to eliminate all redundant product control tests in living animals or replace them with other test methods that would guarantee the same product safety. Live animals that have been used in these biological product control tests include mice, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters and rabbits. Over the years, the number of animals used in this area has been gradually reduced from more than 13,000 animals a year in the 90s, to 2,078 animals in 2000 and to 772 animals in 2010. The last living animals were used for a virus control on 28 Nov, and in 2012 the number of biological product control tests performed on living animals will be zero.  

University of Manchester is building a new cancer research centre.  The university said that work in new building will focus entirely on early cancer research that does not involve patients or patient treatment and will involve no animal testing. We’re clearly getting through at last.  

An anti-vivisection doctor (radiologist) and his entire staff now wear T-shirts at his practice in Karlstadt with the slogans "Stop animal experiments" and "Animal experiments? No thanks!"  If only more medics had the courage to do likewise!  

Marshall Farms Company Update
Marshall Bioscience farms - the US company proposing to build an intensive breeding unit in E. Yorkshire for 2,000 beagles for laboratory experiments - have a similar breeding unit operating in Montichiari Italy called Green Hill. Green Hill has recently been raided by police and an Italian TV station who was given exclusive coverage rights, documented severe breaches of welfare legislation.  This included freezers full of dead dogs in bin bags with no paperwork, appalling conditions including faeces-covered cage floors with piles of huddled dead and dying puppies. Following the raid and TV coverage the Mayor of Montichiari has ordered the temporary closure of Green Hill farm. It's not known when they will be permitted to re-open. The company have previously been found to be breaching welfare legislation at their New York site, all of which demonstrates the company's discredited reputation. In the UK the company's appeal against the local E. Yorkshire Council's rejection of their planning application to build the huge mega breeding site in Grimston is now being considered by Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Govt. This latest development adds to the existing arguments based on planning and ethics, against allowing this company's proposal in E. Yorkshire.  Please write to your MP urging him/her to write to Eric Pickles and the Home Office to reject the E. Yorkshire intensive beagle breeding site proposal by US company Marshall Bioscience Farms AND please also contact Eric Pickles. The Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA. Email:  eric.pickles@communities.gsi.gov.uk  

Universities will be forced to reveal details of controversial research, including testing on monkeys, after a tribunal ruling made it harder for them to claim exemption from Freedom of Information requests. Newcastle University had argued that responding to requests could endanger the safety of scientists or harm its commercial interests. But a landmark ruling by the Information Tribunal found in favour of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) in its 3-year battle against the university, insisting it hand over details of Home Office licences to conduct experiments on primates. The charity claimed the lead researcher had been refused permission by the authorities in Germany to carry out the invasive brain techniques, which involved restraining macaques and limiting their water supply. It also said that no human benefit had emerged from the trials. Campaigners believe the decision could have implications for Britain's university sector and it follows calls by Sir Paul Nurse, the President of the Royal Society, for the FOI Act to be reviewed. Sir Paul told The Independent that the legislation was being used as an aggressive "tool of intimidation" against researchers engaged in high- profile studies on climate change, tobacco or using laboratory animals. The University of Newcastle, which has already spent £230,000 opposing the applications from BUAV, is now expected to go to the Court of Appeal, where it will argue the licences are exempt under the Animal Scientific Procedures Act. The tribunal concluded that a recent decline in animal rights violence meant researchers were unlikely to become targets for extremists. It added: "Refusal to communicate with the public carries its own risks... creating the impression there is something to hide." It said assertions that disclosing details of the licences might prejudice commercial interests were "borderline". The tribunal, which agreed to make minor redactions from the licences, concluded: "It is not in dispute that the public has a legitimate interest in knowing what is going on by way of animal research and the extent to which regulatory functions are being properly discharged." Michelle Thew, chief executive of BUAV, was delighted by the ruling. "These are controversial and invasive experiments carried out on monkeys at a public institution. The public has a right to know what is happening to these poor animals and why," she said. A spokesperson for Newcastle University said: "The university carries out a small amount of scientific work on primates where no alternative for the research exists and this is fully regulated by the Home Office." Independent 16th Nov  

A protest took place calling for the University of Leeds to stop carrying out "lethal experiments" on dogs. Animal Aid said 100 dogs had died since 1988 during experiments co-funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF). Protesters said tests were "medically irrelevant" and have called on people to withhold donations to the charity. The university and the BHF said animals were used only when there was no alternative. Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, said the experiments were "unproductive and cruel".  He said: "There are many ways of doing research that all kinds of sane people would support - productive methods of research that rely on human-relevant procedures such as the use of human tissues and organ computer modelling."  Mr Tyler said people were being asked to withhold donations to the BHF to try to encourage the charity to stop funding the experiments. He said: "We're not going to cripple the organisation. What we're seeking to do is alert them to the fact that what they are supporting is not useful to people and that there are other ways of going about it."  

Fusing liver and lung cells to create “micro-lungs” the size of a baby’s fingernail could eventually eliminate the need for animal testing, scientists have claimed. Research from Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences has pioneered a process of combining cells taken from human “waste tissue” donated by people when they die.  Cell biologist Dr Kelly BéruBé, who led the project, said the potential for the applicability of the Metabo-Lung could be worth “billions of pounds”. The development work now under way at Cardiff University could offer a genuine alternative to animal testing for pharmaceutical companies developing new drugs for pulmonary disorders such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis. More people die in the UK from respiratory disease than from coronary heart disease or non-respiratory cancer – and researchers claim that there have been few treatments produced for respiratory conditions in the past 25 years. And Dr BéruBé said testing in animals had proven to have a “high error rate” in indicating the efficacy of drugs treating lung conditions. “Before I took over my own lab, back in 1995 or so, we used animals in tests and it was OK then to do that,” she said. “But by the time the mid-2000s came around, the environment had changed and the EU started to put laws in place saying that testing on animals would be outlawed.” She said massive pharmaceutical companies then started looking at alternatives to animals for testing. Sure focuses the mind!  Wales online 21st Nov   

US chimp research propaganda
The National Institutes of Health wants you to believe that chimpanzee experimentation is necessary. It so badly wants you to believe this that the agency began to use your tax dollars to fund a propaganda campaign for "educating the public" regarding the "importance of chimpanzees in biomedical research."  Why is the NIH seemingly so desperate? Perhaps because the concept of ending this morally and scientifically bankrupt practice has become so mainstream, on so many fronts - scientific, political, ethical, financial - that on Sept. 28, Scientific American, the most prestigious general interest science magazine in the world, called for a ban, explaining, "Why it is time to end invasive biomedical research on chimpanzees." One of the major reasons for its call for the ban was the groundbreaking McClatchy Newspapers special report "Chimps: Life in the Lab," published last April. This special report was based on McClatchy's independent review of thousands of pages of chimpanzee medical records. Scientific American noted that the special report's review of these records and the details of experiments "painted a grim picture of life in the lab, noting disturbing psychological responses in the chimps." The NIH's use of tax dollars to fund the abuse of chimpanzees, as documented in McClatchy's special report, is especially timely. Congress has created a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to produce a plan by November 23 to reduce our debt by at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years. The NIH spends more than $30m annually on chimpanzee experimentation; ending it would save more than $300m. It would also be completely consistent with the emerging scientific, political and ethical consensus elucidated by Scientific American: "The time has come to end biomedical experimentation on chimpanzees." But the NIH seems stuck in a different time - circa 1970s, when the current chief of hepatitis research at the NIH, Dr. Robert Purcell, began experimenting on chimpanzees, as did his counterpart at the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Stephen Feinstone. On Aug. 11, a public workshop was convened by the National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine Chimpanzee Committee, which was commissioned by the NIH to determine if chimpanzees are "necessary" for biomedical research. Dr. Purcell, who personifies the anachronistic mind-set of the NIH, the agency pushing the chimpanzee "model," referred to chimpanzees as "it" - things, furry test tubes - in his presentation to the committee.  In stark contrast, at the same workshop, the director of HCV Biology for GlaxoSmithKline, the programme officer for research and development at the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, and the director for drug safety assessment at Genentech testified that chimpanzees are not needed for development of cutting-edge therapies such as monoclonal antibodies and vaccines for diseases such as malaria. GSK stopped using chimpanzees in 2008. Genentech has also stopped, and told the committee that its informal poll of "6 or 8" other biotech firms found that they, too, did not use chimpanzees. Even the FDA - which produced a letter supporting the NIH's propaganda campaign - does not require chimpanzee data to approve vaccines or therapies. In September, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that a petition requesting that captive chimpanzees be classified as "endangered" - which would effectively end chimpanzee experimentation - presented "substantial" evidence that such a reclassification may be warranted, and initiated a review of the classification that includes a call for public comments by Jan. 31, 2012. On the political front, the bipartisan Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act of 2011 currently has 106 co-sponsors in the House, while the EU banned chimpanzee experiments last year. The US is the only country in the world that currently allows large-scale chimpanzee experimentation.  The Sacramento Bee 22nd Nov  

A group that opposes laboratory research on animals filed a complaint with federal regulators alleging mistreatment of monkeys at a drug development company's facility in Alice. The group, Stop Animal Exploitation Now, cited records from the University of California in San Francisco showing that primates shipped from the facility arrived with injuries including muscle wasting, missing fingers and damaged ears. Covance, the global drug development service company that owns the facility, responded with a prepared statement saying its U.S. facilities have undergone more than 40 unannounced federal inspections in 4 years with few instances of non-compliance. The U.S. Dept of Agriculture is the federal agency that inspects animal facilities. "In the few instances where the USDA report cited areas where they found concerns, Covance has taken all necessary steps to assure that the issues identified by the USDA were thoroughly addressed and resolved," the statement said. Michael Budkie, director of the watchdog group, said the federal Animal Welfare Act prohibits transporting animals for commerce that are obviously sick or injured. Of 31 animals cited in the university records, 19 had injuries, Budkie said. One of the reports involved a monkey that showed signs of self-injury so severe that it had to be euthanized within 24 hours of arrival at the university laboratory. Budkie filed his complaint with the USDA. Agency spokesman Dave Sacks had not seen the complaint but said the agency usually sends inspectors to facilities in response to such complaints.  

Monkey abuse in US lab
Where do laboratory workers turn when their repeated pleas to supervisors to stop the abuse of animals in the company's laboratory are ignored? A distraught whistleblower from Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories (SNBL), a notorious Everett, Washington-based animal testing conglomerate, recently contacted PETA to reveal shocking allegations of mistreatment of animals used in painful and lethal experiments.  The whistleblower shared photos and videos taken inside SNBL showing sick, traumatized monkeys suffering horribly from tests in which they were injected with experimental chemicals. Monkeys tethered to their cages shivered uncontrollably as an ice-cold solution was continuously dripped into their veins. Other monkeys endured the pain of severely bruised arms, swollen eyes, and broken fingers and tails, resulting from violent and sometimes sadistic handling by callous workers. PETA has filed a complaint with the U.S. Dept of Agriculture urging it to investigate these disturbing allegations and issue fines for any violations that it uncovers. In addition to conducting cruel tests on dogs, monkeys, mice, rabbits, and other animals, SNBL also imports thousands of monkeys each year into the U.S. for its own use and to sell to other laboratories. These monkeys are transported to the U.S. in the dark and terrifying cargo holds of planes, often on passenger flights just below unsuspecting customers. While most major airlines refuse to take part in the violent primate trade, an increasingly small group of airlines continues to profit from animals' misery by transporting monkeys destined for U.S. laboratories.  Please take a few moments to urge airlines that still transport monkeys to U.S. labs, including SNBL, to adopt a formal policy against the transportation of nonhuman primates for use in experiments. Go to: http://tinyurl.com/blztyfh

The largest primate research facility in the US has been accused of breeding chimpanzees in violation of government rules, and possibly the law. At the heart of the case is whether the New Iberia Research Centre systematically broke National Institutes of Health rules while breeding chimpanzees, or simply made a few mistakes. Some of the chimpanzees are owned privately by companies or universities, and others are government owned. While the National Institutes of Health permits New Iberia to breed privately owned chimpanzees, which is how it satisfies its own need for new research chimps, they’ve banned federally owned chimp breeding since 1995. New Iberia receives approximately $1m annually from the National Center for Research Resources, the branch of the NIH that oversees chimpanzees, to maintain its chimp colony. Respecting the ban is a condition of the grant. Should New Iberia be found to have engaged in large-scale chimp breeding in violation of the ban, the implications could be dramatic. The Humane Society has asked the Dept of Justice to pursue New Iberia for fraudulent use of federal money, and wants the Dept of Health and Human Services to cease funding the laboratory. Either of those outcomes would represent a major blow to ongoing medical experiments on chimpanzees in the US, which is the only country other than Gabon to permit such research. Long a controversial practice, it’s become a mainstream issue in the last year, with many scientists joining activists in saying that suffering inflicted on chimpanzees in research is morally unconscionable. New Iberia is the flagship of U.S. chimp research. If it sinks, the fleet may follow. For the immediate future, the Humane Society has asked that New Iberia retire all chimpanzees born in violation of the federal ban to sanctuaries. If the infants are 5 years old or younger, the Humane Society asks that their mothers be sent with them. Wired Science 14th Nov  

A man underwent a hunger strike in protest against Government plans that could lead to animal suffering.  22-year-old Edmund Maile began his strike on Saturday to highlight changes to animal rights laws which could come into force in 2013. He stood outside the Senate House, King’s Parade, and only drank water. Mr Maile handed out postcards to send to David Cameron condemning the new EU directive which would see Britain’s laws on the treatment of animals in laboratories fall in line with the rest of Europe. This directive could dismantle Britain’s current laws,  replacing them with lower levels of protection. This means animals may be exposed to long-lasting suffering, severe pain or inhumane methods of killing. Mr Maile said: “If that is what it takes to get people’s attention then that is what I will do. “I have been getting huge amounts of support but it will only be a success if the legislation is not passed.” Despite suffering heckling and abuse on the city streets, he had the support of Animal Rights Cambridge. Sue Hughes, a member of this group, said: “People have been going to check on him on a regular basis to support him…he wants to inform the public about what is going on.”  

The RSPCA has also announced its opposition to any weakening of British laws. Head of the RSPCA’s research animals department, Dr Maggy Jennings, said: “Successive governments have made proud claims that the UK has the highest standards in the world for animal research and testing.’” She calls the possibility that this legislation could be weakened as “unacceptable.” Changes to laws about the treatment of animals in laboratories are particularly relevant to Cambridge, since the University uses animals for some of its research. A Freedom of Information Act revealed last year that 117,212 experiments involving animals were conducted in 2009 in University laboratories. Responding to a fresh outbreak of criticism, a University spokeswoman said: “Without animal research, which is only used when there is no alternative, many treatments we take for granted today would not be possible.”  Varsity 18th Nov  Same old mantra from the abusers  

Supplier Samedan Ltd stops dealing with HLS
Today, after the start of protests outside their offices last Friday, we have received a statement from Samedan Ltd confirming that they will not have any more dealings with HLS, either directly, or indirectly.  We thank Samedan Ltd for making the right choice to stop being involved with HLS and also thank all campaigners who have contacted Samedan Ltd.  Gulia Selby, Samedan's MD has stated: "Following our previous statement dated 14 Nov 2011; we can confirm Samedan Ltd and all our publications have severed all links with HLS and terminated all contract with HLS, and we will not he dealing with them now or in the future either directly or indirectly". Please continue to politely contact and protest against the other remaining 'new' suppliers listed at: http://shac.net/2011supplierleak/index.html and ask them to follow the 4 recent suppliers that have dumped HLS!  Why not get involved in upcoming action weeks? See: www.shac.net/action/diary_dates.html#action    21st Nov

Articulture Landscaping LTD – Stops working for HLS
Articulture Landscaping were caught out doing tree work for Huntingdon Life Sciences.  After a flood of emails and calls from
supporters during Sunday evening and Monday morning to their offices they first stated that: "It was a one off job and they were pulling off site on Monday. SHAC has now received a signed statement from them confirming that they will not have any more dealings with HLS, either directly, or indirectly. 30th Nov  

Billy Bowie also pulls out
Billy Bowie tankers were seen inside HLS which is why they were listed recently. On 20th Oct Billy Bowie's general manager, Alisdair Clark contacted the campaign. After further emails and phone calls, Billy Bowie have now given SHAC a statement to say that they have changed their Self Drive hire policy so that their vehicles can not be used at either HLS locations. They have also confirmed that they will not deal with HLS, directly or indirectly in the future. We thank Billy Bowie for making the right choice and thank everyone who contacted them.
 

UW fined in primate death
The University of Washington confirms it was fined $10,893 this year by the U.S. Dept of Agriculture after a primate died during laboratory research in 2009. The fine was uncovered by the group Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!, which filed a federal records request of the UW's primate research practices. Michael Budkie, a spokesman for the group, said the reports show that 3 primates under the UW's care died - one from starvation, and 2 from infections of head implants. But UW spokeswoman Tina Mankowski said she knew of only one primate death, in 2009, which was reported to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Animal Welfare. Budkie said between 5 and 10 research labs are fined each year. "The fact that they take any kind of enforcement action at all is unusual," he said. The animal-rights group estimates that there are 125,000 primates kept in U.S. laboratories, and the NIH awards grants of about $1.5 billion a year for labs to use primates in research. In 2008, the UW had to return $20,000 in federal research grant money after a finding that it had allowed unauthorized surgeries on primates. Inspectors found serious deficiencies in animal-care facilities in 2006 and put the UW on probation. Since then, however, the UW has spent millions to upgrade animal-care facilities and is now fully accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care.  Seattle Times. 18 Oct
 

Another 2 Canadian universities have agreed to stop using live animals in trauma-medicine training courses, marking the end of the practice completely in Canada, according to the doctor-led animal-rights group that has lobbied for the controversial change. Doctors and other trauma trainees at Quebec’s University of Sherbrooke and Sacré Coeur hospital in Montreal have begun practising on human-like, computerized simulators instead of pigs or dogs.  

Blinkered animal testers challenged
Safer Medicines Trust joined forces with 22 senior scientists to call on the Prime Minister and Health Secretary to compare animal tests for drug safety with newer tests based on human biology. Their letter was published in The Lancet on 4th June. Predictably, the pro-animal-research lobby attacked the letter with a response published in The Lancet on 9th July. In it they stated, amongst other things, “animals are crucial for understanding their pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, and for detecting unforeseen toxic effects.” Safer Medicines Trust’s  response to such a false and ill-informed attack was published in The Lancet on 28th Oct. It stated: “Our letter called for the UK Government to invest in an assessment of new technologies for safety testing. Balkwill and colleagues take the position that not only should this research not be done, but that even to question whether animal testing best assures pharmaceutical safety means the questioner is opposed to all animal research and is therefore standing in the way of progress towards new life-saving cures. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are calling for a paradigm shift in which new models of pharmaceutical safety testing are allowed to compete on their scientific merits against old models. The only thing we have against animal testing is the attitude that it is the only and the best technology for assessing safety. We are in favour of whatever best assures safety. Therefore, we are in favour of assessing which particular in-vivo or in-vitro tests are best. Animal research is far more expensive and labour-intensive than in-vitro research. Since pharmaceutical safety testing is regulated by the UK Government, the market forces that would otherwise cause costly and inferior technologies to be naturally supplanted by superior technologies are impaired. We call on the Government to support research to assess the performance of new in-vitro and other technologies relative to the old in-vivo technologies so that progress towards safer and more economical new pharmaceuticals can be accelerated.”
 

A US company that trains military medics in field operations using live pigs is trying to bring its courses to Germany. Animal rights group PETA believes the company is using US Army protection to bypass German animal protection laws.  Deployment Medicine International (DMI), which claims to be the biggest trainer of US military forces in operational medicine, is trying to introduce courses for US soldiers stationed in Thuringia. The company’s so-called “Trauma Training” courses allegedly involve live pigs being given broken bones, punctured organs, and bullet wounds under a general anaesthetic and then being operated on by trainees. The animals are then euthanized while still asleep. PETA has long campaigned against the practice in the US. However, Major Audrey Gboney-Leon, spokeswoman for the US Army in Europe, told The Local this week: "We are not currently conducting, nor do we plan to conduct, any such training in Germany." DMI requested permission to carry out the experiments in Bavaria last year. “But the requests were denied by state veterinary offices,” said Christina Esch, a vet and PETA spokeswoman in Germany said. The firm is now apparently looking for other possibilities in Thuringia, despite Germany’s animal protection laws. DMI has already had one request denied by the Thuringian consumer protection office, but is now appealing the decision in a regional administrative court. DMI denies that its legal requests are being made at the behest of the US Army. According to the company’s lawyer, Annette Steuber, DMI trains doctors - including military medics – to carry out field operations in conflict regions that lack medical infrastructure.
She added the training was necessary because injuries from explosives and bullets are nothing like those sustained in civilian life, for instance in a traffic accident. “The case is currently being processed,” a court spokesman recently told the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper. PETA scientific adviser Edmund Haferbeck told The Local. “But there are territorial exceptions for US army property. It’s a difficult legal area, but there are legal arguments that say German animal protection laws aren’t valid on US army property.” PETA says DMI killed nearly 15,000 pigs between 2001 and 2010 during military training in the US. The animal rights group says the pigs have limbs removed, holes cut into their chests and limbs, blood vessels severed, and are stabbed in the heart. The German army does not use live animals in military training, which was one of the reasons cited by the Bavarian court to deny the DMI request. “The Bundeswehr does not carry out any animal experiments,” a Bundeswehr officer was quoted in a PETA statement saying. “In training exercises, soldiers are trained with very good models, and animal experiments are not necessary.”

Animal testing losing favour
The Netherlands is at the forefront of a global trend turning away from using animals for scientific and commercial tests. Technological advances are making animal testing less necessary and, at the same time, a vibrant animal rights movement is mobilising public opinion.
Recent developments in the Netherlands underpin this trend. Major Dutch research centre TNO has announced it will immediately cease testing on all species of primates. There are currently about 1,600 primates used for testing in the Netherlands to develop medicines to treat infectious and chronic diseases. Most of the animals used are imported from China. A citizen’s initiative to ban testing on cats and dogs recently got enough support to be presented in parliament. It was ultimately rejected, but only on procedural grounds. Animals Rights Party MP Esther Ouwehand was pleased with the initiative and is convinced the ban will come eventually. In 2009, the last year for which data is available, about 600,000 animals were used for testing. That is less than half the level of 30 years ago. Public pressure has increased in the last few years. The Animal Rights Party, the first political party in the world expressly founded to represent the rights of animals, has become a stable and effective factor in Dutch politics. Non-governmental organisations also enjoy popular support and have proven effective lobbyists of both the government and the private sector. The government strictly regulates animal testing and researchers are required to reduce, refine or replace animal testing wherever they can. There have been a number of animal rights incidents in which research facilities were targeted, although attacks have decreased in the last 2 years. Economic considerations increasingly play a role in decisions whether or not to use animals for testing. Alternatives are less expensive and in some cases security measures add to the cost of animal testing. The TNO annual report announcing the halt of testing on primates cites economic factors as part of the motivation. In the light of these developments, the Dutch government is looking into the value of alternatives to animal testing as a potential new niche for the Dutch research and development sector. The National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has also contributed to a decrease in animal testing worldwide. The RIVM set up a website back in 2006 with physiological and anatomical data on people and animals. A survey of users of the website recently showed that it has helped them avoid 20,000 animal tests per year. Of course, public pressure against animal testing and increasingly strict regulation have pushed many companies to outsource testing to other parts of the world. Some business has gone to Singapore and China, although figures are hard to come by. Beijing has become a major player in biotechnology partly due to a permissive environment for animal testing. China too is starting to embrace alternatives, in part because the European Commission is considering a ban on data based on animal testing. Dutch-based multinational Unilever held a conference in Shanghai last spring on exploring alternative to animal testing. Aside from the testing facilities in China itself, the country is also an exporter of primates for testing elsewhere. This is also the case with Indonesia. While the EU has already banned animal testing in the cosmetics industry and a ban on sales of cosmetics tested on animals will take effect soon, China and countries in Latin American actually require cosmetics to be tested on animals.  

Propofol tested on beagles for defence case
The shocking news that Dr. Conrad Murray's defence team tested the drug Propofol on beagles to help with his case in the Michael Jackson death trial has outraged PETA so much that they're calling for a federal investigation, saying it would have caused "enormous suffering in the animals." The defence team commissioned a study testing the effects of the powerful anaesthetic to bolster their claim that Michael Jackson orally overdosed on the drug. "I cannot imagine any use for this information at all," PETA's Vice President of Laboratory Kathy Guillermo said. "These tests cause enormous suffering in animals." PETA filed a complaint with the U.S. Dept of Agriculture. PETA asserts that if attorneys from Flanagan, Unger, Grover & McCool did commission the tests for the drug propofol - the toxic effects of which have been extensively studied in dogs and humans - those tests were likely conducted in violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act's prohibition against tests on animals that duplicate previous experiments. PETA has filed a complaint with the State Bar of California as well. The animal rights organization is also requesting that the California State Bar investigate "how and why these cruel and archaic tests on beagles were allowed and, should violations of the law be found, to punish those responsible." Whether or not the dogs died during the tests that Dr. Murray's team conducted is unclear, but PETA says the tests torture the innocent animals. "In toxicology tests, large doses of chemicals are pumped into dogs' bodies, slowly poisoning them. Substantial data is publicly available about the oral toxicity of propofol in dogs and other animals, and propofol toxicity and propofol infusion syndrome have been extensively studied in humans. PETA is calling on the USDA to also investigate whether the tests reportedly commissioned by Dr. Murray's defence team were conducted at a registered facility and whether they were properly reviewed and approved by an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. “This was obviously a cruel attempt to drag out this trial and confuse the jurors, adding more victims to the death toll in this sad case." Guillermo added: "If we find evidence that the testing occurred the USDA will cite the lab, but nothing is going to bring the dogs back."

 

Wildlife advocates are protesting a government plan to kill an undetermined number of bison from Yellowstone National Park after scientists conduct a birth-control experiment on the animals with an EPA-registered pesticide. Government officials say the 7-year study by a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeks to lessen the prevalence of brucellosis, a disease that can cause domestic cows to abort, within the nation's last wild herd of pure-bred buffalo, or bison.

Protesters target Air France KLM investors
On 3rd June protesters targeted investors in Air France KLM in London, as the airline is reportedly the largest transporter of animals for vivisection. Franklin Templeton and Bank of New York were both targeted. The protesters first hit up the offices of Franklin Templeton Investments based in The Adelphi south of The Strand. A banner was unfurled in the lobby and after 15 minutes or so the protesters moved outside. A Flight Centre on the Strand was also targeted, followed by Bank of New York at Canon St and at Canary Wharf. Organised by the National Anti-Vivisection Alliance, London's protest was part of a week of actions held globally against Air France KLM.

Monarch Air Group transported vervet monkeys from St. Kitts to Miami on June 2nd for Primate Products, Inc., a Florida-based company with a record of shoddy animal care and reckless decisions that have led to animal suffering. There have been a number of serious incidents that suggest major problems at Primate Products. In July 2009, Primate Products dumped close to 100 owl monkeys that they could not sell at a roadside zoo in Homestead, Florida. Within a week, at least 25 of the monkeys were dead. In 2010, disturbing photographs surfaced of monkeys inside Primate Products suffering from horrible wounds and crude surgical mutilations. In April 2011, Primate Products was cited by the U.S. Dept of Agriculture for leaving monkeys who were still under anaesthesia in an enclosure without supervision, and in the hot sun. Each year, on the islands of St. Kitts & Nevis and Barbados, hundreds of green (vervet) monkeys are torn from their families and forest homes and either exported directly for biomedical research or imprisoned on farms to produce offspring to be exported to laboratories in the U.S. and around the world. Help the primates by contacting Monarch Air Group and suggesting that they end their involvement in the cruel primate trade.  Attaching graphic photographs to the email is a good way to help them understand exactly what we are talking about. Tim Eames - Director of Operations Monarch Air Group Fort Lauderdale, FL Phone : 1-954-359-0059  1-877-359-6732  tim@monarchairgroup.com, info@monarchairgroup.com, vic@monarchairgroup.com, richard@monarchairgroup.com

Cardiologist opposes animal research
Professor Anne Keogh is currently Professor in Medicine and Senior Heart Transplant Cardiologist at St Vincent’s Hospital and was President in 2000-2001 of the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation. She is vehemently opposed to the use of animal models in heart research on both ethical and scientific grounds.  Read her interview with Antidote Europe at: http://antidote-europe.org/interviews/anne-keogh-heart-specialist

Battle won by BUAV
Animal rights campaigners have won a legal battle against Newcastle University over controversial animal testing data. The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) launched action after a failed Freedom of Information (FoI) request on experiments carried out at Newcastle University. The BUAV asked the university’s medical research department for details on testing procedures and welfare controls for tests on primates undertaken in 2008. Almost 21,000 animals were used in medical experiments at the university that year, including Macaque monkeys for examining new treatments for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and spinal conditions. The BUAV claim the tests, which involved implanting electrodes into the animals’ brains to record activity while they underwent various tasks, were “highly invasive” and would have caused “a high level of distress”. But university bosses rejected the FoI request, claiming the institution itself did not hold the information requested and that sensitive research programmes would be endangered if details were released before the work was completed. They argued that research details remained the “intellectual property” of individual scientists and not the university until work was finished and published in UK medical journals. The Government’s FoI Commissioner initially agreed with the university’s stance but BUAV leaders appealed the decision. Last year the Information Tribunal in London found that it would be “remarkable if the university did not hold important information about extensive animal research carried out on its premises by its employees”. Now the Upper Tribunal has upheld the ruling, meaning the university could be forced to reveal the data. Michelle Thew, BUAV Chief Exec, said: “We are delighted with this ruling. Once again, the courts have dismissed Newcastle’s attempts to say they have no information about the thousands of animal experiments taking place at the University.” She added: “The public has a right to know what is happening to these poor animals.”  A Newcastle University spokesperson said: “Newcastle University is currently taking legal advice following the decision. “The studies carried out with primates at the university aim to improve our fundamental understanding of how the brain works, and to apply this knowledge to treating conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injury. “The university carries out research that involves the use of animals only when there are no alternatives. Before any research is conducted on animals, the research proposals must be approved by an ethical review committee, and then by the Home Office.” The case will go back to Information Tribunal to decide whether 2 other exemptions apply.

