Imperial College London faces further criticism from animal rights group

The Home Office has also released data showing experiments on animals across the country have broadly flatlined since 2013

July 21, 2016
Imperial College London campus building sign

An anti-animal testing group has accused Imperial College London of failing to sufficiently raise its standards in the wake of a number of critical investigations and reports in recent years.

As new statistics on the use of animals in experiments were released, Cruelty Free International (CFI) said that information released under the Freedom of Information Act showed that Imperial was failing to provide 24-hour care for animals.

Instead, it was supervising animals from 8am to 5pm, something Michelle Thew, CFI’s chief executive, said showed Imperial was acting as though it was “business as usual”.

An Imperial spokeswoman said that outside normal working hours, there was “always at least one vet and five senior animal care staff on call” to attend to any emergencies.

“The college complies with the Home Office’s regulations concerning out-of-hours care, and works closely with the Home Office as regulator,” she said.

In 2013, CFI published an investigation alleging “appalling animal suffering on a very large scale” on the university’s Hammersmith campus.

A subsequent report by the Home Office released in 2014 found that all but five of the charges were unsubstantiated, but did conclude that there was a “widespread poor culture of care”.

Statistics released on 20 July show that the number of experiments carried out on animals in 2015 was broadly the same as in 2013 and 2014, at about 4.1 million.

Around six in 10 were on mice, 14 per cent on fish and 12 per cent on rats. Experiments on "specially protected species" such as monkeys, dogs, cats and horses accounted for 0.8 per cent of procedures.

The proportion of experiments rated as producing a “severe” effect on the animal involved – classified as causing a “major departure from the animal’s usual state of health and well-being” – was 6 per cent, down from 8 per cent in 2014.

david.matthews@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Microlight pilot flies with flock of cranes

Reports of UK-based researchers already thinking of moving overseas after Brexit vote

Portrait montage of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage

From Donald Trump to Brexit, John Morgan considers the challenges of a new international political climate