leah-wong
7th February 2012

Universities to reveal primate testing

University goes ape as court issues freedom of information order
Universities to reveal primate testing

A tribunal has ruled that universities must reveal their animal research after a three year battle with the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV). This means universities may no longer be exempt from Freedom of Information requests.

Newcastle University, which has spent £230,000 on the legal battle, claims that the ruling could put their scientists in danger but the tribunal disagreed, stating that the lack of recent violence against researchers who carry out animal testing means this is not the case. The university now has to reveal Home Office licences which allow it to test on primates.

BUAV believe that trials carried out at Newcastle University which included invasive testing on monkeys by limiting their water supply and restraining them, did not benefit humans and were controversial and invasive. They cited the decision of the authorities in Germany who refused permission for the same research on primates.

After the ruling, Newcastle University revealed they will appeal against the ruling at the Court of Appeal. It plans to claim they do not need to share the licences because of the Animal Scientific Procedures Act.

The university released a statement about their research: “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.”

The President of the Royal Society, Sir Paul Nurse, has called for the Freedom of Information Act to be reviewed. In an interview with The Independent, he said he believed the Act was being used as a “tool of intimidation” against scientists involved in what could be seen as controversial research.

Leah Wong

Leah Wong

Former Sci and Tech editor (2011-2012).

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