Sheep die in decompression tests
Special prosecutor in Wisconsin has declined to charge University of Wisconsin researchers who animal rights groups  accused of breaking the law when sheep died undergoing experiments in a hyperbaric chamber. Wisconsin law prohibits killing an animal using decompression methods. The statute was aimed at animal shelters using decompression as a euthanasia technique, a practice now widely considered inhumane because it’s painful. The sheep were part of a Navy-funded study aimed at helping its divers by learning more about decompression sickness, commonly called “the bends.” PETA and another animal rights group tried to rally prosecutors to charge top university officials with violating the animal decompression law after learning about the deaths, which were not intentional. Several months ago, the Dane County District Attorney concluded that the university violated the law but that pursuing the violations “would not be a wise use of resources of this office,” he wrote in a letter to university lawyers. PETA then seized on a little-invoked state law to aid their case. The law allows citizens to petition a judge to order prosecutions when there’s probable cause to believe a law has been violated and when a district attorney has refused to issue a complaint. “It is hard to imagine that the legislation was to prohibit veterinarians from attempting life-saving procedures on animals,” special prosecutor, David Geier’s report said. “It is as perhaps as implausible that the legislative purpose was to prohibit experiments where the intent is not to kill the animal by decompression.” Geier also noted, “this does not mean that the UW or the individuals involved in decompression research…should receive a free pass” noting that “it belies common sense that a research university, such as the UW, does not have a consistent review of both state and federal laws and regulations which apply to activties which take place on campus.” PETA’s Kathy Guillermo, in an email, called the decision a victory regardless of the outcome because the university ended the experiments. “We would have liked the sheep to have their day in court, especially after the circuit court judge said the university repeatedly violated the law,” she said. “No other sheep will suffer the agonizing pain and death of decompression.”

SPEAK rally & march for Fran
On Sat 21st May 80 people met up in Broad St, Oxford for a march and rally to remember Fran, a dedicated SPEAK campaigner, who died last year, as well as the countless animals
who have died such lonely and agonising deaths at the hands of Oxford University scientists.  People then set off, armed with banners, placards and leaflets to inform the public about the suffering that goes on inside the lab. The march passed the University’s new animal lab, where people stopped to lay a wreath and hold a minutes silence to quietly remember our friend Fran and the thousands of animals killed by this institution. As the march progressed along Mansfield Rd, the Oxford University security team was laying in wait. It was clear that they were trying to goad those taking part, trying to get a reaction. However, oto those of us used to the sneaky and underhand ways of Oxford University this came as no surprise. After expressing our contempt to the security, the march carried on its way. Throughout the event campaigners conducted themselves with both dignity and passion. The march ended at Gloucester Green where words were said by several of Fran's friends in celebration of her life. Throughout the duration of the march a SPEAK information stall was manned, first on Broad St and then at Gloucester Green, and much support was received from the public. As usual, many people were genuinely shocked to find out about the barbaric and unnecessary experiments carried out on living creatures in the University laboratories. Fran may no longer be with us, but her passion to end all animal suffering lives on in all those who continue the fight against animal cruelty.

Oxford dealers in death
It will surprise nobody to learn that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq —so deadly to those who have suffered in them—have reaped enormous profits for arms companies.  What may come as a surprise is that many of the UK's most respected universities - including Oxford - have also cashed in on these wars.  And we expect them to care about primates!!!!

Animal rights activists staged a protest in Cambridge city centre in a bid to urge shoppers to dump cosmetic products made by Procter & Gamble (P&G) in favour of “cruelty-free” companies. Members of Animal Rights Cambridge took part in the 15th annual international Boycott Procter and Gamble Day by staging a protest outside Boots in the city centre on Sat 14th May. But P&G stressed it did not test cosmetic products on animals, and its research policy stated it would only test on animals in “very rare cases”.

And in Brighton 2 stalls were held on opposite sides of the busy London Road shopping area.  There were many very positive comments from the passing public about the campaign. 

IBC cancel flight
A Fort Lauderdale air charter company cancelled plans to fly a shipment of monkeys into the USA for scientific research after a campaign by animal rights groups in Florida and the UK. IBC Airways had planned to bring African green monkeys from the Caribbean island of St. Kitts to Miami International Airport for delivery to a research laboratory. But BUAV, which has investigated the trade for years, received a tip about the shipment, notified its members and the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. The 2 groups organised a campaign of phone calls and emails to the company to call it off, telling company officials that it was a cruel business that inflicts suffering on sensitive animals. The company sent an email to the groups saying it has cancelled the shipment and that it will join the growing list of companies – including British Airways, Delta and several other major airlines – that refuse to ship live primates for research.

Global week of action against Air France-KLM
On Sat 21st May 3 activists dressed as air hostesses from the airline company "Air Souffrance" braved the draconian security surveillance systems of Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris to inform the passengers at Terminal 2 about the transport of laboratory animals by Air France.  1,000 leaflets were distributed to travellers, the majority in front of the Air France ticket office. The leaflets were written in French and in English to ensure the message was relayed effectively. The full report and pictures of the action can be found here:  www.airsouffrance.fr/en/20110521_air-france_cdg.html

Major new expose of Air France-KLM
Footage of a shipment of 120 long-tailed macaques being loaded on to an Air France flight has been released by the BUAV. On their website they state that the flight took place on May 12 and that the monkeys were transported from Vietnam to Covance in the USA. Fortunately, the Air France Cargo shipment number is clearly visible in the video, and by using this we have been able to trace the monkeys' journey from Vietnam to the USA in minute detail. We can now confirm that the monkeys were transported from Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, via Paris, to Chicago in the USA. They were transported between May 11th - 13th, and that they travelled on both an Air France passenger plane and an Air France-KLM Cargo plane during their journey to hell!  According to records seen by Air Souffrance; the shipment of monkeys, weighing 896Kgs, was originally booked on the 29th April, and the monkeys were delivered to the Air France-KLM Cargo handlers at Ho Chi Minh airport at 07:12 GMT on May 11th by an unknown cargo shipper. They were then flown to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, (CDG), on Air France passenger flight AF153 from Ho Chi Minh, which left at 11:23 GMT on May 11th and arrived at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport at 03:40 GMT on May 12th. During this flight the monkeys were literally travelling underneath the feet of Air France's human passengers! The monkeys remained in Paris for an 8 hour "rest stop" and veterinary checks, until they left Paris CDG at 12:24 GMT on Air France-KLM Cargo flight AF6802 destined for Chicago O'Hare International airport, where they arrived at 21:05 GMT on May 12th. Finally the monkeys were collected at Chicago by a representative of Covance Research Products at 03:24 GMT on May 13th. They will then have been transported for at least another 2 hours by road to Covance's research facility in Madison, Wisconsin.  It is not known how long the monkeys' journey from the farm to the airport in Vietnam was, nor how long they spent loaded in their crates prior to departure, but they can't have arrived at Covance earlier than 05:30 GMT on May 13th and therefore, when we include their road journey in Vietnam, they must have been in those transit crates for at least 48 hours! Studies carried out by scientists have shown that transportation causes profound negative and lasting effects on the welfare of primates. The long-tailed macaque in particular has been identified as a species unsuited to transport, yet Air France-KLM continues to transport thousands of them to research labs each year. The BUAV claim to have evidence of one primate from Vietnam being found dead in Paris,  and another that had been transported from Mauritius being found dead on arrival, but they don't specify which airlines were involved. It is still not known who supplied the monkeys, however it's likely that they were supplied by Nafovanny, (the largest captive-breeding primate facility in the world with at least 30,000 primates on site). The British Animal Scientific Procedures Inspectorate, (the same inspectors who regularly ignore shocking animal abuse in British labs), visited Nafovanny in March 2005 and identified "shortcomings in animal accommodation and care". Undercover investigators from the BUAV also filmed shocking conditions at Nafovanny in 2006. To view the recent footage of the monkeys and to read the details of the expose, please visit: www.airsouffrance.fr/en/air-france/20110519_primate-flights.html

Dublin Uni outed
An almost half page 'Exclusive' by the Irish Daily Mirror into animal experiments at the University College Dublin which has been outed for spending €240,000 on animal experiments including mice, rats and frogs. Dogs are also used in Irish experiments which most people would not be aware of. In the article, ARAN called on universities across Ireland to abandon their outdate use of animals in experiments and called for more modern, sophisticated and reliable research that does not involve any animals.

Rabbit Farm Plans in Nottinghamshire withdrawn
Planning applications for 2 large rabbit farms in Notts have been withdrawn. Philip Kerry, of Grantham-based T & S Nurseries, wanted to build 2 rabbit-breeding farms in E. Bridgford and Granby. Some local residents and campaign groups Viva! and PETA opposed the plans, with the latter sending 1,600 letters of objection to Rushcliffe Borough Council. Writer Richard Adams, author of childhood favourite Watership Down, also backed campaigners opposing the plans. Now Mr Kerry has withdrawn his plans, which would have seen 3 poly-tunnels, a barn for breeding and an access track built. He also wanted to set up an agricultural barn for breeding of rabbits in a field off Barnstone Lane, Granby. A spokesman for PETA said: "The proposed farms would have been the first rabbit factory farms in the UK in 15 years and would each have housed up to 1,100 rabbits in wire cages stacked 3 high inside windowless barns. "This kind of unnatural environment – which provides no fresh air or sunlight – can cause extremely painful bone disorders and foot inflammation and lead stressed animals to resort to neurotic, self-destructive behaviour."

The European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE), a coalition of key animal protection groups across the EU, has warmly welcomed a statement by the Swedish Government opposing a delay to a ban on the marketing of animal tested cosmetics. At an ECEAE meeting in London, ECEAE Chief Executive Michelle Thew said, "We are delighted to receive the support of the Swedish Government. Animal testing for cosmetic purposes is an issue of strong public interest across the EU."  Cecilia Mille, International Affairs Manager at Animal Rights Sweden said, "We are very happy that the Swedish Government is taking a lead with this ethical stance. Our colleagues from other European countries tell us they expect many other governments will be supporting Sweden's position." There has been a ban on conducting animal tests for cosmetics in the EU since 2009. However, cosmetics tested on animals outside the EU can still be sold. A sales ban that would prevent this is due to come into effect in 2013, but this could now be delayed by up to ten years. If that happens, hundreds of thousands of animals will continue to die in cruel cosmetics tests for beauty products sold in the EU. The Swedish government is convinced that the 2013 ban should remain as an incentive to develop alternative methods.

P&O Ban Lab Animal Shipments
 Intense campaigning has led to the transport of laboratory animals through Britain's airports coming to a significant standstill. As such, the vivisection industry has reverted to shipping animals by ferry and are looking at the Port of Dover as the solution.  NAVA has obtained sufficient evidence showing that large shipments of laboratory animals, including primates and beagle dogs, are being transported  through Dover on a weekly basis. One such shipment was an export of dogs from Harlan in Belton for a Dutch research organisation. Primates are also imported  following transportation from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and beagles from a number of European breeding establishments. Shipments were made onboard passenger ferries belonging to P&O Ferries and we contacted their executive team with details. We received a full statement from P&O Ferries placing an embargo on the transport of laboratory animals: "Thank you for alerting us to this matter and your concerns.  You may be aware that we already have a long standing ban on the carriage of livestock that is destined for slaughter or fattening prior to slaughter, and also on the carriage of primates for research.  It would be inconsistent not to extend this policy to a ban on the carriage of any animals destined for research. Accordingly this company has decided that it will not knowingly accept such consignments, with immediate effect. Communications department P&O Ferries Ltd"    With airlines and now ferry companies rejecting the transportation of animals for laboratories and related breeding, we call upon the research industry to get in line with the times and public concerns and end vivisection.

Tell DFDS to do the same
DFDS Seaways are a Denmark-based company who own 2 of the ferry fleets sailing out of Dover. They have a policy of not being involved in transporting animals for slaughter abroad - please ask them to extend this to laboratory animals. You stopped P&O within 4 hours, now it's time to do the same with DFDS.  Head Office: DFDS A/S Sundkrogsgade 11 DK-2100 Copenhagen Tel: +45 3342 3342 Fax: +45 3342 334 incoming@dfdsseaways.dk, sales.uk@dfds.com   Dover Office: Norfolk House, Eastern Docks, Dover, Kent CT16 1JA Tel: +44 1304 218400 Fax: +44 1304 218420 dover.freightbookings@dfds.com Management: Torben Carlsen (CFO) torben.carlsen@dfds.com Eddie Green (EVP - Logistics Division) eddie.green@dfds.com  John Crummie (MD - UK Operations) john.crummie@dfds.co.uk PA - Tel: 0191 293 6225 // debra.mcknight@dfds.com Søren Brøndholt Nielsen (Director - Investor Relations & Corporate Planning) Phone: +45 3342 3342 Direct: +45 3342 3359 Mobile: +45 2944 2858 sbn@dfds.com  

The Cockburn Veterinary Group are a small practive in Leicestershire. They were leaked to NAVA as the company who regularly visit Harlan's beagle units and act as their veterinary surgeons. On the CVS website they list clients who have used their services and many of their staff are involved in rescuing animals, fundraising for animal charities and similar work to benefit animals. Please politely contact them and let them about the dogs Harlan breed for vivisection. Remember that they are also involved in saving animals' lives so remain informative: Cockburn Veterinary Group, 100 London Rd, Coalville, Leicestershire LE67 3JD Tel: 01530 836654 www.vetscoalville.co.uk info@vetscoalville.co.uk, cockburn@vetscoalville.co.uk

Rough start for Florida conference
A message was sent this morning to Primate Products and Scripps Biotech at a remote primate testing and breeding facility in Hendry County…  A road blockade appeared earlier this morning, obstructing potential participants in an animal testing conference scheduled this week in a remote location near the rural town of Immokalee. The blockade consisted of large debris, including tires, tree stumps, concrete block and pallets, interwoven with chain and cable, covered in tar which obstructed the entrance way to the laboratory facilities owned by Primate Products. A message left on a banner, read “Stop Primate Torture” and a sign was painted “Go Vivisect in Hell.”  According to the programme for the primate research conference, this week’s activities include trainings on “behaviour modification” for primates, to make them into “willing workers” in scientific studies where they are tortured through animal testing practices including forcing diseases and drug overdoses, sensory deprivation and unnecessary biomedical procedures. The event also boasts classes on how to convince facilities to “buy in” on animal research. The Pdf with details on the conference can be viewed on Primate Products website, www.primateproducts.com  Several participants in this conference have been the target of animal rights advocates around the world, due to their records of profit-driven abuse and mistreatment of animals, including non-human primates, the closest known genetic relatives to human beings.  A messages was also left for Scripps Biotech.  “If Scripps Biotech moves forward with plans to expand their laboratory facilities, using $579m in public money, for vivisection and genetic engineering in Palm Beach County, they will become one of the largest animal testing facilities in the southern United States.”

Stephen Fry Speaks Out Against Animal Testing
British actor Stephen Fry is urging fans to sign a petition in favour of a ban on animal testing for cosmetics sold in Europe.  EU officials plan to introduce legislation outlawing the sale of products tested on laboratory animals in 2013, but critics fear the ban could be pushed back by 10 years. Fry is backing a petition drawn up by animal rights campaigners urging politicians not to delay the move and he has asked his fans to pledge their support too.

California High School Bans Dissections
In a win for animal rights activists, foregoing the formaldehyde-laced high school rite of passage, Rancho Verde High School in Moreno Valley, California will swap real frogs for their virtual counterparts. In exchange for a minimum 5-year commitment, the school will receive free software courtesy of animal-rights groups who advocate for the virtual curriculum.

No pigs for trauma training
An animal rights organisation is congratulating Vanderbilt University for no longer using pigs in trauma training. Medical teaching institutions are replacing live animals with human simulators, such as TraumaMan, for physicians to learn the lifesaving procedures. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, or PCRM, learned that Vanderbilt had stopped the practice when surgery professor Dr. Richard S. Miller responded to an email in April.

Adverse drug reaction & animal testing
Scientists have written to the Prime Minister and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley expressing their concern about drug failures and adverse drug reactions. More than 10,000 people die every year from bad reactions to prescribed treatments and scientists are calling for a fresh approach. The experts believe adverse drug reaction has reach "epidemic proportions" amid rising costs in prescriptions. Drug testing on animals before they are used on humans is being partly blamed. The letter claims many increasingly prevalent ailments, like Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, cancers and stroke, remain without adequate treatment. An important factor contributing to these problems is the over-reliance of the pharmaceutical industry on the use of animals to predict drug behaviour in humans. The letter, published in the Lancet, adds studies have shown animal tests frequently fail to translate to the clinic. Scientist Tony Dexter, who runs a research lab in Cheshire and is a signatory, said: "A fundamental problem is that a rat is not a human. "They are different sizes, have different metabolisms and have different diets, so using animals to predict effects on humans is difficult. "50% of compounds that prove to be safe in rats prove not to be safe in humans, so it really is the toss of a coin." The experts are now calling for the use of more human biology-based experiments where chemicals are tested on human cells to see how people might be affected by new treatment. The annual costs of treating patients who have had bad reactions to their treatment is around £2bn a year. It is believed millions of deaths could be prevented with the use of new technology available. Some 148 members of parliament have signed a motion is support of the proposals. A spokesman from the regulatory body Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said: "The use of non-animal testing has been extended wherever possible and the MHRA will continue to encourage this approach. "It is very important to recognise that at present there are no laboratory methods available to totally replace animal testing of medicines." In 2008, the European Commission estimated adverse reactions to treatment kill almost 200,000 EU citizens annually at a cost €79 billion. The news comes at a time when costs of new medicines are rising creating an ever-increasing burden on the NHS.

BOOK - The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experiments
Are animal experiments justified?  A book just published by Palgrave Macmillan sheds new light on one of the greatest controversies in animal ethics.  Few ethical issues create as much controversy as invasive experiments on animals. Some scientists claim they are essential for combating major human diseases or detecting human toxins. Others claim the contrary, backed by thousands of patients harmed by pharmaceuticals developed using animal tests. Some claim all experiments are conducted humanely, to high scientific standards. Yet a wealth of studies has recently revealed that laboratory animals suffer significant stress, which may distort experimental results.  Where, then, does the truth lie? How useful are such experiments in advancing human healthcare? How much do animals suffer as a result? And do students really need to dissect or experiment on animals? What are the effects on their attitudes towards them?  In The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experiments, bioethicist and veterinarian Andrew Knight presents more than a decade of ground-breaking scientific research, analysis and experience to provide evidence-based answers to a key question:  is animal experimentation ethically justifiable? By using meta-analyses of large numbers of animal experiments selected randomly - the 'gold standard' when assessing biomedical research - and analysing more than 500 scientific publications, Knight offers unprecedented insights into the contributions of animal experimentation to human healthcare and the extent to which laboratory animals suffer. He provides the most recent evidence-based estimates of laboratory-animal use globally and in major world regions and reviews the types of procedure animals are subjected to and their level of invasiveness. "When considering costs and benefits overall," he states, "one cannot reasonably conclude that the benefits accruing to human patients or consumers, or to those motivated by scientific curiosity or profit, exceed the costs incurred by animals subjected to scientific procedures.  On the contrary, the evidence indicates that actual human benefit is rarely, if ever, sufficient to justify such costs." Knight concludes with an overview of key regulations governing animal experimentation in Europe and N. America and proposes a set of policy reforms to make it easier to use alternative research and testing strategies. He concludes that, "rigorous implementation of policies such as these would restore to animal research the balance between human and animal interests expected by society, intended by legislation and demanded by detailed ethical review." AUTHOR:  Dr Andrew Knight, Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics  Email: info@animalconsultants.org Mob: +44-(0)7824 376 709 Web: www.oxfordanimalethics.com/who-we-are/fellows/

 

Victory in row over animal testing data access
Animal rights campaigners have won a legal row with Newcastle university over access to animal testing data. The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) launched action after a failed Freedom of Information (FoI)  request on experiments carried out at the University. BUAV asked the medical research department for details on testing procedures and welfare controls for tests on primates undertaken in 2008. Almost 21,000 animals were used in medical experiments at the university that year, including Macaque monkeys for examining new treatments for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and spinal conditions. University bosses rejected the FoI request, claiming they did not hold the information and that sensitive research programmes would be endangered if details were released before the work was completed. They argued that research details remained the “intellectual property” of individual scientists and not the university until work was finished and published in UK medical journals. The Government’s FoI Commissioner agreed with the university’s stance but BUAV appealed the decision. An appeal tribunal hearing found against the university’s principal argument for not meeting the FoI request. In its judgement, the tribunal, led by Judge Bartlett QC, ruled: “BUAV submitted it would be remarkable if the university did not hold important information about extensive animal research carried out on its premises by its employees. “This is work for which it received the funds, for which it provided the facilities, the training, the ancillary staff, and the necessary insurances, in respect of which the university owed duties of care to safeguard employees and the local community from biosecurity risks. We agree with BUAV’s argument.” If the tribunal now rules that individual scientists would not be endangered by the release of sensitive testing data, the university will be expected to meet the original FoI request. Michelle Thew, BUAV chief executive, said: … “These are highly controversial and invasive experiments and the public, particularly in Newcastle, has a right to know what is happening to these poor animals.” A spokesman for Newcastle University said: “We are disappointed by this ruling. We have never hidden the fact that we carry out a small amount of work on primates, where no alternative exists.”

Researchers at Cambridge University carried out more than 117,000 experiments on animals last year. Animals used included 103,580 mice, 35 monkeys and 3 horses. It was also revealed that 2,000 out of the 117,212 experiments were classed as the highest level of severity. Animal rights campaigners reacted with fury at the figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act. Andrew Tyler of Animal Aid said: "These animals are not reliable surrogates for human beings and we don't have the moral authority to inflict such torments. These creatures aspire to something better than to be locked in a cage - whether it's a mouse or a monkey." A spokesman for the BUAV claimed the university is hiding the facts about its animal testing. He said: "It receives huge amounts of public money for its work. It is high time it came clean about the research, so that students can make up their own minds." In 2001, campaigners released shocking details of experiments being performed on 400 marmosets over 9 months. They alleged that scientists sawed open monkeys' skulls and inserted toxins to simulate Parkinson's Disease. The university refused to release precise details of tests carried out in 2009. But it is known that animals often end up dead. A university spokeswoman said testing could lead to improved treatment for diseases such as cancer, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and alzheimers. She added: "Without animal research, which is only used when there is no alternative, many treatments we take for granted today would not be possible." The usual uncorroborated mantra

Airline stops transporting lab monkeys
EL AL Israel Airlines has announced that it is to stop transporting primates destined for the research industry. The BUAV and the Israel animal group, Behind Closed Doors, have worked together to achieve this important development. For many years EL AL has been a key transporter of primates because of Mazor Farm (BFC Israel), a company based in Israel that breeds and supplies long-tailed macaques for the international research industry, including the UK.  Only last year the BUAV obtained documentation to show that EL AL had also started to transport shipments of monkeys, including the offspring of wild-caught individuals, from Mazor Farm to the USA.  Mazor Farm, a satellite company of Bioculture in Mauritius, imports wild-caught monkeys from Mauritius each year for breeding purposes and also exports large numbers of monkeys to Europe, including the UK. This decision by EL AL is yet another blow for Bioculture. Oct 19th

Monkeys imported despite ban
Between 2008 and 2009 almost 5,000 non-human primates were brought into the UK to be used in experiments. The trade in primates continues because the ban, introduced in 1997, does not include the offspring of wild-caught parents, campaigners said.  The figures were disclosed by Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone in response to a parliamentary question.  The BUAV said it had uncovered evidence of extreme suffering inflicted on captured wild monkeys.  An investigation carried out this year in Mauritius found that monkeys sustained injuries and broken limbs during trapping and while being transferred to holding pens. Sarah Kite, the BUAV's director of special projects, said: ''The British public is misled into thinking our Government has taken a principled position against the involvement of wild-caught primates in research when the reality is very different. ''By allowing the importation of monkeys born to wild-caught parents, the UK is fuelling a cruel and unnecessary trade which is morally unacceptable. “We call on the Govt to ban the import of these primates and stop perpetuating this appalling cruelty.''

Test tube tumours used to test drugs
Realistic cancers have been grown from human tissue in the lab for the first time, raising hopes of faster and more effective testing of new drugs. The “test-tube tumours” grew in culture dishes in the same way as they did in the body, only much faster, and scientists believe that they will be a useful new tool for studying the progression of cancer. US researchers took normal human cells from the skin, throat and cervix, turning them cancerous by using a virus to tweak genes that control growth. They built up a model of human skin in the lab, watching the cancerous cells break through healthy tissue, as they do in cancer sufferers. The scientists used their 3-D tumours to test 20 experimental cancer drugs, many of which could not easily be tested on animals, identifying 3 promising options that stopped the cancer invading surrounding tissue. “Studies of this type, which used to take months in animal models, can now occur on a timescale of days,” said Paul Khavari, of Stanford University, who led the research, published in Nature Medicine.

Animal tests for PG tips, Lyons and Lipton teas
The multimillion-pound company behind PG tips, Lyons and Lipton teas has caused animals to suffer and die so that the company can make health claims about its teas. PETA has uncovered numerous cruel tests that the maker of PG Tips, Lyons and Lipton has conducted on animals to evaluate the effects of tea. The following are just a few examples: • Rabbits were fed a high-fat diet, giving them abnormally high cholesterol levels and hardened arteries and then fed tea in their water. After the experiment, the rabbits' heads were cut off. Mutant Mice bred to suffer bowel inflammation were administered tea ingredients in order to see if there were any effects on their condition. After the test, the mice were killed by neck-breaking or suffocation. • Rats were forced to eat a high-fructose diet, damaging their brains. Others had their abdominal wall punctured and were fed radioactively labelled tea ingredients through a tube in their stomach. All the animals were later killed. • Piglets were exposed to E coli toxins which cause diarrhoea. As part of the tests, experimenters cut the pigs' intestines apart while the animals were still alive. The pigs were then killed. Typhoo, Twinings, Tesco and Fortnum & Mason have given PETA written confirmation that they don't test their teas on animals – but the maker of PG tips refuses to end its torment of animals.

Call for labelling
“I've been working with Jenny Elliott-Bennett on a petition that calls for changes to the law so that product labelling has to say if the product or ingredients have been tested on animals. The petition is at: www.labellingclarity.org.uk Please let people know about this. Jenny is trying to get enough signatures for the issue to be debated in the House of Commons. If she succeeds it will be a big step forward in raising awareness of product testing. It's a big task, and every single signature will help! Many thanks Cris

Vet calls for end to drugs testing on monkeys
The cruel practice of testing drugs and chemicals on monkeys is outdated and "bad science", according to a new report. Veterinary surgeon and zoologist Andre Menache has produced research calling for an end to use of non-human primates in toxicity testing. He told how the monkeys are captured in the wild and torn away from their family groups before being shipped in crates from countries including China, which takes 54 hours, to the UK. "Once here they are put in single cages, nothing resembling their natural environment, and taken away from their families. They go bananas, biting and beating themselves," Mr Menache, director of the non-governmental organisation Antidote Europe, said. "Before they’ve even been experimented on, the animals are so stressed it invalidates the data... They will be killed at the end of the experiment or may be used more than once before they are killed." His report has been backed by BBC wildlife presenter Charlotte Uhlenbroek and seeks to show that now scientists have access to human cells and DNA there is no need to use monkeys in experiments. "We are told that toxicity tests are performed on non-human primates to safeguard human health, because of their similarity to us," Dr Uhlenbroek said. "However, by the same token we have a duty and an obligation to afford them special protection. Given that modern science has the means to obtain the required safety data without the use of animals, we must act immediately and decisively to end those animal experiments." Mr Menache, who has given up working in a veterinary practice to concentrate on his work for Antidote Europe, aims to get modern scientific methods to replace animal experiments within EU legislation. "The UK experiments on more monkeys than any other country in the EU – 3,000 a year, which is massive," he said. "It is for ticking boxes – to get a drug on the market you have got to show it’s safe and the easiest way is to test it on an animal. But the data you are going to get is relevant to the monkey." Animal experimentation is a bad habit or bad science left over from the 19th century. There is no excuse now human DNA is available, we do not need to test on the monkey. It is a chain reaction. Once the public is made aware it will put pressure on the politicians and the politicians will put pressure on the regulatory authorities." When you see these animals with tattoos across their chests being subjected to horrific procedures I think any normal human being would say that’s not right," he said. His report has been aimed at politicians and regulatory authorities to prove that testing on monkeys is no longer necessary now that there are more accurate methods. Dr Uhlenbroek said: "I have been privileged to observe the behaviour of non-human primates in their natural habitat. "I have watched how they develop long-term bonds of affection and show emotions of happiness, fear and even jealousy. "They most certainly have a sense of self and there is now documented evidence to show that non-human primates grieve when members of their social group die."

