The BUAV is wrong to suggest that the recent university debates on animal research were in any way “controlled” (“Rigged results”, Letters, 31 October). Student debating societies ran the events and the prohibitionist organisation should apologise for dismissing their hard work. Furthermore, the motion being debated was: “This House would ban all forms of animal research” - the outcome that the BUAV has spent more than a century campaigning for.
The fact that the students’ universities are legally required to withhold some information on animal experiments is another issue entirely. Originally intended to protect scientists from physical attacks by animal extremists, Section 24 is now being revised by the government, something the BUAV knows full well because it has been involved in the discussions about how to proceed.
The BUAV should not project dark intentions upon student-organised debates or universities fulfilling their legal obligation to ensure the health and safety of staff, but that nevertheless have been willing to help the government introduce workable reforms to the law.
Policy and communications officer
Understanding Animal Research