Animal Aid

Prospective students to be shown the sinister side of Manchester University

Posted 20 June 2013

Local and national campaigners will be out on Open Days

  • National campaigning organisation Animal Aid joins Manchester Animal Action to protest against animal experiments carried out by Manchester University medical school
  • Animal Aid brands University’s GM mice research programme as ‘pitiless, shameful and medically irrelevant’
  • More than 46,000 mice are used by the University in just one year
  • Animal Aid’s campaign vehicle will screen a continuous loop of footage showing a variety of GM mouse experiments

On Friday 21 and Saturday 22 June – Manchester University’s Open Days – Animal Aid will join members of Manchester Animal Action outside the Stopford Building to alert prospective students to the sinister activities that take place inside the university’s science labs.

The University has long been a focus of anti-vivisection campaigners. Manchester Animal Action has been present at Open Days and on the World Day for Animals in Laboratories for a number of years, raising awareness about the nature of the University’s research and demanding an end to animal experiments at the University. Often, passers-by are shocked to discover what goes on behind the closed doors of the university’s Stopford Laboratories.

Isobel of MAA:

‘We value the opportunity to raise awareness during Open Days about the activities of the University, as it allows us to reach out to the members of the public who are able to make a difference: the prospective students. It is their tuition fees that may end up funding this suffering, and Open Days provide us with the opportunity to make them aware of this before they choose Manchester University.’

Animal Aid has focused on the university’s use of genetically modified mice. In experiments funded by the British Heart Foundation, researchers ‘programmed’ mice so that they would automatically develop heart failure. The mice were then used in crude tests in which they were forced to swim for up to 90 minutes twice a day for 28 days. Animal Aid’s rigorous study of the scientific literature on mouse experiments has found that, due to genetic and physiological differences – a mouse heart beats at 600 times per minute compared with the human average of 72, for example – an accurate representation of human heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases cannot be reproduced in mice. That is why results from heart disease experiments on GM mice that appear promising fail to translate into clinical progress. For this reason, Animal Aid has branded the experiments as ‘pitiless, shameful and medically irrelevant’.

Says Animal Aid’s Scientific Consultant, Dr Adrian Stallwood

‘Now is the time of year when large numbers of prospective students will be seeing what Manchester University has to offer. There is one sinister side of university activity that the authorities will be keen to keep under wraps for fear of repelling intelligent young people with a conscience. Its genetic modification and experimentation using mice is immensely cruel, and without scientific merit.’

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