NASA scientist forced from job
When April Evans, an aerospace engineer at NASA, discovered they planned radiation tests on monkeys she thought these sorts of tests were part of NASA's past. She contacted her managers to find out how to file a complaint. Within days her request for information would pass through Human Resources, NASA's legal department, the Department of Equal Opportunity & Diversity, and back to the legal department, where it would be suddenly halted. No one seemed able to answer her questions and no one seemed to share her frustration. And Evans claims her job was threatened. At a meeting with nearly 150 colleagues listening, she asked Michael Suffredini, manager of the International Space Station about the demonstrations taking place and his thoughts on the primate testing. He appeared to misunderstand her question so she asked a follow-up one. He seemed flustered and annoyed and said, "Um, I'll get back to you. I think that's how they told me to answer questions like that." 5 months later she is broke and unemployed after resigning her dream job. She's been misidentified as a PETA activist. And branded as someone filled with anger about the agency she loves. Jim Bates was there in the '60s when NASA was in its infancy and when Dr. Charles Barnes, a renowned veterinarian, walked into NASA with his "big fat briefcase" and pulled out charts and graphs and images of healthy chimpanzees and the corresponding results from varying dosages of radiation. "It made you nauseated," says Bates, who retired from NASA in 2004.  According to the documents for the proposed tests, NASA aims "to evaluate the neurobehavioural and neuropharmacological effects of different types of ionizing radiation encountered during deep space travel." Meaning, after X amount of time, will a crew still be able to do what it's supposed to do out there?  The details of the tests lead to questions that no one is willing to answer publicly. How does a single dosage equal months of prolonged exposure? How do the tests account for things like solar flares or other unexpected occurrences? She was told her that animal discrimination was not an issue worth discussing and "that if I continued asking questions I would be putting my job in jeopardy." That day she went home and wrote her letter of resignation, addressing it to her first-level manager. She talked about how working for NASA was a "childhood dream" and that she was aware of decades-old prior experiments that sent monkeys into space. But in hearing about NASA's endorsement of experiments on non-human primates, she could not "in good conscience work for NASA.  She wasn’t the only person concerned.  In a letter to Animal Defenders International (ADI), Jean-Jacques Dordain, the acting director general of the European Space Agency wrote, "there is absolutely no research interest or planning for experiments with primates." In a letter to ADI, dated June 28, 2010, retired Russian cosmonaut Valentin Lebedev also publicly opposed the tests. Lebedev once held the world record for the longest single spaceflight, along with a fellow Russian cosmonaut. Lebedev noted the tests were unnecessary because "the existing knowledge received from past experience of long time space flights is quite enough right now to predict their influence on people even regarding radiation issues." Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine referred to the tests as "piling bad science on top of bad science," claiming that the initial decades-old primate research failed to produce any data that applies to humans. Members of the group also pointed out that the research would violate NASA's stated principles regarding animal ethics. With the help of ADI, Evans put together a robo-call that went out to Brookhaven employees and a video piece that was sent to members of Congress. She delivered a 10-minute speech in the Capitol building, Washington DC to an audience of 35 people, comprised of members of Congress, congressional staffers and animal rights people. In his speech on April 15 - when the NASA and JSC landscape shifted and 5,000 job cuts resulted - President Obama said, "After decades of neglect, we will increase investment right away in other groundbreaking technologies that will allow astronauts to reach space sooner and more often, to travel farther and faster and for less cost, and to live and work in space for longer periods of time more safely. That means tackling major scientific and technological challenges. How do we shield astronauts from radiation on longer missions?" Read the long article at: www.houstonpress.com/2010-10-07/news/intelligent-life/

Animal Defenders International launched a campaign to secure public support to prevent the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) from performing radiation experiments on monkeys as part of plans to travel to Mars. To see the disturbing images of Russian space monkey experiments: www.ad-international.org/media_centre/gallery.php?g=88&page=1 www.ad-international.org/nasa

Society for Neuroscience targeted
San Diego Animal Advocates (SDAA) and Stop Animal Exploitation NOW (SAEN) are targeting the Society for Neuroscience (SFN). At issue are brutal experiments performed by SFN members that utilise barbaric practices like electric shock and water deprivation. Huge enlargements of lab insider photos of neurological experiments on primates will be used in the protest. Dr. Lawrence A. Hansen, Neuroscience Professor of UCSD, will be available to discuss the scientific invalidity of animal based neurological research. Dr. Hansen recently penned an article for the highly-respected Chronicle of Higher Education criticising animal experimentation in which he says: " . . . neuroscientists wedded to primate vivisection as a way to conduct research are simply too biased by their own training, research agendas, and career considerations . . . " "It is criminal that barbaric experiments which deprive animals of water, utilise severe confinement, and bolting devices into animals' heads are still allowed," said Michael A. Budkie, Executive Director, SAEN. "Neurological experiments like this should be illegal."

Substance-abuse tests on monkeys
The state must turn over documents that detail taxpayer-funded experiments conducted on monkeys and other non-human primates for substance abuse research, a state Supreme Court justice ruled. The state Office of Mental Health attempted to block the Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine saying that the scientists who performed the studies may be targeted by animal-rights ‘terrorists’ if the details of their experiments were disclosed. State Supreme Court Justice Richard M. Platkin threw out nearly every argument OMH offered. PCRM requested public records relating to OMH-funded research done by 3 Columbia University scientists at the New York State Psychiatric Institute in New York City, including grant applications, complaints filed against the researchers and research protocols. OMH provided 27 pages of information but denied the group access to the bulk of the records. Many of the experiments involved conditioning rhesus monkeys to have drug and alcohol addictions, and then testing whether various medications broke those addictions, said Dr. John J. Pippin, PCRM senior medical and research advisor. OMH declined to comment. In court documents, OMH argued that "the well-documented, increasingly frequent threats and acts of violence directed by militant animal rights extremists at research facilities and individual researchers who are engaged in research using animals" was evidence that the information should not be made public. The court noted PCRM already knew the names of the scientists and said that much of the information was already available on the Internet in published articles. Platkin wrote: "State government routinely engages in activities that some individuals might find objectionable or inflammatory, but OMH can point to no precedent for insulating the work of New York State government from public scrutiny on the basis that disclosure could upset or incite those who lack respect for the rule of the law." The ruling said that in its "watchdog" role, PCRM has a legitimate purpose for its request and that is to assess "the scientific value and social utility of the research being performed and whether public resources should be continued to be devoted to this research." Pippin said OMH is trying to hide the details of the experiments. "They know that this research can't stand the light of day, that when the public knows about this, they are going to be outraged."

More SHAC activists jailed
The 6 defendants in the second SHAC trial were hammered with vicious sentences. The harshest was the 6 years handed down to Sarah Whitehead. Sentences for the other defendants Tom Harris, Nicole Vosper, Jason Mullan, Nicola Tapping and Alfie Fitzpatrick ranged from a 2 year suspended sentence for the youngest, Alfie, to 3 ½ years for Nicole Vosper. All the defendants were also given lengthy ASBOs, which will prevent them from any further participation in animal rights activism. All 6 were charged with 'conspiracy to interfere with the contractual relations of an animal research organisation' under the SOCPA legislation, a law brought in by New Labour to specifically target the animal rights movement. They were arrested in a massive series of raids in 2007.  A lot of rubbish has been talked about this trial and the defendants in the mainstream media. Most of the press has been happy to reprint the NETCU line that the defendants were personally involved in planting bombs and conducting violence against individuals. The Mail has claimed that SHAC and the ALF are one and the same thing. The BBC carried an article entitled 'Under Siege' that claimed that the 6 individuals were personally responsible for vandalism at a man’s home over a period of 7 years.  In fact the nature of the conspiracy charge means that the prosecution did not have to prove anything, except that the defendants knew one another and were part of the SHAC campaign against HLS – and that at least part of this campaign involved illegal activity. These 'catch-all' conspiracy cases are being used to attack a militant and successful movement against UK corporate interests. The last SHAC trial saw activists receive up to 11 year sentences on similar conspiracy charges.  NETCU were of course gloating about the verdict, saying, 'We are very satisfied with the outcome today. In 2004 a major police investigation was launched into the criminal activities linked to SHAC. Specialist support was also provided by the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the City of London Police's Economic Crime Unit'. It is unlikely that the 'major police investigation' ended after the 2007 raids. Long-term police infiltrator PC Mark Kennedy (AKA Stone) attended animal rights events as recently as Sept 2010.  Has this stopped SHAC? During the sentencing, which took 3 days, demonstrations took place simultaneously, in London, at the gates of the 2 HLS sites as well as their beagle suppliers at Harlan Huntingdon and their rabbit breeders at Highgate Lincolnshire. There was even a brief foray into Cambridgeshire Police HQ looking for the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordinating Unit's (NETCU) office.

SHAC demo report 5th Nov
London activists started their day of protests at the financial lender of HLS - Fortress Investment Group at 5 Savile Row. Despite the annoying police inspector who spent most of his time hassling peaceful activists we got our message across to Fortress, that we are not going away while they are the main financial reason HLS continues to kill and torture animals. While at Fortress, other activists had been having a loud and spirited protest at HIG Capital Europe, 25 St George St W1, owners of Amerijet, one of the few airlines that transport animals to laboratories. Amerijet fly thousands of primates for vivisection each year and activists were outside their offices to remind them of the consequeneces of their actions. As most airlines across the world refuse to be involved in the transport of animals for laboratory experiments, it is only a matter of time before Amerijet follow suit and pressure will continue to be put on this company and airline until they pull out for good. Then it was on to JP Morgan at 125 London Wall, as they are one of the top 4 shareholders of Fortress Investment Group. A very loud and focused demo ensued during this busy lunch time period, getting the message across to the many JP Morgan workers what their company is involved with. Many flyers were handed out with support from the staff and passers by. After about an hour we moved on, but pledged to keep coming back to JP Morgan until they ditched their blood money shares in Fortress. Activists then moved outside Bank of America at Merrill Lynch Financial Centre, 100 Newgate St/2 King Edward St, to remind them that while they have 8m shares in Fortress and also recently lent $280m to Fortress, they will continue to be a target for this campaign. Last stop of the day was Nomura's UK HQ offices at One Angel Lane, off Upper Thames St. We arrived just as Nomura workers were starting to leave the offices for the weekend and used this opportunity to highlight Nomura's collaboration with Fortress and HLS. Nomura is the largest shareholder with over 120m shares, along with other stocks in Fortress, sharing directors with them AND lending money for the purchase of Fortress' offices in London - Nomura is a major financial collaborator of Fortress. They have a great deal of influence and we call on Nomura to put pressure of Fortress to pull out of their loan with HLS or dump Fortress.

SHAC eco bags
I manufacture and sell official SHAC eco-friendly shopping bags. By "official" I mean I have SHAC's permission to do this and they get a percentage of the proceeds. The bags are 100% cotton canvas and bear the words "Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty" on one side. Cost:£7. Do you know anyone who would like to distribute some? Rhonda Moorhouse, Liverpool
extremeknitting@yahoo.co.uk

Stop UBC Animal Research Now has submitted a letter calling on the University of British Columbia to "fully disclose information about its animal research programme." The letter, signed by 60 animal advocacy groups from across Canada, the US and Europe, was sent to UBC President Stephen Toope on Oct 11. Signatories to the petition included PETA, the Animal Alliance of Canada, and the Vancouver Humane Society. "We are troubled the university has been less than forthcoming about its research activities," read the letter. "UBC has yet to provide public interest groups with animal research protocols and has twice denied requests for information under provincial freedom of information law." STOP is advocating that UBC release information about animal testing done at the university over the past 10 years, including the guidelines UBC uses to ensure ethical treatment of animals, and photos and videos of experiments. Brian Vincent, spokesperson for STOP, said he is unhappy with the university's response to their campaign. "We've got nothing but push back from UBC," he said. "You would think that the university would want to promote openness and transparency and instead animal research is hidden under this veil of secrecy."

In support of National Primate Liberation Week, the Portland Animal Defense League hung a banner that read "OHSU: Stop Killing Monkeys Now!" for morning commuters to see.  "It's animal abuse that's happening here, but they're calling it science," said Stephanie Boston, an Animal Defense League volunteer. "We're in a campaign to let people know what their tax dollars are funding." The sign - removed by authorities shortly after it went up - is the latest in an ongoing clash between activists and the Primate Research Centre, which houses about 4,200 primates and is one of 8 national primate research centres. In June, demonstrators blocked the entrance to the lab, and police arrested 5 activists for obstructing traffic. Stop Animal Exploitation Now recently ranked the lab at Oregon Health & Science University as the nation's 6th worst animal lab out of 44 others. The group and Animal Defense League say 259 primates at the research centre have been abused or deprived of food and clean cages, citing an annual report that the primate centre files with the USDA.

Covance Lab in USA Closes Up Shop!
5 years ago, PETA exposed the horrors of Covance's Vienna, Virginia, lab, where workers physically abused animals, screamed obscenities at them, and forced them to endure torturous daily tests. Primates at Covance's lab suffered from stress, and baby monkeys experienced daily nosebleeds because workers shoved hard tubes up their nostrils to pump drugs and chemicals into their stomachs. Now, after decades of battling the cruelty the lab is finally closing down!  In addition to the Vienna location closing, Covance has also cancelled their plans to build another facility, which will save the lives of thousands of animals.

Senate votes to bar monkey breeders
In some of the harshest language ever expressed by a legislative body, the Commonwealth Senate repudiated the experimentation with several types monkeys on Puerto Rica. Led by New Progressive Party Sen. Melinda Romero, the Senate approved a resolution that not only expressed its concern regarding the use of ITAL macaca fasciculavis primates for biological experiments, but denounced the company that attempted to introduce the practice to Puerto Rico. “I want to make sure that the federal authorities understand the problem here regarding the use of these animals for testing," Romero said. "I’m completely opposed to the issue on the grounds that other things could be done before a life is sacrificed.” Last year, Bioculture of Puerto Rico tried to develop a medical facility in which they would use the monkeys for research. The idea was heavily criticised by local animal rights groups. Their concerns prompted the city of Guayama to cancel the company’s operating permits. 2 resolutions were signed by Mayor Glorimari Jaime and the city assembly banning the company from entering Guayama. However, the concerns prompting the Senate resolution were to keep them from trying to set up shop in other island towns or cities. Senate Resolution 1514 will send a letter to the US Dept of Agriculture and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services requesting that they also cancel the operating permits granted to Bioculture on the grounds that the company lied to local officials when it requested them. “We never knew what the real number of monkeys was. They were dishonest to us all the time and that’s something that we need to report,” added Romero. Not all senators were in favour of the measure that generated an unusually intense debate on the Senate floor. The only verbal opposition to the measure came from  NPP lawmaker Carmelo Ríos who cited the job-creating nature of the companies such as Bioculture for his opposition. “It is important to realize that we in Puerto Rico need to develop a medical research industry and that testing on animals is an important part of that effort," Rios said. "We need more industries, not less. If we send this letter, what other research company will come here?” Popular Democratic Party Sen. Jorge Suárez rebuked Ríos calling him "insensitive" to the people who don’t want a company such as Bioculture on the island. “If the only argument presented to oppose this measure is that of jobs, that is sad," Suárez said. "We don’t need a monkey farm to generate work. That company and many like them are performing work which goes against our beliefs and that’s why I support the resolution.”  Puerto Rico Daily Sun. 12 Oct

Ignore the animal data - Arena shareholder Douglas Park tells the Wall Street Journal. Investors are particularly incensed by the panel's reaction to preclinical signs of tumours in rats injected with the therapy (lorcaserin, a weight loss drug) noting that the agency's own rules allow panellists to disregard data from animal results based on doses 25 times stronger than what's given to humans."

Miniature human livers have been successfully grown in the laboratory, heralding the possibility of customised transplant organs. US scientists have created working livers the size of a walnut. The breakthrough could solve the shortage of organs and improve testing of drugs.

Sheffield City Council votes to Clean Up Cruelty
BUAV is delighted that Sheffield City Council has voted to go cruelty free at its meeting on the 3rd Nov. The motion was introduced by Cllr Ian Saunders, who supports the BUAV's Clean Up Cruelty campaign which seeks to end cruel animal testing for household products and their ingredients. Sheffield City Council’s cleaning contractors in schools and civic buildings across Sheffield will now work towards using only BUAV approved products. Products approved carry the Leaping Bunny logo, an internationally recognised and patented cruelty free certification. The BUAV has spearheaded the campaign to end the use of animals in household product testing since March 2008. A high profile and successful campaign, Clean Up Cruelty has already gained widespread support from politicians, retailers and the public. Since its inception, BUAV has taken Clean Up Cruelty around the UK , visiting MPs and politicians to encourage them to make their offices cruelty free. The BUAV’s campaign also won a huge victory recently, when the Coalition Government pledged to ban the use of animals to test household products in its plan for government. 81% of the public said they support a ban on the testing of household products on animals. Despite public opinion, many ingredients in UK household products have been, and continue to be, tested on animals. Councillor Ian Saunders said: "….we will introduce a clause in all future contracts that will ensure that no products used by or for Sheffield Council will have been tested on animals. I hope that other local authorities will now follow Sheffield's lead".

Cut in lab inspectors
Osborne's cuts will mean that the current number of 30 Home Office inspectors who have to report back on the welfare of 3m animal experiments in the UK each year (an average of 100,000 per inspector) will be cut to 16 inspectors. As André Menache wrote in a letter to The Independent: The UK conducts more animal experiments than any other EU member state. Is it possible that we could cut back, not on the number of inspectors, but on the experiments themselves? Would such a move endanger public health? The ethics of animal experimentation is what fuels the current debate. However, there is also another side to this issue: do these experiments actually work? The facts on the ground speak quite differently. In just such a parliamentary question to then minister Caroline Flint in 2004, she replied “The Home Office has not commissioned or evaluated any formal research on the efficacy of animal experiments and has no plans to do so”. In scientific terms, animal experiments are about as predictive for humans as tossing a coin. This revelation comes, not from the anti-vivisection movement, but from data originating from within the pharmaceutical industry itself. Animal researchers and politicians who continue to ignore these facts will have some serious explaining to do when the public finally gets wind of this information.

The Chemical Industries Association (CIA) has reminded its members of the need to use alternatives to animal experiments wherever possible. The BUAV has welcomed CIA's decision to write to its members to stress the obligation under REACH to avoid testing products on animals where an alternative is available. Chemical Watch 10 Nov

Mini-pigs for lab use
Mini-pigs are being lined up as Europe's preferred laboratory animals. The pigs, which can cost more than £1,000 for a piglet, have captured the hearts of various notables, from George Clooney and David Beckham to Paris Hilton and Megan Fox. Now they could be about to replace monkeys, mice, rats and dogs in the testing of new drugs and chemicals. A 5-year study sponsored by the EU has concluded that miniature pigs are better models for testing the effects of new drugs on humans than other creatures, because of their "close physiological and anatomical similarities to man". Developed from species such as the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, mini-pigs first appeared in the West in the 1960s and were initially bred for medical research. But since the 1980s they have become increasingly popular as pets, thanks to their smallness: they weigh about 150lbs.

 

Scientist against animal research

Genetic research scientist Dr. Jarred Bailey has been looking closely at chimpanzee research. Bailey believes that, in spite of the primates' close similarity to homosapiens, chimps make bad research models. "Researchers will hold the opinion that chimpanzees are a good research model," Bailey said. "The problem is that point of view is not supported by scientific evidence." Bailey's background is in genetics. He has a doctorate in virus genetics and worked for 8 years with premature human births. "I moved into this field because I was very concerned about why people were using animal models," he said. He has been performing chimpanzee research and said all the evidence shows the animals to be irrelevant to human disease. "We would be better off concentrating on other research methods," he said. When Bailey began working with the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, one of the first studies he conducted was a simple citation analysis, which looks at up-to-date research and notes how many times a certain subject is cited.  "If scientific study is important, what proportion of chimpanzee papers are cited in these medical papers?" Bailey said. "We found less than 15% was cited with any relevance to any human medicine breakthrough." The 15% cited was generally not critical to the research, he said. Most of the chimpanzee research only duplicated other findings.  Bailey has also done research on the importance of chimpanzee in relation to diseases like hepatitis A, B and C, AIDS and cancer. Chimpanzees, Bailey said, don't get the diseases humans get. Chimpanzee use in AIDS research has decreased in magnitude, he said.  "You can infect them with HIV, but they don't get AIDS from it." Bailey said his research found 85 different AIDS vaccines that had been tested in primates, mostly chimpanzees. All 85 worked in chimps, curing them or having therapeutic effects. In 200 human trials, not one of those vaccines worked. He also said the evidence is not good that chimps are a good model for hepatitis. "Chimps don't actually get hepatitis, you can inject them, but they don't get the symptoms we do. They might have been useful as bioreactors to grow the virus to use for the research." The hepatitis B vaccine was developed 25 to 30 years ago, Bailey said. Research methods have improved by leaps and bounds since then. "We have techniques we never even dreamed of," he said. "Even if we accept that they were useful so long ago, we just don't need to use them anymore, whether they are a good model or not." Bailey said he has also been exhaustively looking at hepatitis C and has written 2 papers that are coming out in the next several months. "They will show the claims about hepatitis C are false and dishonest," he said. "We found chimpanzees aren't at the basis of the findings. Clinical studies of people and societies have all provided the more powerful data about hepatitis C." Part of Bailey's study looked at how heavily chimps were used in hepatitis C research and found the numbers have decreased. "You would think if they were a good model, chimpanzee use would increase," he said. "The use of alternatives has increased by 80 fold and use of chimps dropped dramatically." Bailey also worked on a paper on chimpanzees and cancer research because cancer is one of the biggest killers of humans. They found chimpanzees are not used very much at all. "We found that chimps had barely been used in cancer research at all," he said. Incidents of chimps having cancer are extremely rare, he said, and the tumours they did find in chimps are not tumours humans get. "If chimpanzees were a good model, why are they using them only in the United States?" Bailey asked. "If the promise was there, they would be used all around the world." Bailey said looking from a human perspective, researchers can do a better job at using other methods. "It is patently obvious chimpanzee research is not the effective way to do this," he said. "How much negative data do you need that chimpanzee research doesn't work and if it doesn't work, how can it be considered essential?" Dr. Theodora Capaldo is director of the New England Anti-Vivisection Society. She said the organisation hired Bailey because of his scientific background. She said more people are paying attention to the issue because chimpanzees are much like humans and the American people are fascinated with the question. She is a clinical psychologist and has observed chimpanzees in laboratory environments. "What I saw is no different than working with human trauma survivors abuse, war and sexual abuse," she said. "Chimpanzees under stress show the same psychological symptoms as humans. They disassociate, are self-abusive and are hyper-vigilant. They, too, suffer from complex post traumatic stress syndrome and identity confusion. Trauma is no different than if it happens to a human child." She said the American public reluctantly endorses chimpanzee research because they are told it is of benefit to humans. "But it's not only unnecessary, it's useless," she said. "They are not helping my uncle with Alzheimer's or my father with cancer."

Wickham labs demo
On Sept 25th about 50 people gathered in fine weather in Wickham for a rally, march and protest against the lab.  Many people (incl. one speaker) who planned to attend were thwarted by the A27 being closed at Chichester, with no warning signs on the roads leading up to it, ending in massive traffic jams.  The march made its way along the A32 causing massive tailbacks to the town centre where there were speeches from several people including André Menache from Antidote Europe. He spoke of the efforts being made to reduce the number of animals to be used for chemical testing in the EU. A huge number of these chemicals are used in the cosmetic industry so it’s no wonder they’re fighting tooth and nail to extend the length of time for animal testing to be phased out  At the lab wreathes were laid and poems read.  A silent march lead by a single drum beat lead the march back to the car park. This lab is planned to close and Cartmell, the owner, had hoped to be moving into a new one at Lower Upham but has failed to gain planning permission.  Long may he struggle!

SHAC activists for sentencing
4 animal rights activists, Jason Mullan, Nicola Tapping, Thomas Harris and Alfie Fitzpatrick pleaded guilty to interfering with and blackmailing companies linked to Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) in an attempt to close the animal testing lab down. 2 others, Sarah Whitehead and Nicole Vosper went guilty at an earlier hearing. In effect they have pulled the curtain down on what was intended to
be a another show trial of the animal rights movement. The trial was scheduled to begin at Winchester Crown Court mid Sept. 2 of the activist plead guilty to a lesser charge under the SOCPA legislation. This was the 2nd major SHAC trial and was a result of continuing massive police action against the militant animal rights movement. Many of the movement's leading figures are now serving long prison sentences.  The judge adjourned the case for pre-sentence reports. A 2-day sentencing hearing will take place at Winchester Crown Court on Oct 21. The maximum jail term for conspiracy to blackmail is 14 years and the conspiracy under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 is 5 years. Despite the attacks the SHAC campaign is still going strong – with the major target now being Fortress Finance, a US-based high risk venture capitalist firm who are now HLS's major backers. Ocean Finance, who are a subsidiary of Fortress found themselves under siege in early Sept, shutting down their Tamworth HQ.  Meanwhile US activists are keeping up the pressure on Fortress themselves with demos in Washington D.C

Fortess seek $440 million loan
Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty has announced it will target all companies linked to Fortress Investment Group LLC, in particular those who are considering assisting Fortress with their upcoming re-financing. The news comes after the revelation that Fortress is seeking $440m in a pair of loans to re-finance the company due to increasing debt. Fortress have been deemed a top priority target by SHAC after it became known that they had secretly loaned $70m to HLS in 2006 after Stephens Inc. pulled out, which as a result kept the 7 times exposed animal testing facility open throughout severe financial difficulties during the past few years, helping to fund the continuation of the torture and deaths of over 600,000 animals. Full article on: http://www.shac.net/news/2010/september/26.html

Non-animal research experts at Scottish Parliament
Scotland for Animals arranged for 2 of the worlds leading experts on non-animal research to speak at the Scottish Parliament on 5th Oct. Dr Ray Greek, President of Americans for Medical Advancement and consultant Dr Andre Menache joined animal charity Scotland for Animals in asking MSP's and the Scottish Government to take urgent action to end the use of animals in experiments. Scotland for Animals said: "We've contacted all MSPs personally inviting them to attend – sadly only 3 bothered and 2 others sent representatives. We want them to look at the evidence we have that using animals in research is holding medical progress back and jeopardising the lives and health of Scots. This isn't just a question of the rights of animals not to be subjected to pain but of the rights of us and our families not to have to suffer as a result of poor scientific practice, lazy research and the power of vested financial interests."

The EU has agreed on new rules aimed at reducing the number of animals used in lab experiments and tightening controls over such procedures. Euro MPs backed the new EU directive after long negotiations and EU member states have 2 years to make it law. Labs will have to get approval from national authorities for animal tests and if recognised alternatives exist then they must be used, the rules say. Animal welfare groups say the directive still does not go far enough.  Those in favour of tighter controls on vivisection have ended up being disappointed, as some strongly protective measures recommended by the European Commission were diluted by MEPs during the negotiations. Accusations were made that the compromises were a consequence of serious lobbying by interest groups such as the pharmaceutical industry and animal suppliers.  The UK-based anti-vivisection group BUAV called it "a missed opportunity". "The dropped proposals include strong restrictions on the use of non-human primates, strong restrictions on re-using individual animals, and a clear ban on experiments which involve severe and prolonged suffering," it said. But BUAV said it was "pleased, however, that the Commission has clarified that non-animal alternatives have to be used wherever they are scientifically suitable". The new directive, approved by the European Parliament, replaces EU rules on animal testing that dated back to 1986. The new animal welfare standards will have to be embraced by all EU member states. The new member states - mainly in Central and Eastern Europe - that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007, will have to embrace the new animal welfare standards. The legislation imposes a general ban on the use of great apes, such as chimpanzees and gorillas, in scientific tests. But other primates such as macaques can still be used – a point on which the Commission was overruled by MEPs. The directive also sets out categories of pain, ranging from "mild" to "severe" - an innovation designed to prevent repeated suffering. The re-use of animals will be allowed after tests involving "moderate" pain - though the Commission had proposed re-use only after tests classed as "up to mild" pain. MEPs argued that re-use of animals helped reduce the total number of animals used. They were also concerned that Europe should not fall behind in research on chronic human ailments such as Alzheimer's. According to EU data, about 12m animals are used in EU countries' lab experiments each year. The directive obliges national authorities to carry out regular inspections of labs that use animals - and some of the visits must be unannounced. The Commission will oversee these checks. The animal protection group Humane Society International said the new directive would still not prevent "severe suffering" in certain types of animal testing. But it voiced hope that other countries, including the US, would now "follow Europe's lead so that standards are improved globally".

The UK’s Green Euro-MPs criticised the European Parliament for voting against stronger provisions to protect animals used in experiments, as part of ongoing negotiations to update EU law on the practice. The Greens in the Euro-Parliament had put forward 3 amendments: to drop the restriction on national governments to introduce higher animal welfare standards than those required under EU law; to restore Parliament's original demand that an alternative to animals must be used when available (subject to individual Member State laws); and to strengthen restrictions on the use of non human primates. The Green amendments were all defeated, as were the Group’s calls for the whole report to be referred back for further development. Therefore the report now becomes the Parliament's official position. Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East, expressed his disappointment at Parliament’s failure to provide adequate protection for the millions of animals being experimented on in EU labs every year. He said: "It’s clear that this proposed legislation is not yet fully developed. Greens have long lobbied for animal protection to be enhanced and have been waiting many years for the update of this Directive. Sadly, today’s vote represents a missed opportunity for guaranteeing animal welfare. "It’s true that there are some improvements in the compromise text, particularly on inspections, on the new authorisation process for experiments, and a proper classification system. “But there are also concerns among animal welfare NGOs that the proposed legislation will allow for experiments on living animals for didactic purposes, experiments on stray dogs and cats – and for the permission of experiments without anaesthesia and/or painkillers. “This is not about obstructing medical developments into human health; it is about wanting to minimise the unnecessary use of animals in experiments. A civilized society cannot remain indifferent to cruelty. Jean Lambert, London’s Green Euro-MP, said: “The EU has an opportunity to lead the world in progressive animal research legislation, recognising the latest developments in viable non-animal alternatives. The Greens will call for further deliberations until we can secure genuine improvements in animal welfare and protection.”

