Out of hours press enquiries, call 07918 083 774.
Oxford debate heats up!
Posted 18 January 2005
In the week that Oxford University announced building work is to resume at its controversial, new animal laboratory site, the scientific and ethical merits of animal research is the hot topic being debated by the Oxford Union on Thursday 20th January.
Supporting animal experiments are Lord Dick Taverne QC, a prominent champion of the biotech industry with no scientific background, and Dr Simon Festing, Director of animal experiments advocacy group, the Research Defence Society.
Facing off against the two pro-vivisectionists in what promises to be a lively and heated debate will be former MEP Stanley Johnson, founder-chairman of the European Parliament All-Party Group on Animal Welfare and currently the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for Teignbridge, and scientific consultant to Animal Aid, André Menache.
Says Stanley Johnson:
"It is scandalous that the current Labour government has presided over the largest increase in animal experiments for years - to a staggering 2.8 million in 2003, including 5000 experiments on monkeys - more than any other EU member. There can be no justification for experiments on this scale, which make the United Kingdom by far the largest user of experimental animals in Europe."
Last year Animal Aid hosted a live debate on animal experiments here on the website. Click here to read the results.
Notes to Editors
In response to a parliamentary question tabled by Mike Hancock MP in March 2004, the Home Office acknowledged it "has not commissioned or evaluated any formal research on the efficacy of animal experiments" - nor has it any plans to do so.
In stark contrast to the Government's pledge to reduce the number of animal experiments taking place, in 2003 there was a 2.4% rise in the number of animals used (66,000 more animals than in 2002) and a 2% rise in the number of experiments to 2.8 million.
Work at the Oxford laboratory site has been frozen since summer 2004, when building contractors Montpelier pulled out of the project.
Stanley Johnson was awarded the RSPCA Richard Martin Award for Outstanding Services to Animal Welfare and is also the holder of the Greenpeace Prize for Outstanding Services to the Environment. See www.stanleyjohnson.com for further information.
For more information contact André Menache 01732 364546 ext 233.
We have an ISDN line available for broadcast-quality interviews.
We can supply images in jpeg format.