Durham Ratted Out: Durham Pressured to End Animal Testing
Durham University has been pressured by the AVC (Anti-Vivisection Coalition) to end its animal testing in labs.
Just last year Durham did not even make the cut for Britain’s Top Ten Bloodthirsty Universities and was awarded over £70,000 to reduce animal use in science labs and improve animal welfare.
Since 2012 the number of animals that Durham tested on has increased by 700 percent, meaning that in 2013 alone over 8,000 animals were tested on. The AVC claims that they have obtained documents revealing that rabbits have suffered abscesses, mastitis, obesity and gashes, whilst fish have died from fungal infections. Vets are also showing concern as rats have had chemicals infused into their brains and electrodes embedded into their skulls.
The AVC director of communications claims that veterinary records show sustained injury and death.
“Such ill treatment of animals does not reflect a civilised society where other species merit respect” says Sophie Kennerly of the AVC, “AVC call on Durham University to commit to ending animal experiments.”
Chris Higgins, the soon to be retired Vice Chancellor, said that at Durham, “we strive for the very highest of standards of care and well being of animals.” Durham University is monitored and regularly inspected by the Home Office, under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act of 1986. Higgins claims that Durham uses the “minimum number of animals,” but insists that they are necessary for scientific research as they help aid the discovery and development of disease and new surgical procedures.
Other universities have faced criticism as well, with Newcastle University stopping divisive tests on baboons after facing harsh criticism from celebrities such as Joanna Lumley, Ricky Gervais, and Chris Packham.
The University of Brighton have also faced criticism, as since 2011 there has been a 500% increase of tests on mice at the university.
A list of last year’s most bloodthirsty universities can be found here.