Former Broxtowe MP Nick Palmer has landed a role at the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection He has been appointed as the new director of international and corporate affairs, a new role that will help the organisation develop its international work and help build on its campaign to persuade companies to stop animal testing. Dr Palmer was Labour MP for Broxtowe from 1997 until 2010 and has a long history in working on animal welfare related issues. BUAV has previously worked with him in his role as vice-chair of the All-Party Animal Welfare Group. Dr Palmer has also undertaken the role of Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Animal Welfare Minister and chair of the Parliamentary group for the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments. Dr Palmer said: "This is a dream job for me. I hope to promote and build on BUAV's record of constructive dialogue."

Animal testing gives false hope
Time after time headlines in the news will spotlight a recently developed drug that may potentially provide treatment to patients that suffer from diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. These drugs appear in the news because they have reached the late or near final stages of the drug development process where they can be tested in clinical trials involving humans who are living with these diseases. But so often these drugs are discontinued at this late stage and don’t become the medical therapies their developers had hoped to create. Why? One of the reasons that The Lancet Neurology gives to explain drug failure is the animal issue. Before a drug can be tested in humans, it must go through an animal model that is designed to be as humanlike as possible. This way researchers can observe how the drug will react with the newly developed treatment as if it were being tested in a human system. However, it is almost impossible to create an animal model that will react to a treatment in the same way a human would or one that can “accurately reflect human pathogenesis.” So, after experimentation, what a researcher has actually found is a drug that appears to cure, alleviate symptoms of and repair damage from a disease in an animal. Yet, when the drug is tested in humans and it does not have the same effect as it did in the animal model. Then it’s back to the drawing board.  Sent by VIN

Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease.  At least, that’s what has been accepted for years – based on the best of attempts to recreate MS in animals.  The EAE mouse model has some of the same symptoms, and has guided MS research or years. New research indicates that it’s an illness of the veins.  A constriction on the jugular vein causes a build up of blood in the brain and the terrible condition.  Already a simple procedure has been used on MS patients with excellent results. Although the findings are just emerging, this is showing itself to be a clear and damning case in which desperation to use an animal model has led to false theories and misdirected research which has denied research into the real condition for a generation of patients.  Sent by VIN

Gateway to Hell has been relaunched as part of the National Anti-Vivisection Alliance (NAVA) in the UK. The majority of animal used in UK laboratories are sourced from outside the country, ranging from xenopus to beagles, primates and even horses. This is due to the 2 main breeders, Harlan and Charles River, not having enough breeding stock to be able to supply the needs of the vivisection establishments nationwide. Other factors include the copyright placed on genetic strains of animals and the inability to breed primates in the laboratory environment, meaning many have to be captured in the wild or imported from holding centres such as Mazor Farm in Israel. The simple fact is that the UK vivisection industry is reliant upon these imports of animals to be able to continue. Without them, laboratories would struggle to conduct experiments and the 2 major breeders would not be able to make sufficient revenue to continue without their exports to foreign clients. We have already had a number of victories since the campaign relaunch. El Al (Israel's flagship carrier) has vowed never to fly primates, nor any other animal destined for vivisection, following a co-ordinated international campaign. As the only airline willing to fly monkeys into or out of Israel, this will have a massive global impact. Not only can companies such as BioCulture and Noveprim not transport primates from Mauritius to Israel, as they have regularly done for decades, but the Mazor Farm (BCF Israel) may be forced to close down as they have now lost the ability to supply 90% of their clients, consisting of UK, US, German and Belgian laboratories. Manchester Airport - The G2H campaign has seen a mass amount of disruption in the import network of primates and laboratory animals into the UK. We know for a fact that primate imports through Manchester International Airport make up over 75% of the UK's primate supply, with these monkeys being sent to HLS, Covance, Charles River, AstraZeneca and others. It is also the main gateway into the country for beagle dogs, coming from Marshall Farms breeding kennels in New York and Italy. However, ZorEx and 2 other airlines pulled out of the import network following our discovery about their involvement in the monkey flights. Airbase Flight Support, who was acting as ground handling agents for beagles and monkeys coming through Manchester, also issued a statement never to be involved again. The UK's largest airport handler, Servisair, have also pulled now and issued a policy. The potential to replace companies who cease involvement has also been cut-off with over half of those offering relevant services within the airport refuse to be involved in the lab animal trade. Please also take part in our email action alert, "Shut Down the Manchester Monkey Flights" For more information and to follow the Gateway to Hell campaign, please visit: www.antivivisection.info/g2h

We have a substantial amount of information about these flights into Manchester from Impex organising them and delivering the primates to the labs in unmarked vans. Documentation has been falsified, the cost of over £5,000 per flight, quarantine centres used, and that police and private security escorts are given to each shipment. Now is the time to stand up against this sickening trade and call for an end. Listed below are the 3 airlines we know have been flying primates over the past fortnight into Manchester, as well as 2 who were approached by Impex for future use and have not ruled out transporting animals for labs. Please contact them to voice your disgust: AERONOVA: Avda. dels Arcs, 10, 46940 Manises, Valencia, Spain Tel: +34 96 152 11 36 / 902 105 742 Tel (24hr) + 34 67023022 Fax: +34 96 152 68 87 info-cargo@aeronova.com, info@aeronova.com, info-training@aeronova.com, mserusi@aeonova.com, jmpenandes@aeonova.com, mjimenez@aeronova.com, ralbarrilla@aeronova.com, ipoos@aeronova.com, sspina@aeronova.com, pablolago@pablolago.com  Netherlands base: The Hague Airport, Rotterdam Airportplein 60 3045 AP Rotterdam T: +31(0)10 - 446 34 44 info@rotterdam-airport.nl UK base: Coventry Airport, Coventry Airport South, Siskin Parkway W. Coventry CV3 4PB Tel: 024 7630 8600 info@coventryairport.co.uk Grupo Suner (Majority Shareholder in Aeronova) Avda. de Los Deportes, 21, Edificio Ma Carmen Suner  info@gruposuner.com  AEROCORP: Gif sur Yvette, Technoparc de Gif, 2 route de la Noue, FR-91190 Gif sur Yvette, France Tel: +33 180 856 658 // +33 (0)1 80.86.61.80 Mobile : +33 680 173 908 Fax: +33 (0)1 80.85.58.42 info@aerocorp.aero, p.duran@aerocorp.fr, c.debont@aerocorp.fr, b.gilles@aerocorp.aero, b.gilles@aerocorp.fr BUSINESS WINGS: Flughafen, 34379 Calden, Germany Tel (24hr): +49 (0)5674 92150 Fax +49 (0)5674 9215-29 info@businesswings.de AIR MANA: Aéroport Dijon Bourgogne, BP26 21601 Longvic  Cedex, France Tel (24 hr): 03 80 666 232 devis@airmana.com, ops@airmana.com, dov@airmana.com, rde@airmana.com, jm.guillon@airmana.com, jp.peuchot@airmana.com BIN AIR: Maria Probst-Str.22, 80939 München Germany Tel (24 Hr): +49 (0) 171 322 66 22 Fax: +49 (0) 2203-6995411 info@binair.eu

A new report "Mauritius: The trade in primates for research" released to The Associated Press on Sept. 21, 2010 says that wild, long-tailed monkeys sustain broken limbs and other injuries when trappers catch the primates and transfer them to breeding farms on Mauritius. Mauritius has 4 major breeding farms and a 5th farm is to be opened soon, evidence that the trade is expanding, said the report by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection.  Photos in the report showed handlers swinging monkeys by the tail and monkeys confined to small, rusty metal cages.  Their brutal capture from the wild and forced captivity in Mauritius is morally unacceptable," said the BUAV's Sarah Kite. "We call on the government of Mauritius to put an end to this brutal trade and for the USA, EU and Israel to ban primate imports and stop perpetuating this appalling cruelty." The Associated Press contacted several government offices in Mauritius to seek comment on the report. When AP asked a question of an official in the Ministry of Agro Industry and Fisheries, which oversees wildlife, the official hung up. Another official said government employees are not permitted to talk to journalists. Last year 2,257 ­monkeys were imported into Britain from Mauritius. Only the US bought more. And during 2008/9 more than 5,000 live tests were carried out on monkeys – a rise of 16%. Tests include horrific experiments where the animals are pumped with massive amounts of drugs to see how long they can survive. 75% of the monkeys are used for toxicology tests on new drugs. The remainder are used in studies for conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and Aids. Animal rights ­charities are now ­calling on the ­Government to end the cruel trade. BUAV’s director of special projects Sarah Kite said: “By allowing the importation of monkeys from Mauritius, the UK is fuelling the cruelty ­inflicted on thousands of ­animals. “This trade is morally unacceptable. We call on the Government to ban the ­importing of these primates and stop perpetuating this ­appalling cruelty.” For more information, go to www.stopthebabytrade.org Rick Gervais is backing the BUAV campaign to stop the cruel trade in baby monkeys.

Brow Well Fisheries
As part of the campaign to end the sourcing of animals for laboratory experiments, we must focus on all weaknesses of the vivisection industry and stop the supply of species which can only be sourced domestically - one of which are fish. Their use is often forgotten, yet they bear the brunt of almost every eco-toxicology experiment inside laboratories in order to pass agrochemicals and household cleaning products onto the market. Fish are impossible to import due to their vulnerability to contrast in temperatures, yet without them every single eco-toxicology department using animals would have to close down. Brow Well Fisheries are the UK's largest supplier of fish to laboratories, yet their owner arrogantly believes they are doing good by supplying Huntingdon Life Sciences, Covance and many universities. Please contact them to ask how it is good to poison fish to death on behalf of international chemical companies. Contacts: Brow Well Fisheries Ltd Phoenix Cottage, Town Hill, Hebden, Skipton, N. Yorkshire, BD23 5DH Tel: 01756 753 132 Fax: 01756 753 132.  Fish farmed at: Old Mill Lane, Grassington, Skipton, BD23 5BX Tel: 01756 752 808.  Costa Spring Hatchery (Subsidiary) High Costa Mill, Marton Lane, Pickering, N. Yorkshire, YO18 8LW Tel: 01751 473 770. A.E. Fishery (Subsidiary) Parkgate, Dumfries, DG1 3LY Tel: 01387 860673 Fax: 01387 860207 Management: Dr Ian Christopher Jowett (Joint-Owner) ian@brow-well.co.uk Jonathan Paul Jowett (Joint-Owner) Mob: 07901 626593 jonathan@brow-well.co.uk  Mark Campbell (Manager - Costa Spring) Mob: 0777 4186 399 mark@costaspringhatchery.co.uk

A maximum security laboratory next to St Pancras station will (allegedly) be at the front line of Britain's fight against the next flu pandemic (another false scare?). The £600m “super lab” will be one of the largest in Europe and employ 1,250 scientists, many of whom will work in a bunker to prevent the spread of airborne disease. The UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation, the body behind the Somers Town building, claims the site will be totally secure with no risk of virus particles escaping into nearby homes. But campaigners are angry that no housing is planned for the site, and are concerned the huge building could become a terrorist target and the focal point for protests against animal testing. The glass, brick and metal lab will be secured to “biosafety level 3+”, that is capable of containing bacteria including malaria and tuberculosis. Along with cancer, they will be some of the many deadly diseases studied at the “global centre of research excellence”. John Cooper, chief operating officer and interim chief executive of UKCMRI, said: “UKCMRI is planning to study different strains of flu, including H5N1 (bird) flu. “Some of these viruses need to be studied in special, secure laboratories. The founders' scientists and technicians are extremely experienced in ensuring these viruses are studied safely.” UKCMRI is a conglomerate of the Medical Research Council, University College London, Cancer Research UK and The Wellcome Trust. About one third of the building, which is up to 154 ft high in places, will be underground. A pressure group called Stop Camden Lab has been formed to oppose the plans, which were formally lodged last week. Councillor Roger Robinson, Labour representative for St Pancras and Somers Town, said: “Why they want to put a lab in the middle of a built-up area is beyond my comprehension.” The building will replace the ageing Medical Research Council laboratory in Mill Hill, which led Britain's bird and swine flu research.

Lab closes after exposé
Just one week after PETA released the results of its shocking undercover investigation at the North Carolina contract animal testing facility Professional Laboratory and Research Services, Inc. (PLRS) -which uncovered workers' appalling abuse and neglect of dogs, cats, and rabbits tormented in tests for flea and tick products - and filed a 70-page formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) alleging violations of the Animal Welfare Act, PLRS  is shutting its doors for good and surrendering more than 200 dogs and cats left at the facility to animal shelters.  PETA's investigation revealed that dogs, cats, and rabbits abused by PLRS suffered from untreated illnesses, injuries, and burns and that many animals were covered with sores that were likely caused by poor housing, stress, and boredom. PETA's investigator also documented that PLRS employees kicked, threw, grabbed, dropped, and dragged dogs; roughly grabbed and lifted rabbits by their ears; and violently threw and slammed cats into cages.

Vet college stops animal use
Effective this academic year, the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) will end the training of students through terminal surgeries which have taken the lives of hundreds of healthy dogs. The termination of these animal experiments, and their replacement by models, cadavers and supervised clinical learning opportunities with shelter animals, was announced on the OVC website following a sustained campaign. The process of change began in 2009 with a friendly beagle, Rainbow, who was one of the OVC dogs whose fate was to be killed after surgical practice. Dr. Anya Yushchenko, InterNICHE National Contact Assistant and then veterinary student at OVC, conscientiously objected by refusing to participate in the killing of an otherwise healthy dog. With the help of Dr. Olivier Berreville, InterNICHE National Contact for Canada, and lawyer Nick Wright, Dr. Yushchenko fought for her right to a veterinary education free of harmful animal use. In the process, Dr. Yushchenko was able to save Rainbow’s life, and placed her in a loving home. Following this achievement, a collaborative effort between InterNICHE and Animal Alliance led this year to the rescue of several other dogs, and the subsequent decision by OVC to eliminate terminal surgeries. “We congratulate the Ontario Veterinary College and Guelph University for stopping outdated, cruel terminal surgeries and for choosing to join the increasing number of universities and colleges worldwide that now use modern, ethical methods to teach their students”, says Berreville. “We will strive to provide any help needed by the OVC to ensure that the new curriculum and methods used are fully ethical.” InterNICHE provides a range of resources to support the implementation of humane alternative methods and replace the harmful use of animals in education. These include the book and database of alternative methods ‘from Guinea Pig to Computer Mouse’ (2nd ed.); a number of Alternative Loan Systems (libraries) for free access to humane learning tools; and a Humane Education Award grant programme to help fund progressive curricular transformation.

Researcher shows no respect
A primate researcher at Wake Forest University, in a PowerPoint presentation at a National Institute on Aging workshop which appeared on the NIA web site until July, finds the primates who will give their lives to science…funny. The first photo shows an orangutan who someone has put in an aqua coloured flannel dress with white diamonds on it. Her face is contorted in terror. A green, comic strip style balloon is coming out of her mouth. It says, “I just don’t know what to think,” as if her anguish stems from research questions in the lab instead of her tenure there. Ha ha! The next mirthful photo shows a chimpanzee appearing to have typed a page on a typewriter to illustrate the “cognition research” being performed in the lab. Get it? A third amusing photo shows a capuchin monkey who someone has dressed up in big, black eyeglasses that are barely supported by her little skull. She is also commenting about the ongoing research in the lab. There is a chain around her neck and she appears to be held in position by human hands. Also pictured, reminiscent of Dr. Harry Harlow’s “pit of despair” experiments at the University of Wisconsin, is a cynomolgus monkey that has been “psychosocially stressed” to serve as a model for the “perimenopausal transition.” Harlow, famous for his “rape rack” and “iron maiden” inventions for primates, is considered the architect of the National Primate Research Centre’s system which still operates a lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and operates labs at other locations. The presentation, called Cardiovascular Health and Cognition: Perspectives on Using the Primate as a Model, was part of an official NIA workshop in 2004 and created by Wake Forest’s Thomas Clarkson, DVM. When a reporter asked about the derision shown toward animals and science itself, the PDF was removed from the NIA site. Barbara Cire with NIA’s Office of Communications and Public Liaison said, “As to the imagery on the slides, NIH posted the presentation as delivered. Questions about the images should be directed to the speaker.” Cire says NIA “does not fund” research by Clarkson except for “an NIA conference grant to organise a meeting in conjunction with the 20th annual scientific meeting of the North American Menopause Society in September, 2009.”  But it has funded similar research with ovariectomised cynomolgus monkeys by Wake Forest researcher Mary Lou Voykto in which Clarkson donated monkey hypothalami. In this research, monkeys “were restrained with ketamine, deeply anaesthetized with sodium pentobarbital and perfused transcardially with cold 0.1 M PBS. The brains were rapidly removed and sliced into 1-cm slabs with the aid of a monkey brain matrix,” according to an article in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (Vol. 88, No. No.2 655-662) The world health problem the monkeys served? Menopause. Of course it’s no secret that ever since the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, government research  supported by our tax dollars is quickly translated to industry uses. In fact Wake Forest’s Women’s Health Centre of Excellence for Research conferences, attended by industry-linked researchers including those accused of ghostwriting, have been unabashedly funded by both NIA and hormone makers Wyeth and Pfizer. Nor is it a secret that the grisly menopausal hormone research on primates underway at Wake Forest and at Mount Sinai School of Medicine threatens to revive the hormone therapy which more than 5,000 women say gave them cancer. (Why revive a therapy that caused endometrial cancer in the 1980s and breast cancer in the 2000s? A$k industry.) What is surprising is that a researcher who is also a veterinarian, sworn to relieve animal suffering, would actually find such research funny.

The chimpanzees of the Alamogordo Primate Facility in New Mexico are being called back to duty. The 186 chimps, already grizzled veterans of medical research, will be pulled from an un­official retirement and sent back into the lab by the end of 2011, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced. But the decision has brought to a head a simmering debate about the use of chimpanzees for medical research in the USA - a practice finally banned by the EU. After a visit to Alamogordo on 21 Sept, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson renewed a vow to fight the NIH plan, which would send the chimps to the S.W. National Primate Research Centre in San Antonio, Texas. Richardson has said that he will push Congress to legislate that the chimps' present home, at which about 40 people are employed, be converted into an official sanctuary managed by non-profit agencies, or be run by nearby universities for non-invasive behavioural research.

Seinfeld Writer Supports Animal-Friendly Research
Comedian and author Carol Leifer, who has written for “Seinfeld” and “Saturday Night Live,” is starring in a new national campaign to promote health charities that don’t fund or conduct animals experiments. In the new 30-second radio public service announcement produced by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), Leifer urges potential donors to “Give and Let Live” by supporting compassionate charities that provide vital care to patients and advance research without using animals. The ad introduces The Humane Charity Seal of Approval, a unique certification program that allows potential donors to quickly identify those health charities that match their values and don’t fund animal tests. The Humane Charity Seal of Approval offers a rapidly expanding directory of charities that fund only humane, human-based research or patient services.

In a landmark action the municipality of Guayama, Puerto Rica, has enacted a new law banning the import, export, breeding, and use of monkeys in experiments within its boundaries. This means that Guayama—and its mayor, Glorimari Jaime Rodríguez—have dealt an apparently fatal blow to Bioculture Puerto Rico, Inc.'s much-criticized plan to capture more than 4,000 monkeys from Mauritius, cruelly confine them to cages in Guayama, and then sell their offspring to foreign laboratories for use in painful and deadly experiments. Puerto Rico's Senate is also set to vote on a resolution sponsored by Sen. Melinda Romero Donnelly, which, if approved, would urge U.S. agencies to "deny Bioculture any and all permit requests to import monkeys into Puerto Rico."

Nearly 90,000 lab mice are used each year in the EU just to test batches of BoTox, according to the journal Nature. That number has increased from 33,000 mice in 2005. The EC report singled out BoTox testing as a major reason that animal experimentation persists at sustained levels in the EU despite being reduced in many other fields.

 

Artery-on-a-Chip Studies Heart Disease

Scientists from Canada have developed a microfluidic platform on which fragile blood vessels can be fixed, allowing the factors that promote and sustain cardiovascular diseases to be studied. Microvascular structure and function are currently studied using either an isometric approach, where small arteries are mounted on 2 wires, or an isobaric method, where arteries are drained and filled using glass micropipettes. Both of these procedures require manually skilled personnel and are not scalable - key factors which have limited the number of laboratories carrying out essential microvascular research. However, Axel Günther and colleagues at the University of Toronto have overcome several of these limitations by developing a microfluidic platform to mount arteries on, which is scalable, inexpensive and has potential for automation and standardisation. The device could be used to routinely screen drug candidates on viable arteries, potentially speeding up the drug development process and reducing the need for animal experimentation.

New non-animal research grants

Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research has just given out new non-animal research grants.  They are: Epilepsy research at Newcastle University; Bone Disease at Cardiff University; Brain Cell Imaging at Birmingham University; Nanotoxicity Testing at Nottingham University; Abdominal Pain Studies at Barts & Queen Mary’s, University of London.  Current projects include research into breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, skin cancer and brain infections.

Brain waves tracked in conscious cats

4 animal rights groups have joined forces to demand that the Health Ministry halt a medical experiment that involves forcing cats to remain awake in order to monitor their brain function. The organisations said the cats in the study at Ben Gurion  in Negev are confined in small enclosures and force-fed food containing substances to keep them awake during testing. Research in Israel into feline brain function is generally conducted while the cats are anaesthetised. They are often killed when the experiments are completed. The study in question, led by Dr. Opher Donchin of the university's Dept of Biomedical Engineering, investigates neural activity in Purkinje cells in the animals' cerebellar cortex. Researchers ultimately plan to study at least 7 cats. Last month a representative for animal rights groups on the ministry's National Council for Experimentation on Animal Subjects, asked council chairman Ehud Ziv to look into complaints that the cats were subjected to unnecessary discomfort during testing. A veterinarian and a scientific consultant who were sent by Ziv to Donchin's laboratory wrote in their report that the experiment complied with the ministry's animal testing regulations. In response, animal rights activists asked Ziv for permission to visit the lab and see the tests on the cats for themselves. When their request was rejected, they decided to take up the matter with the university directly. A further letter was sent to Ziv and to the university’s president demanding an immediate halt to the study. "This research is being conducted on conscious felines, subjecting them to prolonged, extreme suffering," said the groups' attorney. He said the experiment does not comply with the 1994 Animal Welfare Law. The letter said the suffering caused to the cats far outweighed the study's potential "negligible scientific benefit" and that nothing could justify subjecting such sentient beings to prolonged, harmful tests, confinement and surgery for the purpose of dubious scientific gain. The activists said they are considering legal action against the study's organisers. Director of the group Behind Closed Doors comments. "A cat can't be expected to sit in confinement for over an hour without moving. It breaks the animal physically and emotionally, leading to a state of powerlessness. In such a state the cat is likely to fall asleep, and inserting food into its mouth to keep it awake is both cruel and disproportionate. We ask for proportionality to be considered before approving any experiment in Israel , as required by law." Ben Gurion University said in a statement that while "Society grants scientists the authority to use animals for research and teaching purpose, in the recognition that animal research seeks to advance the saving of human life, the world and the university are increasingly using substitutes whenever possible to prevent unnecessary suffering to lab animals”. Haaretz 5 Aug

Military experiments prohibited

The U.S. Army in Germany intended to injure pigs and goats at a military training area in Bavaria to train their medical staff. The German association Doctors Against Animal Experiments (DAAE) and other animal rights groups protested against these plans. The authority has now rejected the application of the U.S. Army because it violates the German Animal Welfare Act. When the plans of the U.S. Army became known in May this year several animal rights and antivivisection organisations called for protests. The public outcry resulted in the Army withdrawing its first application only 1 day after the plans became public. The experiments were supposed to be conducted and organised by a German company specialised in trauma training. DAAE  pointed out that military trauma training is not compatible with the German law according to which animal experiments for the development or testing of arms, ammunition or military equipment are forbidden. In addition animal use in education and training is prohibited, if its purpose can be achieved by non animal means. Trauma management can be taught with advanced simulation tools and in war areas where real casualties have to be helped. According to the Doctor’s Association this is the only useful and effective teaching method. DAAEG 11 Aug

Bill to end unnecessary experiments on chimps

A bill in the US that aims to save chimpanzees from unnecessary scientific experimentation across the country has been launched. The Vermont Independent was approached by members of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine who said much of the experimentation common for these apes is unproductive and does not warrant their harm "Millions of wasted dollars and decades of failed experiments have demonstrated that chimpanzees are bad models for researching human disease," said a committee senior medical and research adviser. "This new bill would release chimpanzees and ensure that no more taxpayer dollars are wasted on ineffective chimpanzee experiments." Although there are no testing labs in Vermont, Sanders became aware of the issue from a number of concerned state residents."The bill would mandate the retirement of 500 government owned apes from 6 testing laboratories. It also would phase out the use of chimpanzees in laboratory settings over 3 yrs. "Chimpanzees are no longer needed for research, yet we remain the only country besides Gabon to continue holding these animals in laboratories as possible subjects for invasive research," Sanders said in a statement. "It is time to release these animals from the laboratories where they are currently housed and allow them to live in humane sanctuaries Burlington Free Press 9 Aug

Replacement for Draize

After more than a decade of scientific research and lobbying by animal protection groups, the Organisation for economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has approved a new, non animal testing guideline for skin irritation. The guideline adopted is now available for use by companies and governments worldwide. The OECD guideline allows for the use of 3 artificial human skin models engineered by SkinEthic in Nice , France , and MatTek of Ashland, USA, or other methods that meet the guideline's specifications. These methods in all but a few circumstances will fully replace the 1940s era Draize rabbit skin test, which has traditionally been conducted to assess skin irritation by applying chemicals to shaved, raw skin on the backs of rabbits. These new methods, however, provide a humane and more accurate assessment of the potential damage a substance poses to human skin. Manufacturers use excess skin cells from surgical procedures to construct a 3 dimensional layer of skin that closely mimics the properties of human skin. Substances are applied to the skin model to assess the potential for skin damage when used in industrial or consumer applications. The International Council for Animal Protection in OECD Programmes provided scientific expertise that helped create the new guideline and ensure its acceptance. In addition members have individually lobbied for regional acceptance of in vitro skin irritation tests or provided direct financial support for the rigorous scientific trials that demonstrated the efficacy of one of the new methods. "The science of safety testing has come a long way since the 1940s," says an ICAPO representative of toxology. "Taking animals out of the equation will reap dividends for industry and consumers in the form of faster tests and safer products." ICAPO comprises of 11 animal protection groups from Europe, Asia, & N. America for a combined representation of over 20m citizens, and is dedicated to the replacement, reduction, and refinement of animals in OECD guidelines and other programmes. The OECD produces safety testing guidelines for its 31 member nations, which represent many of the world's largest economies.  PR Newswire 2 Aug  

EC weakens cosmetic animal testing ban

The ECEAE (European Coalition to End Animal Experiments) has accused the European Commission (EC) of acting unlawfully by attempting to weaken legislation introduced to bring an end to the controversial testing and marketing of animal tested cosmetics within the EU. In 2003, following many years of campaigning led by ECEAE, the EU introduced a number of animal test bans for cosmetics under the 7th amendment to the Cosmetics Directive. This was a huge step forward for animal welfare in the EU and received widespread political and public support. The Cosmetics Directive included an unqualified ban on animal testing for cosmetics in the EU which came into force in March 2009. It also included a marketing ban on the sale and import into the EU of cosmetics tested on animals outside the EU. This too came into force in March 2009 although an exception was agreed for 3 tests -  repeated-dose, toxicokinetics and reproductive toxicity. For these tests, the deadline was initially set at March 2013, although this can be extended even further if these tests do not meet non-animal alternative availability criteria. In the past few months, the EC has organised a series of working groups to prepare a report on the status of the availability of non-animal alternatives methods. This report forms the basis for the public consultation launched on the 23rd July. However, the EC appears to be attempting to weaken the Directive by having inexplicably included 2 additional animal tests - skin sensitisation and carcinogenicity tests – which were not included in the marketing ban exception and which now have to meet the non-animal alternative before the marketing ban is implemented. The relevant working group’s findings suggest that replacement methods will not be available until 2017-2019 for skin-sensitisation; for carcinogenicity the working group is unable to say when they will be available. The Cosmetics Directive is, however, clear and the ECEAE has received strong legal advice. For skin sensitisation and carcinogenicity, both the testing and import bans are unqualified and came into effect in March 2009, with no facility to extend that deadline. Whether particular scientists believe there are suitable alternatives is irrelevant. As far as repeated-dose, toxicokinetics and reproductive toxicity are concerned, the ECEAE believes that the assessments of the working groups are scientifically ultra conservative  and, lack understanding of the creative potential of non-animal methods. The European public wants a clear, immovable line drawn in the sand with regard to animal-tested cosmetics. The ECEAE will be scrutinising the reports very closely. ECEAE Chief Executive, Michelle Thew states: “This move will be extremely disappointing to citizens across the EU who support this ban. The EC appears to be extending the goal post by including additional animal tests that need to pass the non-animal alternatives test. The ECEAE is concerned about this unlawful attempt to weaken the Cosmetics Directive. The marketing bans for skin sensitisation and carcinogenicity tests were not conditional on non-animal alternatives being available. This was a directive based primarily on ethics, not science.”

Budget cuts and non-animal research

With over £60billion of budget savings to find, more science spending cuts are looming and Britain's research base is certain to take a hit. Accessing funds to develop animal-free research methods has always been a challenge. Dedicated alternatives funders are scarce, high-impact journals have an illogical prejudice against research without animal data, and without impressive publications, achieving more mainstream funding is hard. It's a frustrating catch-22 for the scientists. "Perversely, research that doesn't use animals is perceived as high risk by funders," explains Debbie Holliday, of the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine. "In my work on breast cancer, if I made funding applications based on the mouse model, it would be more likely to get funded despite the well-known limitations of that approach, because it's the established method." Her ground-breaking work advancing the world's first 3-dimensional multi-cellular test-tube model of human breast cancer has been much more of a funding challenge. Overcoming those challenges has been worth it. Dr Holliday's model offers a more physiologically relevant approach to breast cancer research than experimenting on mice, and it's captured the interest of oncology researchers internationally who are interested in its potential wider application. As well as medical benefits, it could also replace painful tumour experiments that use 400 mice at a time. Unfortunately, decades of underfunding means replacement science is still playing catch-up. For years the government allocated a derisory £280,000 annually to the 3Rs (replacement, reduction, refinement of animal experiments), barely enough to fund a single project. The National Centre for the 3Rs (NC3Rs) now has a more respectable £4.5m budget (2009) - but for how much longer? Spending cuts would hit precisely when alternatives are starting to make a real impact. Dr Holliday is concerned that tightening the squeeze on already scare funding could encourage scientists to abandon non-animal work, research choices becoming increasingly dictated by where the funds are rather than the best scientific options. "There's a lot of talk about the potential loss of gifted scientists from non-animal alternatives, it's a real issue," she told me. This is exacerbated by the fact that many scientists rely on charities, and they too are slashing budgets. Stifling innovation is a potential outcome. Cell biologist Kelly BeruBe at Cardiff University made headlines last year with her Microlung technology - lung cells grown on plastic spheres that mimic real human lung function. It's a high-tech replacement for low-tech 1930s-era chemical inhalation tests in rats. But Kelly's hit a funding wall, so work to make Microlung fully operational by transitioning from 2-D to 3-D has stalled. Using rats, Kelly could access more regular funding, even though extrapolating rat data to humans is fraught with difficulties. "Their lungs are so different morphologically and physiologically, but I am basically stuck between a rat and a hard place!" The commercial potential for Microlung is exciting. With every pharmaceutical and chemical company worldwide conducting toxicity studies, Microlung could be a profitable British export. For companies, switching from animals makes good business sense. Just a half inch of human tissue can create 400 Microlungs, costing approximately £1,000 per test. Compare that to a standard 2-year animal study consuming 800 rodents and costing £2.6m. Lower R&D costs, reduced candidate failure rates and accelerated time to market mean increased profits and quicker ROI. New EU legislation emphasising replacement of animal tests for chemicals and cosmetics increases the incentive to act. The USA is also working to bring chemical testing into the 21st century using state-of-the-art human cell tests, computer science and robotics. The future of life sciences research is bright - and animal-free - and Britain could be leading the technology drive.  Despite budget constraints, now is not the time to cut alternatives funding. Instead, we need more intelligent and data-driven funding strategies that resist shoring up research where there is scant scientific justification. That means identifying poor performing animal research that isn't delivering and investing instead in using and developing more advanced human-relevant solutions where the scientific and societal benefits could be considerable. Global demand for alternatives is only going to increase, so now is the time to exploit what could be a real growth area for UK Plc. That means ensuring our research is future-proof, inspiring the next generation of innovators, and attracting the brightest minds.  Wendy Higgins Campaign Specialist at the Humane Society International

A small animal testing laboratory is to be built at Daisy Hill, East Riding of Yorkshire, which is set to be operated jointly by Agenda Resource Management and BOCM Pauls. Farm animals will be used in invasive experiments related to intensive farming, agriculture, nutrition and related fields. Agenda RM claim they are expanding into the field of Research & Development, already having a department which conducts facilites management of vivisection labs nationwide. The centre will no doubt be a smaller version of Scotland's Roslin Institute and cannot be allowed to be built. BOCM Pauls own the land on which the new laboratory is planned to be built, which Agenda already rent for their 'top secret' offices. Despite a false company being set up to guard the proposal, named Pepper PDS (reg to P.O. Box 289, Beverley, HU17 6EW), animal rights activists and local papers have found out. Agenda and BOCM have not mentioned to East Riding Council (Planning ref 10/02632/STPLF) that animals will be used. Take action here: www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/09/458031.html

Great Ape Protection Act

Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have introduced the Great Ape Protection Act (S.3694) in the U.S. Senate, lending bipartisan support to end the use of great apes in invasive research. NEAVS/Project R&R Science Director Dr. Jarrod Bailey recently met with Senator Cantwell and several other legislators, explaining how ending chimpanzee research would have no negative impact on human health. Dr. Bailey provided the Congress members with abstracts of NEAVS/Project R&R’s scientific papers, along with a list of over 700 scientists who have pledged their support for ending the use of chimpanzees in invasive research, demonstrating impressive scientific support for this legislation.  To add your signature of support go to: http://www.releasechimps.org/take-action/sign-the-petition/

Benicia considers permitting animal testing labs

US planners are considering whether the need for more local jobs means they should relax a ban on animal testing laboratories. Currently, Benicia allows no animal testing, but a sweeping land use review meant to help the city recruit more research and development firms could change that. Such firms could include biotechnology companies that raise animals for observation or research. Planning Commission Chairman David Healey comments, "for one thing, it's an issue of humane treatment of animals, and the other issue is we don't want to create Godzilla through some mutation in the lab." Healy said he does not oppose all animal testing, and that a "blanket ban probably wouldn't be wise if we want to have a robust business park."' Commissioner Rod Sherry in a June discussion of the issue asked city officials which types of animal testing might be deemed unacceptable. Concern was voiced that the proposal was too vague. The staff members so far, would permit enclosed areas for "keeping and raising animals" to support research and development "by using animals in experiments such as efficacy and toxicology testing before clinical trials in humans." That would not be acceptable to one animal protection leader in the city. Animal testing is "not humane treatment of animals and it does not fall in line with our mission statement," Peter Wilson, humane services director of the Benicia Vallejo Humane Society stated. The city's eye is on job creation. In general, permitting animal testing would allow a wider range of biotech companies to come to Benicia , said chief planner and Public Works Director. The commission is considering land use changes that would allow the animal testing labs in about one third of Benicia 's land area. Changes would allow and define as acceptable land uses "biotechnology," "cleantech," "dry labs," "information technology," "nanotechnology," "occupational health clinics," and "vivarium" (animal testing facilities)." Mercury News 10 Aug

Help save vunerable animals

The recently published annual UK Government statistics have revealed over 3.5m animals were ‘sacrificed’ in 2009. However, the new Coalition Government offers a glimpse of hope for animals in laboratories with its pledge to 'work to reduce the number of animal experiments'. Uncaged are currently lobbying the Government. Please back this up by lobbying your MP to sign Early Day Motion 435 which calls on the Government to honour this historic commitment. http://www.vote4animals.org.uk/search.htm Uncaged Campaigns

University violates Animal Welfare Act

According to the annual report filed with the USDA by the University of Kansas Medical Centre, this facility experiments on and/or holds captive about 150 primates a year, a relatively small amount. The report which contains this statistic is a bland one page document which belies the cruel reality that it represents. A cross section of the lives of these animals is represented by a stack of documents which is just over a foot tall. The existence of these highly intelligent animals has been reduced to so much paper and ink. Their identities represented only by numbers, their passing marked only by the word “euthanised.”  The University of Kansas Medical Centre has become known for violating the Animal Welfare Act. In fact, recent inspections for the period from Sep 2007 to June of 2009 catalogue 58 pages of violations, many of which involve primates and their deaths. The USDA inspectors who wrote these documents uncovered heinous acts of cruelty which prolonged the pain these animals endured. One monkey was allowed to deteriorate so severely that his/her weight dropped by 26.8%.  Another primate, whose skull had been opened to have a recording chamber put into place, did not receive anything close to adequate treatment TPC 4 Aug

Drug companies conning public

Drug companies have been accused of conning the public by hyping up patented medicines with little new to offer while downplaying their side-effects. A study concluded that up to 85% of new drugs offered few if any new benefits while having the potential to cause serious harm due to toxicity or misuse. The author of the research, Donald Light, professor of comparative health policy at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey, said: "Sometimes drug companies hide or downplay information about serious side-effects of new drugs and overstate the drugs' benefits. Then, they spend 2 to 3 times more on marketing than on research to persuade doctors to prescribe these new drugs. Doctors may get misleading information and then misinform patients about the risks of a new drug." Professor Light presented his paper, entitled "Pharmaceuticals: A Two-Tier Market for Producing 'Lemons' and Serious Harm", at the American Sociological Association's annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. He accused companies of conducting a "swamp the regulator" policy – bombarding the bodies that award drug licences with large numbers of "incomplete, partial, sub-standard clinical trials". One study of 111 final applications for approval found that 42% were missing data from adequately randomised trials, 40% were supported by flawed testing of dosages, 39% lacked evidence of clinical efficacy, and 49% raised concerns about serious adverse side-effects, he said. In a statement, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) said: "Professor Light is long on accusation and woefully short on hard evidence. There is now much greater transparency in clinical trial results. The UK pharmaceutical industry also adheres to a strict code of practice on the sales and marketing of its products. "The patient information leaflet provided in every pack with a medicine details the side effects which have been reported in clinical trials and reviewed by the regulator."

Monkeys from China for HLS

SHAC has received a number of leaked documents detailing the purchase of hundreds of monkeys from China by Huntingdon Life Sciences between 2006-2008. The documents reveal, once again, how HLS, Primate Products, Inc and its customers are directly responsible for the horrible suffering of monkeys trapped for the international primate slave trade. The documents include contracts, invoices, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service import permits, animal health certificates issued by the People's Republic of China, shipping routes, contact sheets, and miscellaneous e-mails (such as correspondence about a Dec 2007 trip to Florida by 3 HLS employees to tour Primate Products, Inc.'s quarantine facility and breeding farm). Without disgusting companies like Primate Products, Inc. who are an important link in the chain of animal slavery and animal abuse. 10,000s of wild caught or 'cage bred' primates would not be used as mere experimental tools for the vivisection industry. We call on every compassionate person to show their anger and disgust at Primate Products, Inc. for their continued involvement in the primate slave trade. Please take the time to contact Primate Products, Inc about their dealings with HLS: Primate Products, Inc. PTLC & Equipment Div (HQ). PO Box 1588 Immokalee, FL 34143 USA. Tel: 001 239-867-2020 Fax: 001 239-867-2030 ptlcequip@primateproducts.com   Primate Products, Inc. Live Animal Division, 7780 NW 53rd Street Miami, FL 33166 USA. Tel: 001 305-471-9557 Fax: 001 305-471-8983 lad@primateproducts.com  Primate Products, Inc. PO Box 620415 Woodside, CA 94062 USA. Tel: 001 650-529-0419. PPI Behaviourist Stefanie Haba Nelsen 001 239 867-2020 ext. 2242 (Office) 001 239 821-9006 (Cell) Donald A. Bradford, President: DonBradford@primateproducts.com John P. Resuta, Jr., Operations Manager: JohnResuta@primateproducts.com Eileen Sylvester, Office Administrator: EileenSylvester@primateproducts.com Kathleen Turner, DVM: KathleenTurner@primateproducts.com Stefanie Haba Nelsen, PPI Behaviorist: stefanienelsen@primateproducts.com Josh Bradford: Joshbradford@primateproducts.com Mike Disbrow: Mikedisbrow@primateproducts.com Jim Nazareno: jimnazareno@primateproducts.com Jerome Johnson: Jeromejohnson@primateproducts.com Kathryn Litton: KathrynLitton@primateproducts.com Sherri Schmidt: sherrischmidt@primateproducts.com Donna Steiner: Donnasteiner@primateproducts.com Ed Marshburn: edmarshburn@primateproducts.com Todd Sylvester: Toddsylvester@primateproducts.com Renate Lemke: Renatelemke@primateproducts.com Rachelle Ford: rachelleford@primateproducts.com  Michele Surelli: michelemisurelli@primateproducts.com Mary Muhlhauser: Marymuhlhauser@primateproducts.com

Animal Welfare Advisory Committee disbanded

The BUAV has condemned the announcement by Mr Peter Luff, the Minister for Defence Equipment Support & Technology, that the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, has been immediately dissolved. The committee was set up to provide independent scientific advice on the care and welfare of animals used in military research at the top secret Porton Down military laboratory in Wiltshire. Recent animal tests at Porton Down uncovered by the BUAV have caused a public outcry, in particular horrific experiments in which live pigs were blown up with explosives and subjected to massive mutilation and injury. In 2009, it was reported that over 8,000 animals were used in tests by the MoD, including mice, non-human primates and pigs. Animals have been largely used in research into preventing and treating diseases used as weapons. Many of these experiments involved substantial suffering and resulted in the death of the animals. In some tests, there were no reports of treatment or pain relief given. Examples of other animal tests include: Research into inhalational tularaemia, a disease caused by a bacterium used as a biological weapon, 10 monkeys were exposed to various doses of the bacterium in order to determine the LD50 (the dose causing 50% of the animals to die) while their heads were restrained in an exposure chamber. The animals suffered severe effects including fever, abnormal breathing and internal bleeding. Some died; all survivors were killed. None of the animals survived or were kept alive for longer than 13 days.  In research into inhalational anthrax infection and to determine the LD50, 12 monkeys were exposed to an aerosol containing anthrax spores while their heads were restrained in an exposure chambers. The animals developed shortness of breath, partial paralysis, disorientation and lethargy. 6 animals died and those still alive after 10 days were killed. The infection has painful and debilitating effects and the monkeys must have suffered immensely before experiencing a painful death. There were no reports that pain relief or other supportive measures were provided. Guinea-pigs were poisoned with a nerve agent, exceeding the lethal dose by 5 times. Various combinations of therapy drugs were then injected into their muscles. The animals were observed for signs of nerve agent poisoning. These included incapacitation, abnormal body temperature, and intestinal intussusception (an extremely painful condition where part of the intestine telescopes on itself causing blockage of blood vessels – thus causing gangrene or internal bleeding). Animals in poor condition were killed 24 hours after the poisoning. As nerve agents cause damage to many vital organs resulting in convulsions, internal bleeding, breathing problems (and eventually inability to breathe), the animals would have suffered severely before they died or were killed. BUAV’s Chief Executive, Michelle Thew states: “It is unacceptable and inexplicable that at a time of growing public concern regarding the use of animals in these controversial warfare tests, that an advisory body providing an independent overview on the care and welfare of animals should be disbanded.”

Baboons trapped for experiments

Medical researchers in S. Africa are benefiting from a cheap supply of live subjects on which to experiment – baboons trapped in the wild after wreaking havoc on farms. At least 2 universities - the University of Cape Town and N. W. University - use wild-caught baboons for research, a practice now banned in Europe and Australia due to animal welfare concerns.  Primate experts say that to confine a "born free" primate in a cage is unnecessarily cruel, and that it is preferable to use animals bred in captivity.  However, it is far more expensive to breed primates in captivity than to catch them in the wild. Now UCT staff and researchers are locked in fierce debate over whether to continue experimenting on wild-caught animals, and will hold a meeting on the issue later this month.  "It's a political hot potato at the moment," said one UCT scientist, who did not want to be named. "I don't want to stop animal experimentation; I want to make sure it happens under the best international practice, and that includes not using wild-caught animals." A US primatologist now based in Cape Town, Tim Newman, said there were valid arguments for using primates in medical research, depending what tests were done, how the animals were treated and what happened to them afterwards.  "Imagine a wild primate - they have a stress response very much like our own. They don't understand what's happening to them, they're almost in a perpetual state of fear ...  "If one must use primates in research, then I would think there's a big difference, morally and ethically, between using a captive-bred animal rather than a wild-caught animal." Newman said research animals in S. Africa were generally kept in small cages with only artificial lighting, "conditions that would horrify most of us".  "These are social animals and, particularly if they're wild-caught, it's got to be a horrible experience for them."  Peter Lloyd, a senior scientist at Cape Nature, said farmers who wanted to sell baboons to researchers had to prove the animals were a threat to their crops, and that they had implemented measures like electric fencing to try to solve the problem.  "We can't forbid it, but we can manage it by making it as difficult as possible," he said. Lloyd said Western Cape authorities had received only one application in the last 5 years from a farmer wanting to trap baboons and sell them.  The price for a wild-caught baboon is anywhere between R7500 and R15000, according to Este Kotze, an inspector with the SPCA who serves on a national ethics committee overseeing the use of animals in research.  "We oppose the use of non-human primates, but we have to accept that some research continues," Kotze said.  "We make recommendations on alternatives." Louis Jacobs, a spokesman for N. W. University, said the university had last used baboons for medical research 4 years ago.  "16 baboons, categorised as problem animals, were caught with the assistance of and permits from nature conservation, at a holiday resort in Rustenburg," he said. "Upon completion of the research, the animals were humanely put down." Jacobs said all research on animals at the university had to be approved by the ethics committee on which the SPCA served. Most medical research on baboons involves testing medicines, including potential Aids treatments, and surgical procedures. Lloyd said "huge" numbers of baboons were taken from the wild in the 1970s for use in heart transplant research.  "It's still not a perfect system; but we're in the middle and we have to address issues from both sides." Toni Brokhoven, a spokesman for the animal rights group Beauty Without Cruelty, condemned all research on live animals. "Whether they're wild-caught or captive-bred, the point is that they're still wild animals," she said. "2 or 3 generations down the line does not make them happy to be worked on, and does not make them any less uncomfortable being in cages." Sunday Times 8th Aug

GM animal drug failures

New drugs developed following GM research for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer and many other diseases continue to show promise in animals, but fail in human trials. Recent high-profile failures such as Alzheimer’s drugs MK-677 (Merck) and AN-1792 (Elan), plus the 95% failure rate in new anti-cancer treatments, have led to academic and industry admissions of the lack of human relevance of GM animals’ usage. Human investigations, meanwhile, are providing genuinely useful results.  Extract from a letter by Michelle Thew and Fleur Dawes, BUAV

Highgate Farm

After the success of last year's camp at Highgate Farm in Lincolnshire - which breeds rabbits and ferrets for vivisection - another protest camp was held in August. Protesters occupied public land next to the farm but police said that due to previous protests and complaints from the Lamborghini-driving owner of the farm, Geoffrey Douglas, the camp would violate Sec 42 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 (brought out to stop home demos). To get around this the protest camp was to be between the hours of 7am-7pm each day. Like the previous camp, the protest was non-violent. On the second day police arrested 2 protesters for using a megaphone - charging them with 'contravening a direction given by a police officer', and banning them from Lincolnshire until the case goes to court! Then they banned the remaining protesters from going to Highgate Farm for 28 days – presumably under Sec 42 - it remains to be seen whether this was lawful. So the camp is gone, but the farm continues - and would probably love more visits from animal rights campaigners. It's at Highgate Lane, Normanby-by-Spital, Market Rasen, LN8 2HQ. For more info call 07973722978 or 07973722978 or see www.closehighgatefarm.com

University fined

Vanderbilt Uni will be fined and undergo an inspection of its laboratory procedures after a 2008 laboratory accident killed a baby galago monkey. The U.S. Dept of Agriculture, responsible for inspecting the care and appropriate treatment of laboratory animals involved in medical research, fined Vanderbilt $8,156.  A lab worker put cage bedding into a washing machine without noticing that the baby monkey was wrapped in the material, resulting in the monkey’s death. The same year, 5 hamsters died or were euthanised as a result of being injected with an incorrectly mixed compound during experimentation This is not the first time Vanderbilt Uni has been cited for animal treatment violations. A May 2005 USDA report cited Vanderbilt on 13 violations, including failure to follow proper protocol, failure to use any aseptic during procedure and inaccurate records. The number of federal violations rose to 9 in July 2006 and lab animal deaths were reported through 2007. Inside Vandy 30 Aug

Photos of injured monkeys leaked

An underground group calling itself the Animal Liberation Investigative Unit has leaked 10 photos showing monkeys with deep gashes and open wounds the photos from inside the walls of Primate Products Inc. in Doral. "Those pictures may be the tip of the iceberg," said Don Anthony, spokesman for the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. "Who knows what else may be going on behind the scenes?" Primate Products imports monkeys and sells them to universities and pharmaceutical firms for medical research. The company also sells restraints used in animal research and is registered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct its own research. 2 watchdog groups. The Animal Rights Foundation and  Stop Animal Exploitation Now filed complaints with the USDA alleging violations of the Animal Welfare Act. The federal law sets standards of minimum care for animals used in research, zoos and circuses. A federal inspector will show up for an unannounced tour of the Doral facility to look for potential violations, said USDA spokesman Dave Sacks. The photographs show "Frankstein like" conditions at the facility. Some of the animals may have been kept in restraints too long, leaving their hindquarters red and irritated, as evidenced by the photos. Sun Sentinel 2 Sept

Wickham LabsLATEST: Cartmell has lost his appeal against refusal of planning permission for new premises at Torbay Farm.  Amongst other things it was considered “out of keeping” with the area.

Doctors protest monkey tests

Area doctors have been protesting at McLean Hospital in Belmont concerning a NASA funded experiment on squirrel monkeys they called “absurd.” They accused the hospital of a “flawed” use of $1.75m to test the effects of radiation in space. “That’s a very stressful experience for a sociable little creature,” said Dr. Marge Peppercorn of Sudbury , a member of the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. About 50 doctors protested against the experiment, which involves exposing 30 monkeys to radiation and then probing them at McLean . Dr. John J. Pippin, PCRM’s senior medical and research adviser, said NASA already had invested “4 decades worth” of time for “primate radiation research,” which resulted in “an abject failure.” The hospital, in a statement, said it hasn’t yet received the necessary funding to begin the 4 year experiment. Boston Herald 11 June

Scientists find alternative to animal testing

A group of leading international scientists are developing a "test-tube gut and liver" as an easier, more convenient and ethically sound alternative to animal testing. The project, called InLiveTox, will be discussed at a major international nanotoxicology conference at Edinburgh Napier University this week named Nanotoxicology 2010. The 3 year £2m project brings together leaders in nanotoxicology from around the world, including Edinburgh Napier, to develop a way of testing the toxicity of tiny ingested particles that doesn't rely on animals. Instead, the "test-tube gut and liver" will emulate the response of cells and tissues. Dr Gary Hutchison, acting director of Edinburgh Napier's Centre for Nano Safety, said: "Given the widespread use of nanomaterials in a variety of everyday products, it is essential for us to fully understand them and their potential impacts. "We are working with other European specialists on the InLiveTox project to develop a viable, effective alternative to using animals in such testing. A recent change in EU chemical safety legislation means that there is a requirement for information on the toxicity of all materials used in significant quantities by 2018. That means there is pressure to thoroughly investigate how substances affect humans in the The Scotsman 4 June

Protest planned at Ilkley business

The National Anti Vivisection Alliance (NAVA) group plan a peaceful and sustained protest at buildings owned by the Ilkley based firm NG Bailey, including the firm’s head office, over the company’s involvement in the building of a £15m laboratory at the University of Leicester, which will be used for carrying out tests on animals. NAVA says it is targeting NG Bailey for protests as the main sub contracting builders for the laboratory. Demonstrations have already taken place at 2 Leeds offices. NAVA spokesman Luke Steele said “We fully oppose the construction of this facility on the grounds of animals being used in experimentation and the delays in scientific progress this will bring about.”  NG Bailey has confirmed that it is working with main contractor Willmott Dixon on a project for the University of Leicester. The project will result a new £15m central research facility to update the university’s existing facilities to carry out life sciences research. Ilkley Gazette 3 June

Animal activist in hunger strike protest

A Birmingham animal rights activist, Jonathan White, from Erdington, completed a 3day hunger strike in protest over the construction of a new animal research laboratory at University of Leicester. He chained himself to a bench outside the Coleshill branch of Willmott Dixon 1 of the contractors involved in building the biomedical research centre. Jonathan White is joined by Rebecca House, Dean Bracher and Tracy House in Coleshill protesting against plans to build a new vivisection unit at Leicester Uni. The 20 yr old, who is a member of the Birmingham Animal Rights Centre, survived on water for the duration of the food strike. “I feel passionately about animal rights and hope this hunger strike will have an impact on the managers at Willmott Dixon. We want them to change their minds about being involved in building a vivisection unit. All animal testing is cruel and we will continue to fight on behalf of defenceless animals.” As a full time campaigner, Jonathan said he has dedicated the last 2 years to planning protests and putting pressure on organisations involved in the practice of “the enslavement and exploitation of animals”. Birmingham Mail 9 June

More Say “No” To Animal Testing

Recent reports show that the build up to stop the proposed RM500m animal testing facility in Alor Gajah, Malacca has gained momentum, with close to 6,000 people from at least 25 countries having signed an online petition in protest. The petition is sponsored by SPCA Selangor, Friends of the Earth Malaysia, BUAV and the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments. The petition demands that the government “act in all expediency to quash this proposal”. The petition also claims that the half billion ringgit project should be scrapped “for ethical reasons and for the lack of scientific validity in extrapolating data obtained from animal testing to humans”. According to the report, 10,000 signatures have been collected & the petition will be sent to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Malacca Chief Minister Mohd Ali Rustam. Protests started in late April after it was made known that state owned Melaka Biotech entered a joint venture with Indian biotechnology giant Vivo BioTech Ltd and local company Vanguard Creative Technologies Sdn Bhd to set up primate, small animals and canine testing laboratories in the state. The project will be undertaken by joint-venture company Vivo Biotech Sdn Bhd, formed with all 3 companies as partners after the memorandum of understanding was inked in New Delhi last Jan by Mohd Ali and representatives from Vivo BioTech and Vanguard.  The Malacca government has said it will proceed with the construction of 3 animal-testing laboratories despite growing protests.

Science, not animals - The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working with pharmaceutical companies to improve its ToxCast toxicity prediction tool. More than 100 molecules that failed in clinical trials for toxicity reasons, from Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Aventis and Merck, will be used to help validate the tool. ToxCast uses a variety of screening assays to help understand how bodily processes are affected by exposure to chemicals, and determine which chemical exposures are most likely to cause adverse health effects. The tool currently includes 500 high throughput assays, and the cost per chemical is about $20,000 (£14,000). The aim is to make chemical testing faster, easier, and less dependent on animal testing. 

Primates used in research at the University of Kansas Medical Centre are dying or suffering severe pain because of negligence by researchers or their staff, an animal rights group said in a complaint seeking a federal investigation. Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) filed an official complaint with the U.S. Dept of Agriculture asking for an investigation of primates’ treatment and “the most serious action allowable” under the federal Animal Welfare Act. In 2009, the USDA cited the medical centre for 160 violations of federal animal protection laws during research projects between Aug 2008 and June 2009. The USDA has the power to impose fines for violations. Citing internal medical centre documents that it obtained using a public records request, the animal rights group’s complaint said 2 primates died of severe dehydration on March 31, 2008, after the facility had problems with water pressure. It alleges that the death of a third primate 2 days earlier was likely also a result of dehydration and inadequate care. The complaint also alleges that other primates being used to research morphine withdrawal were allowed to suffer for days before being euthanised, and that several monkeys died of gastric bloat after receiving inadequate care. The earlier investigation found incidents of monkeys with an infectious disease suffering from extreme weight loss, vomiting, diarrhoea and neurological disorders for at least a day after they should have been euthanised. “The information in the primate records indicate that the university has not done anything to change what they do (since the earlier violations),” Michael Budkie, executive director of SAEN, said. “There are a number of violations clearly still in existence.” Budkie said the medical centre also has not met federal requirements for annual reporting that discloses when research animals do not receive pain relief. The medical centre documents cited by the group discuss animals that are screeching, vomiting, grimacing, not eating or unable to move. SAEN said the medical centre did not report having any animals in experiments involving unrelieved pain in 2006-2008. Budkie said his group would prefer that the money being spent on animal research go instead to clinical research on humans, which he said provides more beneficial medical treatments.

Sutch and Searle have been found to be importing primates (other animals suspected) through Heathrow for labs in the UK. Fetch Europe in Buckinghamshire are moving them to the laboratory sites. If you would like to politely contact them: Sutch & Searle Highwood Rd, Writtle, Essex, CM1 3PT Tel: 01245 421770 Fax: 01245 422734 enquiries@sutchandsearle.com Sutch & Searle Shipping (Heathrow) Ltd Unit 4, Central Park Estate Staines Rd Hounslow, TW4 5DJ Tel. 0208 538 1600 Fax. 0208 570 5899 sales@sutchandsearle.co.uk Unit3, Stockley Close Emails: peter.scott@sutchandsearle.com, richard.bates@sutchandsearle.co.uk, joanne.bryant@sutchandsearle.co.uk, doug.williams@sutchandsearle.co.uk, dave.hudson@sutchandsearle.co.uk, richard.bates@sutchandsearle.co.uk, joanne.bryant@sutchandsearle.co.uk, sales@sutchandsearle.co.uk, enquiries@sutchandsearle.com   Fetch Europe 3 Woodhurst Drive, Denham, Bucks, UB9 5LL Tel 01895 835 774 Mobile 07764 584 413 Fax: 01895 835-496 Emails: info@fetcheurope.co.uk, srm@fetcheurope.co.uk, ccm@fetcheurope.co.uk

Rejecting animal testing

Ito En, Ltd., a major beverage maker based in Tokyo, abolished animal testing at the end of April, while cosmetics giant Shiseido Co. aims to do so within the company by March next year and abolish the practice completely, including through outsourcing, by March 2013. The companies decided to scrap the tests, eyeing European and U.S. markets, where animal rights movements are strong. In Europe, sales of cosmetics developed via animal testing are regulated. Since it is the first time major Japanese companies have decided to abolish animal tests, the move is likely to affect other corporations. According to Ito En, the company decided to abolish animal testing through talks with animal rights organisations in the US, the company's major export market, and also because it learned that 2 major U.S. beverage makers have abolished the practice. "It's an inevitable step as we take our business global," a staff member said. Ito En had experimented with animals, mainly rats, to verify the effectiveness of catechin, which is a substance in green tea. From now on, however, the company will adopt alternative testing methods such as using human cells. Yet animal tests are required to obtain government authorisation of foods for specified health use. The company said it would outsource animal tests in case the data derived from such procedures become necessary in the future. Shiseido has not performed animal testing in its cosmetics research and development since the latter half of the 1980s and has limited such tests to the application of cosmetic materials. This spring, the company decided on a policy to completely abandon the practice, in accordance with EU regulations. The EU has banned animal testing of cosmetics and their materials since March last year. The EU also prohibited sales of cosmetics that used animal experimentation conducted outside the EU, except for 5 kinds of testing, such as repeated dose toxicity studies. The EU is calling for a total ban on animal experiments by March 2013. Shiseido's European business accounts for 11% of the company's total sales. Although Shiseido has not revealed the actual conditions of its experiments, a company official said, "We'd like to deal with the situation positively, as a socially responsible company, and plan to offer opportunities to exchange opinions with experts and animal rights organizations." In Japan, product safety data based on animal testing are required in principle to receive government approval for using new, quasi-drug elements. Concerning the problem, the Shiseido official said, "We'll shift our production policy from developing new materials [that traditionally require animal testing] to utilizing conventional materials." There are many small and medium-size cosmetics companies that do not conduct animal tests. However, animal tests are performed within major companies, including irritability tests on the eyes and skin of rabbits and other creatures. Fusako Nogami, director of the civic association All Life in a Viable Environment (ALIVE), said she hoped corporations would make products without sacrificing animals to the greatest extent possible. "It's a big problem compared with foreign countries, because Japan has no effective law to protect animals from animal experiments and no system to monitor them. Therefore, we can't grasp the actual conditions," she said. Hajime Kojima, chief of the new experiment evaluation office at the National Institute of Health Sciences, said unnecessary animal testing should be avoided. "Although alternative testing methods still have their limits, we've promoted the development of new technologies, including utilising iPS [human stem] cells," he said. "More support from the government is necessary so Japan's chemical industry won't lose the ability to compete in international markets."

Cystic Fibrosis has been claimed enthusiastically as an example of effective animal experimentation.  This is not true, and can easily be disproved.   The reality is that: * The genetically altered CF mouse gets no lung infections - unlike human patients who usually die from lung infections. * Mice don't have the glands which cause the lung problems humans have. * Human CF patients also have problems with the pancreas, intestines and with reproduction.  Animal models don't. * Human CF cells can be grown and tested on. * Treatments were discovered in cell culture and through human study.  www.vivisectioninformation.com

The Mazor breeding farm currently holds 1,000 long tailed macaque monkeys. Some of these monkeys were wild caught on Mauritius, while others were born in captivity. Mazor is a link in the chain of a cruel trade in which monkeys are forcibly removed from their natural environment then flown thousands of miles in small cages to laboratories or breeding facilities. These animals will have been separated from their family groups, the young brutally separated from their mothers.  Mazor is little more than a monkey breeding factory, whose manager considers the monkeys to be "production units" whose sole purpose is to increase profits, through the sale of the offspring to laboratories. To further increase profitability, the young are separated early from their mothers, allowing these females to mate as soon as possible. Early forced separation is traumatic to both the young and the mothers. These mothers will cry out and cling in desperation to the bars of their cages in a vain attempt to look for their young. The young who have been moved to a separate enclosure, will in turn look for their mothers and display signs of severe distress. Not all will survive this difficult transition. Those who do will have their chests tattooed with a 4 digit serial number and then be sold to laboratories in Europe, the US and Israel. Every year, hundreds of these terrified young monkeys will be forced to travel huge distances in tiny crates to faraway destinations, to a fate worse than death, which awaits them. Each of these "units" will fill the pockets of the breeding farm manager to the tune of $2800. The vast majority of these young monkeys will be sold to laboratories that specialise in toxicology. Among the clients of Mazor are Covance (Germany), the Swedish centre for Biological studies, as well as laboratories in the UK, Belgium, Italy and the US. The monkeys will be housed in miserable conditions and will undergo toxicity tests in which they will be injected or force fed with drugs and other chemicals. Most of the animals will die during these tests, and those who survive will be killed at the end of the experiment. Most of the monkeys sold to laboratories within Israel will undergo invasive brain experiments. These experiments involve water deprivation, immobilization in a primate chair for extended periods of time, surgical removal of the top of the skull, and implantation of equipment in the skull and the brain itself. These types of experiment typically last several years, after which most of the monkeys will be killed. In rare instances, individual monkeys are released and allowed to undergo rehabilitation in sanctuaries. This is a relatively recent phenomenon and is due in large part to public outcry.  Behind Closed Doors, together with other animal rights' groups, called on the Minister of Environmental Protection to withdraw the Mazor trade licence. The Minister is currently studying our written proposal and is expected shortly to announce his decision.  Please write a polite message to the Minister, making clear your views that the Mazor monkey breeding farm must be closed down: Gilad Erdan, Minister of Environmental Protection, sar@sviva.gov.il fax +972-2-6535958 Postal address: Kanfey Nesharim 5, P.O. Box 34033, Jerusalem 95464, Israel.

P&G may sponsor London Olympics

Responding to concerns expressed by animal welfare groups to news that the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) are in discussions with the USA based multinational corporation Procter & Gamble as a potential sponsor of the London Olympic Games, London Assembly Member Darren Johnson (Green) has tabled a formal question to the Mayor of London at the next Mayor's Question Time in July 2010: Given Proctor & Gamble's continued use of animal testing for cosmetics and household products in the US, in spite of such practices being banned in the UK and across the EU, can P&G really be considered a suitable sponsor for London 2012 and will you make clear your opposition to any such move?  According to an RSPCA information paper - The testing of cosmetics using animals, 'The use of animals to test cosmetics or their ingredients is now banned in the EU. By 2013, it will also be illegal to sell in the EU any cosmetics tested on animals elsewhere in the world.'  Darren Johnson said: "…..Such unethical practices make it completely inappropriate as a London 2012 sponsor and I am calling on the Mayor to oppose P&G as an Olympic sponsor, unless they agree to end animal testing" Please lobby your MP now to stop Procter & Gamble from becoming a sponsor of the London 2012 Olympics. P&G make animals suffer for brands like Herbal Essences, Fairy, Olay and Pantene. P&G’s unethical practices are in fundamental conflict with the values of the UK and the Olympic movement. By accepting sponsorship from P&G, the London 2012 Olympics would be promoting gratuitous violence towards animals that is strongly opposed by the majority of the public.

BUAV uncovers new primate shipments

The BUAV’s long-standing campaign to end the transportation by airlines of non-human primates destined for the research industry has had many successes. The primate research industry is feeling the effects as an increasing number of airlines are helping to put a stop to animal cruelty and suffering by refusing to transport primates destined for the research industry. Every year thousands of primates are transported around the world. Airlines play an important role in this chain of suffering. The individuals are packed into wooden crates, usually too small to allow them even to stand up, and travel as cargo, predominantly on passenger air flights. They often have to endure inadequate ventilation, noise and extreme temperature fluctuations, as well as delays as they are shipped on extremely long journeys to laboratories across the world. A small number of airlines continue to facilitate this cruel trade. Recent information obtained by the BUAV shows that the following airlines transported primates for the research industry during 2009: AIR CHINA - 109 rhesus macaques from China to the USA on 1st Dec; AIR FRANCE - 78 long-tailed macaques from Mauritius to USA on 18th Feb; AMERICAN AIRLINES - 20 night monkeys from Peru to the USA on 23rd June; AMERIJET - 42 African green monkeys from St Kitts to the USA on 26th Oct; CARIBBEAN AIRLINES - 36 African green monkeys from Barbados to the USA on 26th May; CHINA EASTERN AIRLINES - 60 rhesus macaques from China to the USA on 27th May; CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES - 120 long-tailed macaques from Indonesia to the USA on 13th Nov; EL AL AIRLINES – 120 long-tailed macaques from Israel to the USA on 1st Oct; PHILIPPINE AIRLINES - 100 long-tailed macaques from the Philippines to the USA on 1st Nov. Please support the BUAV’s Cargo Cruelty campaign to stop this suffering. Please send letters to these airlines: www.buav.org/campaigns/cargocruelty

NASA Engineer Resigns Over Planned Primate Testing

NASA aerospace engineer April Evans has resigned her position as a space architect on the International Space Station (ISS) programme as a result of NASA’s decision to conduct primate irradiation testing after 30 years of non-usage, a decision Evans believes is a major step backward for NASA’s animal testing record. Evans argues that not only do primate irradiation experiments fall out of line with the Obama administration’s long range objective of developing new technologies to shield space radiations, but it also risks current and future international relations and partnerships crucial to NASA’s success.  Evans’ concerns and opposition to NASA primate testing have been met with support by the European Space Agency (ESA) along with Animal Defenders International (ADI), a campaign group whose objective is legislative action in protection of animals. In a letter to ADI, ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain categorically opposed the “necessity of complementary experiments with monkeys in combination with the human research objectives of Mars500,” and further declined “any interest in monkey research and does not consider any need or use for such result.” Evans, a 9-year veteran of the Human Spaceflight Programme, served as the NASA VIPER ISS Visiting Vehicles Integration team lead for the past 3 years at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas, prior to her resignation. She is a recipient of the NASA Space Flight Awareness Honoree award, a designation granted to fewer than 1% of the total NASA government and contractor workforce annually for their excellence. “After much deliberation, I resigned from NASA because I could not support the scientific justification for this monkey radiobiology experiment,” wrote Evans in a letter to Samuel Aronson, director of the Brookhaven National Laboratory, which was contracted by NASA to conduct the tests on squirrel monkeys. Instead, Evans has encouraged NASA to focus on developing space radiation shielding. “Both astronauts and hardware are at risk from the space radiation environment. This is a problem that all space agencies will have to solve for interplanetary space travel. Space vehicle radiation shielding is necessary technology for a sustainable long-term human space exploration programme.“ Evans said to ADI. She believes that scientists and engineers should be given the chance and time to advance shielding technology. NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden defended such experimentation calling it “very strongly peer-reviewed” and “very humane.” However, he did not comment on the growing internal debate and apparent contradiction between the proposed test and the new direction NASA received from the Obama administration. “These tests were proposed to support a schedule for space exploration that no longer exists,“ said Evans. “Experiments on primates only take focus away from the critical need for shielding technology.”  She wrote in her letter to Samuel Aronson that “the planned monkey experiment focuses on predicting how the human brain may function after space radiation exposure. This isn’t solving the problem of space radiation; it’s merely further refining our measurements of the consequences”. ADI has also written to NASA and Brookhaven National Laboratory, urging them to consider their European counterpart’s decision to not conduct these tests. “These tests are not only inhumane, they are also not a wise choice of the times. They are costly and scientifically unsupported. We urge NASA to stop ignoring the overwhelming opposition to these tests coming from the international space community, as well as from its own rank” said Jan Creamer, President of ADI. “We also would like to urge other NASA employees who object to these experiments to voice their opposition.” In the face of a nationwide budgetary crisis, the costs associated with the planned experiments have also raised concern. Reports indicate that these controversial radiation tests will cost an estimated $1.75m of taxpayer money. Just 2 weeks ago, however, NASA announced potential layoffs of up to 5,000 workers, while suspending NASA’s back-to-the-moon Constellation programme due to budgetary shortages. Take Action: Please write a polite letter for the attention of the NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr. Request that he reconsider financing such horrific experiments. Public Communications Office, NASA Headquarters, Suite 5K39, Washington, DC 20546-0001 E-mail: public-inquiries@hq.nasa.gov

9 staff at the University of Wisconsin-Madison could go to jail or pay heavy fines for carrying out decompression experiments on sheep for the US navy. Some sheep died in the experiments, which aimed to find new ways to save divers from decompression sickness, otherwise known as "the bends". Antivivisectionists at the Alliance for Animals in Madison and at PETA discovered that Wisconsin has a law banning the killing of animals through decompression. The AFA and PETA filed charges, and on 2 June circuit judge Amy Smith backed the animal-rights groups' claim. She concluded that the researchers "intentionally or negligently violated Wisconsin law", and so should face criminal charges. Smith dismissed the university's defence that the research project was exempt from the law. The case is the first in which animal researchers have faced criminal charges in the US since 1981. "If animal rights groups continue to pursue the use of laws in ways they were not originally intended, I'm concerned that universities may be forced to expend additional resources to counteract these unwarranted legal attacks," says Frankie Trull, president of the Foundation for Biomedical Research in Washington DC, which defends animal experiments.  "I recommend institutions doing biomedical research educate their in-house counsels about these animal rights strategies and be prepared."  New Scientist 14th June   The law was in place, the vivisectors ignored it yet they call it an “unwarranted attack”.

In painful animal experiments, anything goes…

In the world of animal experimentation, nothing is what it seems. It would be a reasonable assumption that incidents for which Yale animal laboratories were cited recently by federal inspectors would be among the worst practices that have occurred at the laboratories since they warranted citations. Far worse occurs to the animals confined in Yale University labs. In experiments at Yale, animals have had their feet shocked, had holes cut into their skulls, had toxins injected in their brains to cripple them, been addicted to nicotine, cocaine and methamphetamines and killed. These incidents are not deemed abuses by federal inspectors because these practices are perfectly legal. There is no experiment regardless of how painful or how trivial that is simply prohibited. If the requisite paperwork is completed, anything can be done to an animal in a laboratory, and with funding from an unwitting public. New Haven Register 16 June

Kuala Lumpur Govt probes British funded lab

The KL government is considering shutting down a controversial British funded animal testing lab if there is evidence of cruelty there, according to the government's top veterinary official. The Progenix Research lab, which uses monkeys, dogs, rodents and rabbits for toxicology testing, is accused of poisoning the animals to death. Veterinary Services director Abdul Aziz Jamaludin said the company will be ordered to shut down if his department finds animals were subject to abuse. "If animal testing cannot be conducted in the US or Europe, I see no reason why they should be allowed here. Animal welfare laws in Malaysia which is bidding to become a major biotech hub in S.E. Asia, are not as stringent as those in developed nations, although there are laws to prosecute those who treat animals badly, adding that research companies should use tissue culture rather than animals to conduct tests for drugs and cosmetics. I have got a report on the lab and I will act on it “ he told AFP from Beijing. The BUAV condemned the facility, which is based in Penang and run by the Britain based Alpha Biologics. "We are extremely concerned that a UK company has an animal laboratory in Malaysia," said Sarah Kite, its director of special projects. These animals are being cruelly used for toxicity testing in a country where there is no legislation governing their welfare, animals are quite literally poisoned to death." Last month a local Malaysian leader drew criticism from campaigners for saying that God had created animals to be used by man, amid controversy over an Indian drug company's plans to build an animal testing facility in the country. FreeMalaysia13 June

Last Chance To Save EU Animal Experiments Agreement

Greens in the European Parliament are leading a challenge to the proposed new EU law on animal experiments (an update of EU Directive 86/609) because of controversial amendments.  Their challenge is the last chance in the lengthy negotiations to prevent amendments that would weaken the legal requirement to use available non-animal alternative methods (in force in the EU since 1986) and restrict the ability of national governments to introduce higher animal welfare standards than those required under the EU law. The Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research has supported the challenge, saying the amendments are “to the detriment of medical progress as well as animal welfare.”  Since the EU Commission’s original proposal in Nov 2008 to revise the 20-year old animal experiments directive, negotiations between the EU Parliament and Council have been ongoing throughout 2009. Many of the most progressive animal welfare measures have been stripped out in the face of intense lobbying by the animal research industry, most notably restrictions on the use of non-human primates and protection of some sentient invertebrate species. However the most recent compromise text finalised after the last ‘trialogue’ meeting on 7th Dec, goes even further by removing the legal requirement to use available non-animal alternative research methods instead of animal experiments.  The EU’s Swedish Presidency has been keen to negotiate early agreement of the proposed new directive and MEPs were asked this week to give their verdict, with each political group in the Parliament having either to endorse or reject the text. Many MEPs are dissatisfied with the compromise, but only the Greens/European Free Alliance group has publicly rejected the deal on offer and stated they are prepared, if there are no further opportunities to reach agreement through the trialogue process, to bring forward amendments at a plenary vote. The Greens/EFA group has highlighted 4 requirements for agreement: – removal of the restriction on EU member states’ ability to continually improve animal welfare standards; preservation of the requirement to use available alternative methods; an end to primates being used for trivial experiments, and introduction of a requirement to develop strategies to replace the use of primates in experiments. Dr Caroline Lucas said: “It is absolutely unacceptable that this compromise text fails to require the use of available alternative methods in all cases, something that for decades has been fundamental in giving legal impetus to humane research. The loss of this provision and removal of member states’ freedom to introduce stronger laboratory animal welfare measures nationally in the future is simply a compromise too far, and I am delighted that Green MEPs have been able to take a stand. "The EU has an opportunity to lead the world in progressive animal research legislation, and yet the proposal doesn’t even protect highly sentient primates from trivial experiments and contains no strategy for phasing out their use altogether. This is not legislation fit for the 21st century, and I hope other Parliamentary groups will join the Greens in standing up for humane science when this comes to a Plenary vote." Government Ministers from Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands publicly raised their concerns at a meeting of the EU’s Agriculture Council on Dec 15. The UK’s position on the compromise is not known, and remains subject to parliamentary scrutiny. The House of Lords EU Committee produced a report in Nov supporting far reaching animal welfare and humane science measures, but the 2 most controversial issues – the ability of Member States to introduce stricter measures and the weakening of the requirement to use available alternative methods – were not at the time under discussion so have not been considered by those tasked with providing UK parliament scrutiny.

Monkey starved to death in US lab
Staff at the University of Washington's National Primate Research Centre allowed a monkey to starve to death last year. A U.S. Dept of Agriculture inspection report says the male pigtailed macaque had lost a quarter of his body weight, and had not been weighed regularly as required by the university's own protocols. 3 workers and one supervisor were ‘disciplined’ in relation to his death. The death is the latest blow for animal research programmes at the UW, which is one of the nation's top institutions in terms of biomedical funding from the National Institutes of Health. In 1995, 5 baboons died of exposure or thirst at a UW primate breeding centre near Spokane. The centre was later closed. Inspectors from the Association for Assessment & Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care found "serious deficiencies" in the university's animal care facilities in 2006 and placed the university on probation. In 2008, UW was ordered to reimburse the federal government more than $20,000 for unauthorized surgeries performed on primates being used to study the relationship between the brain and eye movement. Stop Animal Exploitation Now, which monitors all U.S. research centres, has targeted the UW for special scrutiny,  Executive Director Michael Budkie comments "If they can't even keep the primates fed, you have to wonder what else is happening,"  The USDA report said the macaque hadn't been weighed for more than 2 months before his death. The problem was traced to a change in staffing and confusion over responsibilities. The same USDA inspection noted a problem with 2 adult male baboons, being used for neurological studies. Cages were designed so that when the animals were on the perches where they usually sleep, they were unable to "sit upright in a normal manner" because of 2 inch tall implants in their heads.  The UW primate centre's Web site says it is the largest of 8 federal centres across the country. Facilities in Seattle house about 700 animals, mostly macaques and baboons. The university also operates primate breeding colonies in Louisiana and Texas, with about 3,000 animals. Seattle Times 8 Jan

Australia to lift ban on animal transplants
Australia has lifted a 5 year ban on animal to human transplant trials from the end of 2009. Australia joins 14 other countries including Japan, New Zealand and the US in allowing xenotransplantation.

2009 – a year of progress against vivisection

Despite a rise of 14% in animal use admitted by the UK Home Office….

Chimp research into HIV was finally understood to be useless.  It was expertly examined and dismissed by a team of scientists who published in a medical journal at the end of 2008.

A review on animal GM models for heart disease showed it was ineffective and misleading. Immunologists explained that "mice are lousy models for clinical studies" and suggested we study humans instead.

A published study stated "Despite claims by the research industry, chimpanzees have proven to be a poor model for human cancer research."

Technology incl virtual humans, artificial skin grown from human skin cells & 3D models of brain blood flow have been revealed & approved.

UK researchers investigating what went wrong in the drug trial with TGN1412 in 2006, developed a test that uses a mixed culture of white blood cells and endothelial cells, which prove what drugs like this really do.

Computer modelling lead to the Times headline “Animal experiments could end in a generation”, as computer modelling is proving more accurate.  “These models have the ability to be far more accurate. I sometimes think it is just tradition - that feeling that if it’s safe in an animal it’s safe in a human - which means so many animal tests are still carried out.”

‘Toxichip’ was revealed - which can monitor how cells behave and interact with drugs, chemical pollutants in the environment and toxic substances in food and beverages.

Scientists have for the first time been able to record spontaneous epileptic activity in brain tissue "Until now we’ve only been able to mimic epilepsy using animal models but this can never give you a true picture of what is actually going on inside the human brain in epilepsy".
A Swiss animal experimenter was sued for his experiments on monkeys which opponents believed could not be justified legally.  He lost the landmark case, thus threatening the future of his work and opening opportunities for many such future cases.

MEPs were overwhelmed by the massive support from the public for meaningful changes in the legislation affecting vivisection in Europe.

MPs in the UK in their masses supported EDM569, which called for an independent inquiry into animal testing. This EDM finished joint 10th out of over 2400 Early Day Motions, ranking inside the top 0.5%.  This showed beyond doubt the political support for historic action in this area.

Even more MPs supported EDM545, which expressed outrage at the unacceptable increase in animal use & demanded action to reverse this trend.

Record number of humane research applications
The Dr Hadwen Trust has received a record number of applications from scientists for grants to develop non-animal techniques to replace animal experiments in medical research. This is an 84% increase in applications from the previous year and the highest overall intake in their 40-year history. An increasing interest from scientists in developing new technology, which will advance medical research and replace animal experiments in the laboratory, is a positive and significant step forward. The successful grant recipients and projects will be announced in the summer.

San Francisco, Bay Area researchers are working with a technique that could soon revolutionise the way new medicines are developed. By using stem cells, they are conducting what amounts to human drug trials, in a dish. The cells match those of a patient suffering from a rare and deadly heart condition. "We can actually make heart cells right in a dish that's genetically identical to a person, then we can give drugs to those cells and have the heart speed up or slow down and so we're doing clinical trials in a dish right now," Dr. Bruce Conklin said. "To be able to work directly on human tissue, directly on human heart tissue, directly on human neuronal tissue is a fantastic leap forward."     That is because for decades researchers have relied on lab animals to conduct the early phases of drug testing; but that has led to many false starts because their physiology is significantly different from humans. But now, S. San Francisco-based Ipierian believes it is on the verge of developing new treatments for neuro-degenerative diseases using drugs tested first on human nerve cells created in their lab. "We have started with skin cells from patients that already have the disease, turned those skin cells into stem cells and then turn those stem cells into neurons that also have the disease," Ipierian senior scientist John Dimos said. Using the diseased neurons, researchers can test dozens of samples at a time to see which drugs are working, with potentially far more accurate results than in animal models.

Charles River Labs fined for killing primate

Charles River Laboratories has been fined $4,500 for killing a macaque last April at its Longley Lane facility. This is almost half of the $10,000 it paid the USDA after a May 28, 2008, incident in which severe heat led to the deaths of 32 primates in their lab on Dunn Circle in Sparks. USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service spokesman Dave Sacks said no information was available on how the USDA reached the $4,500 figure. The incident was documented in a June inspection of the facility by the USDA and brought to light by the animal advocacy group Stop Animal Exploitation Now! Cage washers “sterilize the enclosures, meaning that this primate was literally boiled alive.” Cianciaruso acknowledged the macaque died as a result of being put through the cage washer, but the specific cause of death was not determined, stating, “This unfortunate incident was the result of human error. We have enhanced our quality control processes at the Reno facility and have implemented these best practices at all of our sites globally. We expect these actions will preclude the recurrence of a similar event.” The USDA report said Charles River workers twice signed off that there were no animals in the cage. They were supposed to check before a pre cleaning and before putting the cage into the washer, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service report said. “Since an animal died, the training was not of sufficient frequency to remind the people to thoroughly look for animals before having the cages washed,” the report said. “This is important for the health and safety of all the animals.” The company said several human errors led to the animal’s death. As a result of the laboratory’s  investigation, 5 additional preventive measures were added to the standard operating procedures to enhance communication among workers during the cage changeover. Cameras in the dirty cage staging area were added and practices have been updated at all Charles River sites. RGI  6th Jan

Antidote pesticide study

Antidote is currently funding a unique UK study on the effects of pesticides and pesticide mixtures on human health. The aim is to promote good science and get rid of animal tests. The regulatory authorities require pesticide chemicals to be tested on a rodent and a non-rodent species (Biocides directive 98/8/EC), which invariably means rats and dogs. Not only are these tests extremely cruel, but the results they yield are meaningless for human health. Another major issue ignored until very recently by the regulatory authorities is the effect of mixtures of pesticides on human health. Animal toxicity experiments are designed to test one chemical at a time. Animal studies would not be able to cope with chemical mixtures. According to toxicopathologist Dr Vyvyan Howard, in order to test the 1,000 most common chemicals in unique combinations of 3,  we would need to conduct 166m animal experiments. That simply isn't feasible, and even if it was, the results would not be relevant to humans, hence the rationale for applying toxicogenomics (the study of how genes respond to a toxic agent) and human cell lines. Using human cells means the study is relevant to humans, and using toxicogenomics yields results in 24-48 hours. Animal toxicity tests typically last 90 days. Toxicogenomics is also ideally suited to chemical mixtures because hundreds of tests can be carried out simultaneously on minituarised DNA slides. We expect the study to be completed within about 6 months', after which it will be submitted to a peer-reviewed scientific journal for publication. Once that is achieved, results will be released to the media and the EU regulatory authorities will also be informed.

Antidote Europe, the French-based NGO, was awarded the Professor Pietro Croce Prize for its achievements in the fields of scientific progress and public health. The award ceremony took place at the Palazzo dei Conservatori under the auspices of the Mayor of Rome, a Ministry of Health representative and several distinguished academics. This annual award is sponsored by the Italian groups Equivita and the National Ecological Movement (UNA). The French NGO has worked tirelessly to promote modern toxicology and helped to include the concept of "toxicogenomics" in the EU's chemical testing programme, REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals). The application of toxicogenomics was the subject of a special session held in Brussels by an EU risk assessment committee. Currently, Antidote Europe is waging a public awareness campaign on the public health dangers of the synthetic chemical bisphenol A, found in baby bottles and other plastic products. Previous studies using toxicogenomics and human cells have demonstrated the hormone-mimicking effects of bisphenol A.  This chemical is now a prime suspect for the significant increase over the past few decades of hormone-sensitive cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer. In addition, Antidote Europe has commissioned a laboratory study on the effects of single pesticides and pesticide mixtures on human cells. Very few scientific studies exist on the effects of pesticide mixtures on human health. The late Professor Pietro Croce, a member of the American College of Pathologists, was one of Italy's most outspoken critics of animal research. A prolific writer and public speaker, he subsequently spearheaded an international movement away from animal experiments in favour of modern methods of scientific research.

Cosmetic testing in Japan

Shiseido Co. told a group of anti-animal testing activists that the top Japanese cosmetics maker has boosted efforts to suspend the controversial practice in the near future, if not immediately. During the first meeting of its kind at an office of Shiseido, company officials explained ongoing measures it has taken to develop viable alternatives to ensure the safety of its products without using animals for testing. Members of the Japan Anti-Vivisection Association handed to the officials the signatures of some 45,000 people calling on the company for an immediate halt to animal testing. The 2 sides met at a time when major cosmetics companies in Japan are faced with the need to develop ways to produce makeup without animal testing as the EU is set to introduce in 2013 a full ban on the sale of all cosmetics products made through animal testing, including those produced outside its economies.

Toxichip could bring about the end of animal testing. Toxichip, which was developed at the Tyndall National Institute in Cork, is capable of monitoring how cells behave and interact with drugs, chemical pollutants in the environment and toxic substances in food and beverages. Cell-based biosensors, developed and made at Tyndall, integrated in the Toxichip platform also have the potential to replace animal testing currently used in toxicity screening. Already 2 companies, one in Ireland and another in France, are seeking to invest in and apply this new technology.

Wickham labs has lodged an appeal against the 2 planning applications which were heard by Winchester City Council in Sept '09 for which the planning committee refused planning permission, namely the 'building of a new laboratory' at Torbay Farm, Lower Upham, and the 'erection of a security fence'.  Letters of objections are to reach The Planning Inspectorate by 14 Jan. The address is :  The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/19 Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay,. Bristol, BS1 6PN.  The reference numbers to the planning application are :  APP/L1765/A/09/2117832 and APP/L1765/A/09/2117S826. We continue to demonstrate outside the labs every week and will now plan to have a demonstration outside Torbay Farm, Lower Upham, for information purposes only. SWAT

A mock funeral was held on Thurs 10th Dec in Wickham Sq to commemorate all the animals killed in Wickham labs. A small coffin, pallbearers and grave stones with pictures of the various animals used and RIP on them were carried round the square.  Police had refused to close the road for a short march despite being informed of the protest beforehand – they said it would be ‘inconvenient’. After the ceremony we went around the corner to the labs and as the workers came out we could voice our feeling to them.  Some scurried on whilst others were arrogant and provocative. The Home Office is currently investigating claims of animal cruelty after a BUAV undercover investigator worked at the labs for 8 months. Wickham Lab technician director Chris Bishop said they were working with the Home Office.  Await another whitewash

Animal testing labs need policing.
The Home Office has been urged to stop issuing blanket licences to animal testing labs where rabbits are being “needlessly” shackled in medieval” stocks for up to 8 hours per experiment. Campaigners say a hands-off attitude in Whitehall means the Government is failing to properly police animal tests and so prevent suffering to thousands of rabbits a year. They say a policy of issuing high-level licences to animal labs rather than authorising individual experiments means tests are being carried out when not actually required by regulations. That “makes a mockery” of the Government’s pledge to reduce the number of tests on animals, the campaigners said last night. Home Office minister Meg Hillier admitted the high-level policy after a series of questions in Parliament by Lib Dem MPs last month. The row centres on pyrogenicity tests - experiments designed to see if products likely come into contact with the human bloodstream cause fevers - at 4 British laboratories. One of those is Wickham Laboratories in Hampshire, which is currently being investigated by the Government after allegations of malpractice during a range of procedures.  The claims were made by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, which handed a dossier of evidence to the Government last month following an undercover investigation. Film footage shows lines of young rabbits shackled by their necks awaiting tests for medical and veterinary drugs for large pharmaceutical companies. Rabbits are deliberately chosen, BUAV say, because they are large docile creatures and relatively easy to handle. The campaigners claim animals are starved for up to 30 hours before testing and restrained, without water, for up to 8 hours during the experiments themselves. Not only can the rabbits sustain injuries to backs and necks as they struggle in the “mediaeval stocks”, they are also distressed from botched injections to their ear veins and from probes inserted into their rectums for the duration of the test, according to BUAV.
A diary kept by its investigator describes seeing “petrified” rabbits “frantically biting at the bars of their small cages”, and a lab technician cursing at one animal struggling before an injection. So long as rabbits do not show “significant adverse effects” first time round, Government guidelines allow the animals to go through the ordeal repeatedly.  Yet many of the tests are not even required by European and American regulations and in some cases non-animal methods are readily available. Sarah Kite, BUAV’s special projects director, said because the Home Office simply hands out “blanket” licences to labs such as Wickham, officials were allowing needless tests to slip through the net. That means the Government is failing its legal duty to comply with the principles of the “3 Rs”, to reduce, refine and replace animal experiments. Ms Kite described that as “outrageous” and added: “It makes a mockery of claims that the UK has the toughest legislation on animal testing. How can it comply with the 3 Rs when it is not scrutinising individual substances to see if there is a legal requirement for animal testing to take place before handing over licences? This appalling loophole has to be closed." However, Wickham Laboratories’ technical director Chris Bishop said the animal welfare was “paramount”, that rabbits were usually deprived of food for 18 hours prior to tests, not 30, and that non-animal methods were used “wherever possible”. He said that rabbits were chosen to comply with regulations and added: “The suggestion they are used only because they are docile & easy to handle is a complete irrelevance.” A Home Office statement said: "We authorise animal research only when it can be justified. We expect & require the highest standards, and will thoroughly examine any evidence that suggests these standards are not being met.”
Sunday Express. 6 Dec

Monkey to be sent to Mars

A monkey may be sent to Mars, under plans unveiled by Russian scientists.  Although the ape will be looked after by a robot on the mission, the decision is expected to spark controversy with animal rights groups.  The Russians first succeeded in putting monkeys into orbit in 1983. "We have plans to return to space,” said Zurab Mikvabia, director of the Institute of Experimental Pathology & Therapy in Georgia which supplied apes for the programme in the 1980s. The Institute is in preliminary talks with Russia's Cosmonautics Academy about preparing monkeys for a simulated Mars mission that could lay the groundwork for sending an ape to the Red Planet, he said. Such an initiative would build on Mars-500, a joint Russian-European project that saw 6 human volunteers confined in a capsule in Moscow for 120 days earlier this year to simulate a Mars mission. Mr Mikvabia said: "Earlier this programme was aimed at sending cosmonauts, people (to Mars). But given the length of the flight to Mars, and given the cosmic rays for which we don't have adequate protection over such a long trip, discussions have focused recently on sending an ape instead." Estimates for the length of the journey to Mars vary depending on the type of mission envisioned, but the European Space Agency says its proposal for a round-trip mission would take 520 days. If Russia pursues the idea of sending monkeys to Mars, Mikvabia's institute could become the site of an enclosed "biosphere" where apes would be kept for long periods to simulate space flights.  The Institute said a robot would accompany the first primate to Mars to feed and look after the ape.  Mr Mikvabia said: "The robot will feed the monkey, will clean up after it. Our task will be to teach the monkey to co-operate with the robot."

Harvard to radiate squirrel monkeys

NASA plans to zap more than 2 dozen squirrel monkeys with radiation and then test the toxic simians at Belmont’s McLean Hospital as part of a Harvard Medical School project. These monkeys will be forced to spend the rest of their lives doing a host of behavioural tasks to assess how the radiation damages their brains and their bodies over time. The $1.75m project calls for National Aeronautics & Space Administration researchers to blast 28 monkeys with gamma rays equivalent to 3 years of space travel in an attempt to gauge the effects of a mission to Mars on a human. After the animals are radiated in a Long Island, N.Y., facility, plans call for them to be shipped to Belmont, where they would be monitored for the rest of their lives in McLean as part of a Harvard Medical School project. Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Jack Bergman is in charge of the McLean project. NASA officials vigorously have defended the programme, which will mark the agency’s first monkey testing in years. “The overall objective of the planned studies with the nonhuman primates is to help NASA predict neurobehavioural effects of space radiation, which are among the most poorly understood health risks for astronauts,” said a NASA spokesman. “Studies in nonhuman primates are essential to be able to best predict neurobehavioral effects of radiation on humans.” NASA officials also have insisted the monkeys won’t be killed. PETA representatives point out that previous NASA experiments on primates have left animals with fatal cancer and brain tumours. The project still is awaiting final government approval, but PETA officials are hoping protests will block the monkey testing. “It’s easy to establish how space travel affects humans Just study humans who’ve travelled to space,” Byrne said. “It speaks volumes about humans’ callous attitudes toward animals on our planet.” Boston Herald 28 Nov

Mazor Farm - Call for Action

The Mazor breeding farm in Israel currently holds 1,000 long tailed macaque monkeys. Some of these monkeys were wild caught on Mauritius, while others were born in captivity. Mazor is a link in the chain of cruel trade in which monkeys are forcibly removed from their natural environment then flown thousands of miles in small cages to laboratories or breeding facilities. These animals will have been separated from their family groups, the young brutally separated from their mothers.  Mazor is little more than a monkey breeding factory, whose manager considers the monkeys to be "production units" whose sole purpose is to increase profits, through the sale of the offspring to laboratories. To further increase profitability, the young are separated early from their mothers, allowing these females to mate as soon as possible. Early forced separation is traumatic to both the young and the mothers. These mothers will cry out and cling in desperation to the bars of their cages in a vain attempt to look for their young. The young who have been moved to a separate enclosure, will in turn look for their mothers and display signs of severe distress. Not all of these animals will survive this difficult transition and some will die. Those who survive will have their chests tattooed with a 4 digit serial number and then be sold to laboratories in Europe, the US and Israel. Every year, hundreds of these terrified young monkeys will be forced to travel huge distances in tiny crates to faraway destinations, to a fate worse than death. Each of these "units" will fill the pockets of the breeding farm manager to the tune of $2,800. The vast majority of these young monkeys will be sold to laboratories that specialise in toxicology (poisoning tests). Among the clients of Mazor are  Covance (Germany), the Swedish centre for Biological studies, as well as laboratories in the UK, Belgium, Italy and the US. The monkeys will be injected or force fed with drugs and other chemicals. Most of the animals will die during these tests, and those who survive will be killed at the end of the experiment. Most of the monkeys sold to laboratories within Israel will undergo invasive brain experiments.. These experiments involve water deprivation, immobilization in a primate chair for extended periods of time, surgical removal of the top of the skull, and implantation of equipment in the skull and the brain itself. These types of experiment typically last several years, after which most of the monkeys will be killed. In rare instances, individual monkeys are released and allowed to undergo rehabilitation in sanctuaries. This is a relatively recent phenomenon and is due in large part to public outcry. Last July, Behind Closed Doors together with other animal rights' groups, called on the Minister of Environmental Protection to withdraw the Mazor trade licence (import and export). The Minister is currently studying our written proposal and is expected shortly to announce his decision. We would like to ask you to please write a polite message to the Minister, making clear your views that the Mazor monkey breeding farm must be closed down: Gilad Ardan, Minister of Environmental Protection sar@sviva.gov.il  fax +972-2-6535958 Postal address: Kanfey Nesharim 5, P.O. Box 34033, Jerusalem 95464, Israel.

Lab monkeys saved
3 laboratory monkeys, due to die before the New Year, have been saved by Animal Defenders International (ADI) and are now starting a new life at a sanctuary in the UK. The 3 macaques, who had been used in neurology experiments at a major European animal research laboratory, were no longer required and were scheduled to die by the end of the year. The laboratory responded positively when ADI offered to home the animals and a race against the clock began to find a new home.

Puerto Rico monkey breeding facility halted
A judge has barred construction of a monkey breeding facility in Puerto Rico that has pitted people seeking an economic lifeline for their poor mountain town against other residents and animal activists. The decision came in a lawsuit filed by local residents and PETA. Bioculture Ltd., the company planning the facility, deny that they failed to hold public hearings or submit a full environmental impact statement. PETA spokesman Justin Goodman said, "If Bioculture attempts to pursue this project any further, we are poised for action." Bioculture are to appeal the ruling. Miami Herald 30 Dec

Uni Cancels Anthrax Project
Commotion has erupted over a cancelled anthrax project at Oklahoma State University. The National Institutes of Health had agreed to fund the study, which involved creating an animal model of anthrax infection in baboons, and the university's animal use and care committee had given it the green light. But OSU President Burns Hargis decided that the project would not be allowed on campus, for reasons that weren't immediately clear. Hargis claims he made the decision based on several factors, OSU's vice president for research and technology transfer, Stephen McKeever, commented "The issue he was mostly concerned about was that he really did not want to attract controversy from the violent elements of various animal rights groups. He did not want to put OSU in that spotlight and so unnecessarily distract from or interfere with current research." Although McKeever says no specific attacks or threats against OSU factored in the decision, attacks by animal rights extremists have been on the rise in the US in recent years. Researchers at OSU and elsewhere had been quick to speculate that Hargis's decision had been influenced by Madeline Pickens, a wealthy donor and animal rights activist. Her husband, T. Boone Pickens, has donated $458m to the university in recent years. Last week Madeleine Pickens's Web site posted an article from DVM Newsmagazine about the anthrax decision, appending the original headline with the exclamation "Kudos for a Great Decision!" and highlighting comments from a professor in OSU's Centre for Veterinary Health Sciences suggesting that Pickens had played a role in the decision. McKeever flatly denies that the Pickenses had a role in the decision to block the anthrax project. Science Insider 7 Dec

SPEAK demo - Police pay out over monkey photo
A group of animal rights campaigners are to receive substantial payouts after taking legal action against Lancashire Police. The action, brought by 5 protesters, followed arrests made during demonstrations outside Vodafone shops in Preston & Blackpool in 2006. The protesters, Dr Keith Richardson, Dr Joanne Moodie, Dr Elisa Aaltola, Dean Cain & Krystyna Warzecha were arrested for alleged public order offences because images on their placards of monkeys being experimented on were considered offensive. The protests were intended to highlight financial ties between the phone giant and the biomedical research laboratory at Oxford University. The campaigners brought a civil action against Lancashire Constabulary for false imprisonment and under the Human Rights Act 1998, claiming their rights to freedom of expression and the right to public assembly had been breached. Lancashire Police has now accepted that the protests were legitimate. The group will receive an undisclosed sum in an out of court settlement. They were arrested under Sec 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 because of graphic images of animal experiments. Police said at the time the pictures were "likely to be insulting, threatening and abusive to members of the public". Campaigner Dr Keith Richardson accused police of acting as "censors". He said: "We wanted to show the truth of animal experiments to the public; this kind of research is legal and funded with public money and the public should be informed about it. The reaction of the police to the images was a case of shooting the messenger. On one protest, 5 police vehicles, including a riot van, attended when there were just 3 of us." Clearly Lancashire Police aren’t short of resources! Dr Richardson and Mr. Cain, were prosecuted but found not guilty after a 3 day trial at Blackpool Magistrates' Court in Feb 2007. A statement issued by Lancashire Police said "The Chief Constable, having reviewed matters, agrees that the images shown by the claimants in the course of protests were not themselves insulting, threatening or abusive.” The claimants’ actions in protesting were a legitimate exercise of their rights under articles 10 & 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights." Yet another example of how ‘desperate Oxford University & The Government have become in their efforts to silence those who seek to expose the Oxford primate lab for what it really is and the horrors being visited now and in the past on the animals within it’s walls…  LEP 16 Dec

HLS – the fight goes on

In 2009, there were well over 900 protests in 25 countries on every inhabited continent on the planet. This was over 100 more protests than 2008, with 5 more countries joining the global movement to smash HLS. As well as this HLS was exposed yet again in late 2008 for causing untold suffering to primates. Later in 2009 they had the gall to lobby for the continuation of the use of wild caught primates in European laboratories. As well as the increase in actions, 2009 has been a monumental year for the campaign, as strategic targeting of shareholders forced HLS' share price
into free fall, resulting in a rushed buyout of the company by their own CEO Andrew Baker. This means that HLS are no longer on any stock exchange, and have no shareholders. When you consider how desperate HLS were to get onto the prestigious New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), to have now been forced to become a private company is the last thing they wanted. As can be seen from their own documentation by an independent financial consultancy, it happened because the only other option left to them was bankruptcy. Just when things couldn't seem to get better (or worse if you are HLS!), SHAC made another huge breakthrough. In 2006 HLS was saved from imminent closure by a massive loan after Stevens Inc pulled out. HLS (and the new lender) were so keen to keep this a secret that a company in Luxembourg was employed to create an entirely fictitious company named Anchor Sub Funding. The lender set up a second front company called Progress to try and further muddy the waters. After 3 years of diligent research, SHAC traced both companies back to the Fortress Investment Group, based in New York. It is interesting to note that the Chairman of Fortress is Andrew Baker's next door neighbour! In early 2009, HLS defaulted on a loan payment to Fortress and were once again teetering on bankruptcy. Unfortunately, Fortress let them off and has even extended the loan to HLS. If they were to call this loan back in, HLS would have very limited options left and hopefully be finished. On top of this, HLS' only other revenue, from operating profit from customers has continued to drop during 2009. So as we enter 2010, we once again find ourselves armed with the knowledge we need to deliver a finishing blow to HLS, as all that stands between the animals and freedom are Fortress and HLS' top customers (AstraZeneca, Bayer and Novartis). On behalf of the animals and our fellow activists and friends that have been imprisoned we extend our greatest thanks and respect to everyone who has helped over the last year. This campaign has been a long and hard one, but as long as the closure of HLS is a real possibility it will remain as focused and dedicated as the day it was conceived. There can be no quick fix to demolishing a multi-national company that has rather dubious governmental backing, but a brief look over the historic and monumental victories of the SHAC campaign show how much can be achieved with commitment and passion. Every action you take could be the one that drives the final nail. With your help and strong belief for positive change for the animals this will continue in 2010. Lets be the changing force we want to see for the animals...

Activist wins the right to protest
An animal rights activist jailed for his part in a campaign against companies connected to Huntington Life Sciences (HLS) has had his lifetime ban on protesting overturned. The case was described by QC, James Wood, as a matter of the "constitutional" right to "protest and participate in free debate". Gavin Medd-Hall, compiled information on targets whose details were posted on the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) website. They were later targeted and over £12m damage was caused to homes and businesses over 6-years. Medd-Hall was jailed for 8 years at Winchester Crown Court in 20009 for conspiracy to blackmail. He was also handed an indefinite Asbo, as were 3 others, banning them from taking part in any animal rights protest, or contributing to a website dedicated to such a protest for the rest of their lives. All 4 challenged the Asbos before Lord Justice Elias, Mr. Justice Griffith Williams and Judge Elgan Edwards, sitting at London's Criminal Appeal Court, claiming they flew in the face of both their Human Rights and rights of peaceful protest under domestic law. Lord Justice Elias upheld the cases against the other 3 but allowed the appeal of Medd-Hall. Cambridge News 7 Dec

Berkeley activists to sue over federal raid
A federal judge has ruled that activists can sue federal agents for their role in a 2008 raid in which officers seized their computers and records in search of alleged threats by animal rights advocates. The activist group Long Haul Inc. can try to prove that the search of its Berkeley offices exceeded legal boundaries, that agents misled the judge who issued a search warrant and that it was targeted because of its left wing views. An unaffiliated group with offices in the same Berkeley building, East Bay Prisoner Support, also won the right to sue on the same grounds. Both groups have also sued the University of California , whose police were involved in the raid. The university did not join the federal government's attempt to dismiss the suit. A judge approved the search warrant in August 2008 after a UC police detective said threatening messages to animal researchers at UC Berkeley 2 months earlier had been sent from a computer in Long Haul Incs’ premises. UC police, 2 federal agents and other officers entered the building the next day while it was closed. The suit claims they had broken into locked doors and cabinets, seized all 14 computers in the building, combed through library and bookstore records, and taken computer drives and other items from both Long Haul and East Bay Prisoner Support, which was not named in the warrant. The suit said officers had no evidence that either group was involved in illegal acts and had failed to tell the judge that both groups publish newspapers, a status that requires special justification for law enforcement searches. In seeking dismissal, the federal government said its officers had believed that tracing the threats and seizing the records was necessary to prevent serious harm. However the judge said that argument depends on disputed facts he can't resolve at this stage, and that the 2 month interval between the messages and the raid weakens the government's claim of an emergency. The judge, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, said the 2 groups could also sue the government for allegedly violating their right of free speech, but must present evidence that officers had been motivated by the groups' political views.

Judge orders release of US animal rights activist
A federal judge has ordered the immediate release of a Minnesota man charged with conspiracy for his alleged involvement in the 2005 animal rights vandalism act at a University of Iowa laboratory. Scott Demote was being held at the Muscatine County Jail on the federal charge. He was already in jail for contempt of court for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury convened in Davenport earlier this month.  The prosecution claim the ALF raided the Spence Laboratories and Seashore Hall in Nov 2005. DeMuth is accused of being involved with the group. The conditions of DeMuth’s release include wearing a GPS unit at all times, be under home detention but allowed to continue studies at the University of Minnesota, permission to travel between Davenport and Minneapolis for court proceedings, surrender his passport and firearm licenses and may not possess any controlled substances or alcohol except with a doctor’s order. ..The FBI was called in to investigate the vandalism and break in. The ALF claimed responsibility for the damage to lab equipment and the release of 88 mice and 313 rats used in psychology department experiments. The break in was designated as ‘domestic terrorism’.

Replace animal tests in EU
The South East’s Green MEP launched a new campaign in the European Parliament on 7 Oct, to urge EU lawmakers to replace the use of animals in testing and research with non-animal alternatives. Caroline Lucas MEP, who was recently named the new President of the European Parliament’s influential cross-party Animal Welfare Intergroup, has joined with fellow MEPs to sign a Written Declaration calling for increased funding for the development of alternative methods to animal testing – and a 1% ‘research levy’ on products that contain ingredients tested on animals. The Written Declaration, like an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons, will become the official position of the European Parliament if it can attract the support of at least half of all MEPs. Dr Lucas MEP said: “Since 2007, I have been working with MEP colleagues and animal protection groups across Europe on a campaign urging the EU to replace cruel, unnecessary and misleading animal experiments. The existing law on the use of animals in experiments is over 20 years old, so action on this is long overdue. “The EC has already stated that one of its ultimate aims is ‘to replace animal experiments with methods not entailing the use of an animal’. It must now increase funding for the development and validation of alternative research methods – and make the administrative processes more efficient. “We propose that the Commission now assesses options for increasing the funds available, including the introduction of a ‘research levy’ of 1% of the selling price of products that contain ingredients tested on animals.” She continued: "More than 12m animals are used in EU labs each year, yet experiments on animals can be unreliable as a guide to human biology and the range of viable alternatives, such as epidemiology, the use of cell cultures, human tissue and computer simulation, is increasing all the time. "The Commission should increase funding, introduce quantitative targets for reducing the number of animals used in experiments, and bring in compulsory inspections of testing facilities in order to dramatically improve standards of animal protection.”

British civil servants have been shocked by the degree of suffering permitted by proposed EU rules on animal experiments. The draft EU directive “on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes” would allow monkeys, dogs, cats and foals to be used for experiments leading to severe and lasting pain. Animals’ bones could be broken, they could undergo paralysing electric shocks, they could suffer trauma leading to multiple organ failure, they could be confined to restrict movement and they could be kept in isolation for prolonged periods. The standards would also allow organs to be transplanted between species even if this led to “severe distress”. The rules make clear that experiments would not be confined to small breeds such as beagles but include large dogs such as St Bernards. Horses and ponies bred in family stables could be used by laboratories in Europe. The directive would permit practices banned in Britain, which can continue to impose its own rules. The Home Office said it did not want to see British standards weakened. BUAV, which campaigns against animal testing, accused the EU of ignoring public concerns. A positive measure introduced by the Parliament is ‘biannual thematic reviews’ of primate and other research. These will be systematic assessments of the value of various kinds of animal experiments, with a view to outlawing those judged to be useless. The biannual thematic reviews must be supported. Please write to: Meg Hillier Animal Scientific Procedures Division Home Office 4th Floor Seacole 2 Marsham Street London SW1P 4DF Email Meg Hillier at hillierm@parliament.uk Elisabeth Jeggle Parlement européen Bât. Altiero Spinelli 10E209 60, rue Wiertz / Wiertzstraat 60 B-1047 Bruxelles/Brussel Email Elisabeth Jeggle at elisabeth.jeggle@europarl.europa.eu

Nicotine addiction study
Dr. London is a professor and researcher at UCLA in the Depts of Psychiatry & Bio-behavioural Sciences & Molecular & Medical Pharmacology. She is currently the lead researcher in a nicotine addiction study funded by Philip Morris, to the tune of $6m. According to the LA Times, vervet monkeys are forced to ingest liquid nicotine, and some are then killed for brain study. Dr. London said, “We are doing this because we really want to save lives. I am really proud of what we are doing. We have a track record for contributing to science, and we would like to bring that to bear on the problem of nicotine addiction.” (LA Times, 2/8/08). Philip Morris, funding 23 projects at 7 different California campuses, has indicated that their purpose is to reduce adolescent smoking. How twisted and sordid is this business relationship? Philip Morris, arguably a mass murderer, is paying the nation’s best and brightest to torture and kill primates ostensibly to protect young smokers from becoming addicted. Never mind that addiction to their product is precisely how Philip Morris makes their money. Let’s review what was established as scientific fact years ago: nicotine is addictive, and smoking will probably kill you. A Harvard School of Public Health study found that nicotine content actually increased annually from 1997-2005 among all major brands. Imagine that. Philip Morris is putting more nicotine in their cigarettes and we’re supposed to believe that they care about teenage smoking. How morally corrupt are these people? Edythe London pitifully rationalises torturing animals using blood money with references to her being a child of holocaust survivors committed to reducing human suffering, and the fact that her father died “of complications of nicotine dependence” (i.e. he smoked himself to death). In response to the morality of taking Philip Morris money she wrote, “It would, therefore, be immoral to decline an opportunity to increase our knowledge about addiction and develop new treatments for quitting smoking.” And so, when her research was made public, the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), acted. Her home was vandalised twice (Oct ‘07, Feb ‘08), and she received a card with blood and rat poison (attributed to a group called Justice Department) in Jan ‘09.

A recent study documents the severe emotional trauma chimpanzees suffer as a result of laboratory use and confinement. Developmental Context Effects on Bicultural Post-Trauma Self Repair in Chimpanzees was published in the Sept issue, Vol. 45 (5), of the American Psychological Association journal Developmental Psychology. Says Dr. Capaldo, president of the New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS): "A federal bill to end the use of chimpanzees in research (the Great Ape Protection Act, H.R. 1326) has been introduced. Studies like ours expose the reality of what it is like for approximately 1000 chimpanzees languishing in U.S. labs. Chimpanzee research must stop if we are to end the suffering caused by decisions - both scientifically flawed and ethically unjustifiable - to use them as living test tubes." Billy Jo lived like a human child from infancy to his teenage years when he was sent to a lab. He spent his next 14 years alone in a 5'x5'x7' cage, enduring hundreds of procedures. He was rescued into sanctuary at age 29 and died only 8 years later. Tom's family was killed in Africa in order to capture him. He spent decades in 3 different labs undergoing multiple procedures including 369 "knockdowns" - anaesthesia by dart gun. Every morning, Tom gags uncontrollably - the result of repeated intubations. Regis, born in a lab, was only 2 years old when he was treated for his first stress-related injury - he had chewed his finger nail completely off. Regis, fearful if left alone, suffers severe anxiety attacks in which he nearly stops breathing. The chimpanzees' symptoms are consistent with traumatic stress, depression, and other psychological conditions.

Glaxo, a multi-billion pound company, is closing in Crawley and there’ll be cut backs in jobs at their Worthing facility. This company has been forced in the USA to reveal e-mails between itself and researchers about birth defect risks after a family sued it for the death of their 1 year old son.  They also use dogs in tests for yet another blood pressure pill when there are loads on the market.  The list could go on and on but……….  They don’t care about any life, just their huge profits. Good riddance to them and the sooner they go the better.

About 200 people turned out in Wickham for the protest again the laboratory.  For the first time the police had closed the roads (as they always do for other events) , so a loud and lively march left the car park for the village square, just round the corner from the lab.  There were 3 speeches – from Sue (editor of this paper), André Menache and John Curtin, who reminded us how Cartmell, the lab owner, had stolen dogs at the lab in the past – and then we walked to the lab to lay a wreath and hold a 2 min silence for the animals. Wickham was exposed for using mice in Botox tests when a non-animal test exists.

Controversial plans to build a new animal testing laboratory in a rural village have been unanimously rejected. Wickham Labs, currently based in Wickham, failed in its latest bid to win permission for a purpose-built facility at Torbay Farm in Lower Upham. More than 20 animal rights protesters turned up to stage a demonstration outside the civic offices of Winchester City Council, where the planning committee was holding its meeting. After 2½ hours the 10-member committee voted unanimously against the officer's recommendation to accept the proposals on the grounds that the building would be too large and its design unsympathetic for the rural setting. The main proposed building was about 50m by 30m and 9½ metres high. Echoing many of his colleagues, Councillor Ian Tait said: 'In an industrial estate or a business park this building would be fine – but we aren't, we are in Upham.' Cllr Therese Evans, who represents Wickham village, acknowledged that security wasn't their concern, but added that Upham, in the Meon Valley, would not be a suitable place because of the attention the labs would attract. She added: 'There was a demonstration a couple of weeks ago where all the roads were closed and there were 130 police.' Afterwards, veteran animal rights campaigner Helen Nelson said: 'We are absolutely delighted. We have been working so hard towards getting this result, it's such a relief. I'm sure they will try again – they're not going to give up. They think they can trample over everyone and get their own way, but this proves they can't.' Moving the operation to Torbay Farm has been a longheld ambition for owner William Cartmell. Ray Botterell, representing the labs at the meeting, refused to comment afterwards.

A 6-month dispute between a biotech company and a university primate facility it contracted for a study on spinal cord injury has prompted a lawsuit. Cambridge-based biotech InVivo Therapeutics filed suit against Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) with the US District Courts in Boston on Sept. 1st, claiming the school's primate centre improperly cared for monkeys during the study, resulting in the death of 4 animals and a premature end to the research. InVivo is suing OHSU for not giving the monkeys proper post-surgical care, which they say caused the routine bladder problems to become more serious issues. They further charge OHSU with halting the experiment and euthanising the animals against the company's wishes. When OHSU requested that InVivo pay the second instalment of an agreed-upon fee, the company refused, citing "OHSU's incompetence" and claiming it "had ruined the study, cost InVivo hundreds of thousands of dollars, and jeopardized the future of the company," according to the lawsuit. OHSU counters that all monkeys received appropriate round-the-clock care after surgery and that it was InVivo who called a halt to the surgeries. The InVivo lawsuit is not the first time the OHSU primate centre has been accused of not providing proper care to their animals. In 2008, PETA complaints about the centre spurred an investigation by the US Dept of Agriculture (USDA), which handles violations of the Animal Welfare Act. In Dec, USDA issued a warning letter for failure to provide proper veterinary care, citing the death of a pregnant monkey after a researcher failed to notice she was having a troubled labour, a sponge being left in a monkey after surgery, and a surgery performed on the wrong monkey.

Sean Kirtley free
After 16 months in prison, Sean Kirtley has been released following a successful appeal. Sean was convicted in June 2008 of conspiracy to 'interfere with the contractual obligations of an animal research organisation', an offence under section 145 of the Serious Organised Crime & Police Act 2005. He was sentenced to 4½ years (out of a max possible 5). That sentence has been quashed, as has a potential 5-year ASBO, which would have totally restricted his ability to exercise his freedom of speech. The charge related to an ongoing campaign against Sequani, a vivisection laboratory based near Ledbury in Herefordshire. His ordeal began with wave of arrests code-named 'Operation Tornado', a NETCU coordinated strike at the animal rights movement. Sean was the only one of 2 people convicted (one other man pleaded guilty at an early stage), and the only one imprisoned. His 6 co-defendants were all acquitted. Evidence relied heavily on phone and e-mail records that the prosecution used to suggest a 'conspiracy'. This charge was useful to the prosecution because the Sequani campaign had been entirely peaceful, and there is not one shred of evidence linking Sean to any violence against people or property. The central plank of the evidence against him was that he updated the campaign website. Despite being almost the definition of a 'prisoner of conscience' it's been nearly impossible for Sean's comrades to get any of the mainstream civil liberties organisations interested in his case. Instead, the fear of being tarred with the animal rights brush has silenced those who would usually be most vocal about such a blatant attempt to stamp on a campaign. Also, funnily enough NETCU - usually lightning fast to gloat on their website when one of their victims gets a prison sentence - haven't got round to press releasing the news of Sean's successful appeal yet.  Schnews 24th Sept

Replica brain
The apparent complexity of the human mind is not a barrier to building a 'replica' brain claims Professor Markram. "The brain is extremely complex because it has trillions of synapses, billions of neurons, millions of proteins, and thousands of genes. But they are still finite in number. Today's technology is already highly sophisticated and it allows us to reverse engineer the brain rapidly." An example of the capability already in place is that today's robots can do screenings and mappings tens of thousands of times faster than human scientists and technicians. Another hurdle on the path to a model human brain is that 100 years of neuroscience discovery has led to millions of fragments of data and knowledge that have never been brought together and exploited fully. "Actually no one even knows what we already understand about the brain," says Prof Markram. "A model would serve to bring this all together and then allow anyone to test whatever theory you want about the brain. The biggest challenge is to understand how electrical-magnetic chemical patterns in the brain convert into our perception of reality. We think we see with our eyes, but in fact most of what we 'see' is generated as a projection by your brain. So what are we actually looking at when we look at something 'outside' of us?" For Professor Markram, the most exciting part of his research is putting together the hundreds of thousands of small pieces of data that his lab has collected over the past 15 years, and seeing what a microcircuit of the brain looks like. "When we first switched it on it already started to display some interesting emergent properties. But this is just the beginning because we know now that it is possible to build it. As we progress we are learning about design secrets of our brains which were unimaginable before. In fact the brain uses some simple rules to solve highly complex problems and extracting each of these rules one by one is very exciting. For example we have been surprised at finding simple design principles that allow billions of neurons to connect to each other. I think we will understand how the brain is designed and works before we have finished building it." The opportunities for this neuroscience research challenge are immense explains Prof Markram: "A brain model will sit on a massive supercomputer and serve as a kind of educational and diagnostic service to society. As the industrial revolution in science progresses we will generate more data than anyone can track or any computer can store, so models that can absorb it are simply unavoidable. It is also essential to build models when it comes to treating brain diseases affecting around 2 billion people. At present, there is no brain disease for which we really understand what has gone wrong in the processing, in the circuits, neurons or synapses. It is also important if we are to replace the millions of animal experiments each year for brain research."

Court orders Felix info to be released
Remember Felix, a golden-haired macaque monkey who was featured in a BBC television documentary? Felix was subjected to a series of distressing and invasive laboratory tests at Oxford University. First he was "conditioned" – likely through deprivation – to perform repetitive movements. Then, surgeons cut through his skull to implant electrodes into his brain. By injecting him with a poison in order to destroy parts of his brain, experimenters deliberately induced the uncontrollable shaking and muscle rigidity that characterises Parkinson's disease. For more than a year, we campaigned to get this intelligent and sensitive monkey released to a sanctuary where he could live his life free from the torments he endured in Oxford University's animal experimentation laboratory. But despite our constant efforts, Felix was killed when those experimenting on him no longer considered him "scientifically useful". He ended his days disabled – and no doubt frightened and confused – before being cut up and discarded like rubbish. Vivisection is a truly abhorrent industry – and, what's more, the pain and suffering inflicted on animals is often demonstrably and totally unnecessary. An astonishing 92% of drugs tested on animals prove unsafe or ineffective when taken by humans! PETA has won an appeal that has forced Oxford University to release to PETA previously hidden information about what really happened to Felix and why. This groundbreaking decision acknowledges the public’s right to know how animals suffer and the justification for that suffering . What’s more, it also means that for the first time ever, we can evaluate the government’s decision to grant a licence to perform such an experiment – and we can strive to hold someone accountable.

Belgian group challenges primate experiments
The Coalition Against Animal Experiments (ADC) staged a peaceful demonstration outside the Catholic University of Louvain to mark the launch of a daring legal challenge against primate researchers at this Belgian university. The group has carefully put together a dossier to expose a series of invasive brain experiments on primates. ADC charges that the suffering caused to the animals as a result of the unnatural laboratory conditions and invasive brain experiments is out of all proportion to the information obtained from the studies. In addition, the group has obtained expert witness testimonies suggesting that the results of these experiments could just as easily have been obtained through observational studies on human volunteers. This legal challenge represents a first in the history of the 23-year legislation relating to the protection of laboratory animals. Article 7.2 of Directive 86/609/EEC states: "An experiment shall not be performed if another satisfactory method of obtaining the result sought, not entailing the use of an animal, is reasonably and practicably available."

After the Animal Liberation Press Office press release this week publicising the ALF action against notorious primate importer Mathew Block and his wife Brooke, the New Times in Broward/Palm Beach wrote an article reminding their readers of Block's previous criminal conviction, 13-month sentence and $30,000 fine for smuggling orangutans from Indonesia. Block, of course, trots out the same tired old excuses, going so far as to claim he doesn't torture and kill the animals himself in a laboratory, and therefore he is not a bad guy. More comments and the original article are available here. http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/juice/2009/09/monkey_breeder_targeted_by_ani.php

Eye irritation tests without rabbits
The Organisation for Economic Cooperative Development (OECD) has published final guidance on how to conduct eye irritation tests without using live rabbits. If properly implemented, this move will prevent the untold suffering of rabbits throughout the world, who would otherwise be forcibly restrained while potentially irritating chemicals and cosmetics were dripped into their eyes. The OECD is an economic alliance of 30 of the world's industrialised countries. Based in Paris, the OECD co-ordinates the development of standardised chemical testing guidelines, which are then adopted by the member countries. The BCOP (bovine corneal opacity and permeability) test and the ICE (isolated chicken eye) test are tests that use eyes from animals killed for food via slaughter houses. The BCOP test was developed in the 1940s, pioneered by alternatives experts in the 1970s and finally validated by the European Centre for Alternative Methods in 2007. It is shocking that it has taken this long for international acceptance. The inclusion of the methods in the OECD guidance means that across the world these methods will often be used instead of rabbits to test whether chemicals and cosmetics will be irritating to the eyes. Part of the delay to the acceptance of the alternatives was caused by the fact that scientists could not compare the results of the alternative to the rabbit test because the results from the rabbit tests were so variable. Unfortunately, the tests are not accepted to test mild irritants, however, at the World Congress on Alternatives in Rome last week, experts showed how it was possible to use these methods in combination with in vitro cell tests to show whether chemicals and cosmetics are likely to be mildly irritating to the eyes. Chief Exec of the BUAV, Michelle Thew, said: …… “We welcome the publication of these guidelines but deplore the fact that not only is there an under-investment of non-animal alternatives, but also the lengthy process of getting official international validation of such methods can take decades. Part of the problem is the massive obstacles that are put in the path of non-animal alternatives, obstacles that the equivalent animal tests never had to face.”

Researchers from the University of Leeds have just released details of experiments on mice to test how “Obesity Can Lead to Resistance to Insulin-Like Hormone”. At first this appears valid and scientific, until the following is taken into account. Rodents used were what the industry calls “Lean mice”, in other words they are genetically bred to be overweight and thus related illnesses will no doubt affect them in some form. However, this research conducted is a complete waste of life and funds that could be put into other means of testing, ie developing and using in-vitro (non-animal) methods. It has been known for a number of years that there is a close correlation between diabetes and obesity, even down to what causes the various factors of that relationship and how the disease can be prevented through a controlled and healthy diet, not smoking etc and we do not need more animal research to tell us this. Social studies can easily be conducted whereby information is collected on people with diabetes, or related diseases, and the ‘inputs’ in their lives which are a cause of the disease can be analysed, thus developing a positive correlation between lifestyle and diabetes. No doubt this animal research would have been funded using public money. We need only look back over the past few years and we find details of the University of Leeds testing salt on beagle dogs to see the effects it has on their health. Low, medium and high salt diets were fed to the dogs over a period of time; the end result being that a high salt diet is bad for your health! Again, this research was funded by public donations via the British Heart Foundation. In their Animal Research Policy, Leeds University claim the following: * The University will use alternatives to animals wherever possible, such as computer modelling, tissue culture, cell and molecular biology, and research with human subjects… * Research using animals is driving fundamental advances in understanding, treating and curing a range of health problems including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and mental illness, and continues to enable fundamental advances in our understanding of diseases. If this is really the case, then why did the Ethics Committee of the university approve the above 2 experiments to be conducted? They could have been done using alternative means, ie looking at previous research and using sociological studies, and are giving information already known via countless others sources about diseases, not helping to cure them!

2 biology classes at UC Irvine will cease the use of lab rats, according to the OC Register. The university reasons that it can meet the “educational objectives” without having to use rats as tools of demonstration for labs. Despite the fact that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) claims that they were a driving force in the university’s decision for change, UCI Spokesman, Tom Vasich, begs to differ.  In an email, Vasich stated that “PETA had no involvement with UCI’s decision to evaluate the lab course … but the information on alternatives provided by PETA was used during the evaluation process.” Kathy Guillermo, Vice President of Laboratory Investigations for PETA, said that at least 200 rats every year will now not have to face the “fear and pain that resulted from these experiments.” She also mentioned that students will be able to ascertain scientific information using modern methods of experimentation that are being implemented as awareness is broadened concerning the use of animals for testing.

Charles River Laboratories fatten up and then sell obese monkeys for medical research. Charles River Labs said that, with the nation crippled by an obesity epidemic, its monkey business is increasingly necessary. In 30 out of 50 states, at least 25% of the population is obese, health experts say. As obesity and its associated complications - such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes - wreak havoc on the nation’s health, researchers are scrambling to create new ways to treat obesity-related medical conditions. And because primates are such close relatives to humans, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that all new drugs be tested on primates before they are marketed to the public. Charles River Labs plans to sell its fattened-up monkeys to pharmaceutical companies, academic research centres and biotechnology firms that will examine “the metabolic changes associated with the onset and development of diabetes” and other obesity-related diseases, the company has said. To prepare the monkeys, Charles River Labs fed them a high-fat diet for 18 months. In that time period, many of the monkeys developed glucose intolerance and a foundation for what scientists say will become type 2, or adult-onset, diabetes.

Is animal experimentation still at the head of scientific development, or is it time to say goodbye to an archaic methodology? Animal experimentation is viewed by most of today's modern scientists as misleading, expensive, and laborious. Large and ever increasing numbers of scientists and doctors claim that animal experimentation is not only ineffective but also counterproductive False findings and toxic medications lead only to more pain and heart ache for the families of the terminally ill individual. For when one assumes that the findings in animals are directly correlated to those of human beings then one need only look to the findings of recent discoveries showing accounts of vast differences between animal and human trials of the same drug. An individual does not need to be an animal activist to reason that animal experimentation has long outgrown its usefulness. The thought that bone marrow from baboons into human beings (in attempts to fight Leukaemia) has failed with costly consequences, furthermore, interspecies organ transplantation has met just as dark fates comparable to artificial organ transplantation and genetic manipulation. These failures are synonymous with the failures and harmful treatments that have been tried on humans due to a positive outcome of an animal test subject. An example of such is how different an animal will react to a chemical than that of a human individual. Genes may be similar amongst varying species, yet guinea pigs reactions to strychnine is much the opposite from humans, The failures and disinformation that can only be seen as a fault to the medical research community is not only a research failure, but an economic failure as well, the costs of funding these projects is staggering and only growing day by day. One would suppose that with the rise in the health care budget we would see a decrease of terminal diseases, but this is just not the case. Since Nixon's launch of the "War on Cancer" 37 years ago, cancer rates have gone up by 18% and cancer deaths have gone up by 7%.  The EU has found a way to limit animal deaths, limit spending, and still found a cure for a common affliction. The Brussels team in May of 2003 found that when inserting a drug that contained fever-causing agents (pyrogens) into human blood cells opposed to rabbits they would still obtain the same affect. Using human blood cells as an alternative to rabbits in finding cures, saves 200,000 rabbits a year and millions of dollars. The Brussels research group claims to have a better understanding of human immunology now than they did 20 years ago, which will hopefully lead to the safer drugs for consumers due to the fact that they are now testing these human cells as biosensors for pyrogens. The validation of the human blood cell experiment is a first proof that testing can be done without the sacrificing of funds and live beings. These experiments are a stepping stone to the reduction if not the remission of animal testing and experimentation. When most animal to human trials only obtain a little over a 50% success rate, one cannot say that animal experimentation is a viable school of research. Sceptics and realists have longed looked at the cost analysis of animal testing, the Machiavellian means meeting the ends argument, and every time animal testing just seems to fall short of any real scientific goal. Edited from Associated Content. 5 October 2009. Inferring Outcomes: Beneath the Fur of Animal Experimentation. www.associatedcontent.com/article/2225931/inferring_outcomes_beneath_the_fur.html

SHAC Campaign
Another Success as Fortress Drop HLS - Following our last email action alert against the Fortress Investment Group, we’re delighted to announce that they are now de-investing in HLS, and have cancelled future financial commitments. Whilst the full ramifications of this have yet to be seen, this is a massive blow for HLS. We are now focusing on the other branch of their 2006 loan. This loan was given by 2 companies - the first loan of $30m was provided through front companies by Fortress. Of course we tracked them down and they have now de-invested. The second loan comes from Progress Funding, part of a New York based realtor company. We are calling on them to cut all ties with Huntingdon Life Sciences and call in the loan with immediate effect. For more info about Huntingdon's financials please visit www.shac.net/action/financial Send polite e-mails to: prince@progressrealty.com, puran@progressrealty.com, shak@progressrealty.com, shaka66@yahoo.com, careers@progressrealty.com  Let them know that HLS has a track record of law breaking and manipulation of data. During just one primate study, HLS broke the law 526 times; and workers have been caught taking drugs and drinking on site. Also that HLS' financials are in a dire state, and there is a high risk that HLS would fail to make its loan repayments. Refer them to the Plymouth Report which HLS recently filed with the SEC to see the financial state HLS is in:  www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1158833/000115883309000045/exhibit99.htmI.

The case has been dropped against a Sheffield IT worker who was raided, arrested and had a computer server confiscated in Jan this year. The server was apparently being used by Indymedia, and the police warrant was to track down the poster of a comment on Manchester Indymedia giving the home address of the judge involved in jailing some SHAC animal rights defendants. Despite being told that Indymedia does not log the IP addresses of any of its contributors, the cops nonetheless targeted this particular, albeit arbitrary, server. The man running it didn't even have the passwords to access the server, yet he was arrested under suspicion of offences including the rather Orwellian 'encouraging or assisting an offence believing it will be committed'. It marked the first recorded use of broad new powers granted by the Serious Crime Act 2007.

Novartis CEO Daniel Vasella has sent 140 animal rights activists letters warning them to back off. The letter says “We strongly condemn the use of violence and terrorist tactics as a substitute for meaningful, productive dialogue. As the author of the e-mail received, you should be aware that willingly or not you are associating yourself with criminal activity, such as extortion and blackmail.” But Vasella’s strategy is doomed to failure if he cannot demonstrate what the company has previously claimed: That Novartis has indeed severed its ties with Huntingdon Life Sciences, the contract company that does often grisly drug tests on animals. This is the key to the entire conflict. Even though Novartis has previously said it no longer deals with HLS, the activists do not believe the company. And those activists are far more numerous, and far more determined, than Vasella is. As long as they believe Novartis tests at HLS, Vasella will be a target no matter how angry he becomes. But being able to demonstrate that the activists are wrong on the facts could be a game-changer. Even extremists need a sympathetic political environment. The fact is that testing at HLS is … unpleasant. Edited from Bnet.UK 5 Oct

Court orders USDA to disclose animal testing records
The Department of Agriculture must disclose 1,017 pages of animal testing records to an animal protection organisation, a D.C. federal judge ordered. The nonprofit animal rights group In Defence of Animals filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain documents relating to the USDA’s investigation of Huntingdon Life Sciences, Inc., a contract research organization with a facility in New Jersey. The USDA initially released only 31 pages to IDA, arguing that the remaining records were fully or partially protected from release under FOIA’s exemption 4, which protects trade secrets and confidential commercial information. Specifically at issue in this case was whether the data collected during the animal studies is confidential commercial information that, if released, would cause substantial harm to HLS’s competitive position in the contract research industry. Despite lengthy testimony from 2 defence experts, the defendants only showed a generalised potential for competitive harm and could not demonstrate that all reasonably segregable, non-exempt material was disclosed. Defence experts’ admissions that they had not personally examined every withheld record to determine an individual risk for competitive injury proved particularly damaging to the defence. The withheld records, 503 pages in full and 514 pages in part, include a proprietary design for animal cages, detailed physical observations of animals on active tests, postmortem examination reports, records of toxic effects, and other records that demonstrate the effect of a particular drug.

Highate Farm demo - Police officers from 5 different forces were involved in the policing of around 300 activists demonstrating outside Highgate Farm near Normanby by Spital on Sat 26th Oct, as part of the Global Week of Action against laboratory animal breeders. Highgate Farm is a supplier of animals to the vivisection industry, including Huntingdon Life Sciences. It also supplies rabbits to the meat trade. In Jan 2008, protesters broke into the farm and liberated around 130 rabbits. SHAC has hailed the event a 'success', and said it brought the attention of local people to the farm's 'immoral practices' and the 'start of an ongoing and growing campaign to close them down for good'. Protesters were kept about 300 metres from the farm entrance as police placed a perimeter of officers protecting the private business. As demonstrators arrived police used a banner to announce the implementation of the legislation. The road down to the farm was also closed and campaigners used a shuttle minibus to get their supporters near to the farm entrance. An ‘eye in the sky’ radio controlled device was used by the police for film protesters as well as the FIT team on the ground.  What a pity they don’t use it to film illegal hunts!  Heard that police had approached local people saying that if they’d been inconvenienced by the protest they could report it and the police could get an injunction.  They weren’t interested. Villagers in Lincolnshire say they can’t get the police out when they need them – but then they aren’t working for the vivisection industry!

SPEAK Campaign

Police efforts to silence dissent outside the Oxford animal testing lab have seen a freelance journo and NUJ member, David Palmer, arrested at the regular demo outside the lab, with all of his recording and camera equipment seized. Despite the fact that the campaign to prevent the building of the lab on South Parks Rd, Oxford was unsuccessful and the Thames Valley Police's promise to 'wage a dirty war' against protesters was exposed - an injunction drafted by Timothy Lawson Cruttenden controlling the protests is still in force.  David inadvertently wandered into an area prohibited under the terms of the injunction. He was warned to leave by university staff and did so immediately. But this wasn't enough for the cops however, who jumped on him mob-handed and arrested him for harassment. 'I spent around 6 hours in a cell at Oxford police station before being interviewed. During the course of the interview, I was informed that my video camera and mobile phone were going to be retained and that I'd be questioned about material found on them at a later date. I pointed out to the interviewing officer (on tape) that such treatment of a journalist was completely illegal; at this point the police tried to say my press cards were fraudulent! I insisted the police ring the 24hr NUJ verification number on the back of my press card, but they refused to do so and said they'd ring the number the following morning and that I'd hear from them after that.' David was not released from custody until shortly after midnight, 9 hours after his arrest.

15 animal rights protesters are suing police for up to £250,000 after claiming they were treated illegally during a demonstration outside Oxford University’s honorary degree ceremony. The claimants, supporters of the Speak campaign group, have filed papers at the High Court claiming “false imprisonment, breach of human rights, malicious prosecution, assault and battery” over the protest in 2006. On June 21, demonstrators gathered outside Oxford University’s Encaenia Day Ceremony to oppose the building of the animal testing laboratory in South Parks Rd. 14 protesters were arrested and charged, but a trial at Bicester Magistrates’ Court in May 2007 cleared them of offences under Section 14 of the Public Order Act. Charges against 2 others were dropped earlier.  Protester Pauline Broughton was found guilty of obstructing a police officer, while Fran Cornwell was found guilty of assaulting an officer. Both were given absolute discharges by District Judge Deborah Wright. During the trial, a tape recording of unguarded comments made by police officers was played to the court in which they used a swear word about the campaigners and said they would “prosecute the s*** out of them”.  In summing up, Ms Wright said: “I find the (Section 14) conditions were imposed unlawfully.  “Whoever was responsible for making the decision that this prosecution should proceed in light of the tape may well have made a serious error of judgement.” She added: “Although the (taped) conversations were made away from the public, all the officers were on duty.” Among the claimants in the High Court case are Brett Gordon and Ruth Undy, both of Woodman Court, East Oxford.  The legal papers state Mr Gordon “asked a police officer if he could leave (the demonstration) and meet his wife who had been taken ill earlier in the protest but was told in no uncertain terms that if he did so then he would be arrested. “He was at the back of the march and was being pushed about aggressively by 2 police officers and threatened with arrest.”  The writ comes just days after Thames Valley Police was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £25,000 costs after call centre worker Keith Tilbury was shot in the torso by PC Dave Micklethwaite in Kidlington in May 2007. Thames Valley Deputy Chief Constable Francis Habgood said the force was aware of the writ, but that it was inappropriate to comment with legal proceedings active. However, at the time of the collapse of the trial, his predecessor Alex Marshall said: “There are comments on the tape that I find very regrettable and I find some of the comments unprofessional. I will take careful note of what the judge has said and see if there are any matters which arise from it.”  I’ve heard that the officer who made the comments has been promoted

Neurosurgeon refutes monkey model

Marius Maxwell is an American Board of Neurological Surgery-certified neurosurgeon who was educated at Cambridge, Oxford, and Harvard universities. He has written an article about deep brain stimulation and Parkinsons disease, refuting the argument that experiments with monkeys has brought about this ‘wonder’ technique. You can read the full article at: www.vero.org.uk/mariusmaxwell.pdf as it’s too long to reproduce here.  Some important extracts: This claim (using primates) is a clear misrepresentation of the historical record which actually shows that neurosurgical experimentation with … human patients, performed decades before the very first description of the MPTP-primate model, has alone led to the present treatment of deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease.   …… one can only conclude that primate vivisection has amounted to an expensive, savagely cruel, and scientifically invalid sideshow. The "official" and highly selective primate vivisection-based narrative of deep brain stimulation misleadingly begins with the serendipitous discovery of symptoms in young drug addicts exposed to the narcotic contaminant MPTP. This gave researchers the idea of seeing whether monkeys would also display Parkinsonian symptoms in response to this toxin and indeed, in 1983 monkeys poisoned with MPTP were found to exhibit similar, albeit temporary, symptoms and the non-human primate model of parkinsonism was born (Burns et al. 1983).   ……the discovery that the implantation of stimulating electrodes in the subthalamic nucleus of humans with Parkinson's reversed many of the disease's most crippling symptoms (Benabid 1987; Limousin 1995). In this way, we are repeatedly told, deep brain stimulation was created by the endeavours of monkey researchers. The general public is served a compelling tale of successful medical research borne on the back of primate misery….. But what will they say when they find out that the importance of the subthalamic nucleus to the treatment of Parkinson's disease had in fact been known more than 30 years before by neurosurgeons who employed this knowledge to successfully treat hundreds of human patients? How will they react when they discover that deep brain stimulation has been used since the 1940s, and that early implanted stimulators were used in human patients with Parkinson's and other movement disorders years before the first ever description of the MPTP-primate model? Hundreds of monkeys have been experimented on, countless "peer-reviewed" articles have been written, and a vast archive of monkey "data" has been accumulated….. but deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease developed without this. Benabid, knowing of the importance of the subthalamic nucleus to Parkinson's disease from the surgical studies of 1963 and subsequently, together with the more recent data of deep brain stimulation in patients with Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders, took the logical ….  next step by reporting the benefit of stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus in 1995 in a series of patients (Limousin et al.1995). The oft-parroted claim that "the MPTP monkey model demonstrated the pivotal role of the subthalamic nucleus in the mechanisms central to Parkinson's disease" is therefore clearly false. Furthermore, it does a grave disservice to the memory of the many real pioneers of neurosurgery by co-opting their repeated demonstration of the very same, decades before. It is as if they have been quietly airbrushed from the pages of history. Most importantly, the rapid and reversible MPTP-induced parkinsonian state in monkeys bears little relation to the slowly progressive and irreversible Parkinson's disease, which is unique to humans. None other than the late Nobel Laureate Francis Crick was also a harsh critic of the experimental use of primates in the neurosciences. Crick argued for the development of new and forward-looking techniques to study the human brain. Persistent support for the non-human primate MPTP model of Parkinson's can only serve further to neglect and impoverish the demonstrably scientific and productive avenues of the clinical neurosciences…….. The predictable consequences of maintaining the status quo will be further obfuscation and delay in the discovery of a definitive treatment for Parkinson's disease.

Tests flawed and duplicated - At this year's British Association Festival of Science a report from the Camarades Collaboration that reviewed 288 animal studies of prospective treatments for stroke concluded that many animal experiments are flawed. The report found that animal studies frequently do not use experimental techniques that are the "gold standard" for clinical trials. For example, only 1/3 of the studies randomised which animals went into the treatment and control groups. And in only 1/3 of cases were the experimenters who assessed the experimental outcome blinded to whether each animal had been given the treatment or not - a well known source of unconscious bias. Another problem highlighted by the EU's Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik today is that too often the same tests are duplicated - particularly by companies not willing to share data.

Cancer research wasted – together with animal lives
Millions of pounds of charity donations and taxpayers' money have been wasted on worthless cancer studies, the BBC has learned. File On 4 has discovered thousands of studies have been invalidated. It found some scientists have failed to carry out simple and inexpensive checks to ensure they are working with the right forms of human tumour cells. Cancer Research UK said it used robust procedures to check the cell-lines used in research. One of the latest examples of scientific research to be affected by this problem is a study of oesophageal cancer. Researcher Dr Chris Tselepis worked with an international team which has found that TE7, an experimental culture of cancer cells used in labs for the past 20 years, was the wrong cancer. Few scientists publicly admit such problems but Prof Geoff Pilkington, of the University of Portsmouth, told the BBC that he had to discard research into brain tumours after it emerged his team were studying human cells contaminated by the cells of rats and mice. "Whole programmes of research had to be redone using verified human brain tumour cells," he said. "It's hugely expensive and it's incredibly frustrating," Prof Pilkington added. The problem is compounded by the fact that studies based on erroneous research data will be printed in reputable scientific journals and become part of the accepted literature, thus misleading future researchers. Earlier this year 19 eminent cancer specialists from the UK and USA wrote to the US health secretary urging tough action to end this waste of time, effort and money. The US authorities replied that there appeared to be "abundant evidence" that many studies and publications had been compromised. But the letter's originator, Prof Roland Nardone of the Catholic University of America, told the BBC that some scientists seemed unwilling to act. He said the best way to get scientists to comply would be to withhold research grants and publication in scientific journals unless their research used authenticated cell-lines. This verification can be achieved using a technique of DNA profiling which compares the cell-line with a list of known contaminants and can cost as little as £180 per sample. But the Medical Research Council, the major source of public funds for such research in the UK which provides £70m of grants annually for cancer studies, is reluctant to enforce authentication. Dr Rob Buckle of the MRC told the BBC: "As soon as you start talking about regulation we have to ensure that it is proportionate and does not inhibit research." Dr Buckle said the MRC was not aware of any particular study in the UK which had been compromised by problems with cell samples. However, one of the UK's leading cancer medicine experts has said it is time for the scientific community to put its house in order. Cancer Research UK, which spends £315m a year on research, would not be interviewed for the programme. Instead it issued a statement from Dr Lilian Clark, its executive director of Science Operations & Funding, which said: "It is of paramount importance for us to ensure that all our researchers deliver world class science - they have the latest systems and robust procedures in place to guarantee this." Blah, blah, blah!!!

Animal experiments holding back psychiatric medicine
Dangle a mouse by its tail, and it will wriggle and strain to escape before eventually recognising the hopelessness of its situation. Measure the time it takes to abandon thoughts of helping itself, and you have one of the classic animal tests for depression. Except it's not, says Laurence Tecott, a research psychiatrist at the University of California, San Francisco. “We can't say that that mouse is depressed, and we can't say you would be if you were strung up by your tail,” he says. The reason we have not seen a genuinely new class of drug in psychiatry for 50 years, he asserts, is largely because animal models are woefully inadequate representations of human-specific disorders.

 

 


 



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Last Updated 13 December 2008