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Credit: Israeli Society for the Abolition of Vivisection (ISAV)Animal activists are in a state of shock as it emerges that the Government has overruled the findings of a public inquiry to give the go-ahead for a primate brain research laboratory at Cambridge University. The Planning Inspector in charge of the inquiry had dismissed the case made by Cambridge University and biotech entrepreneur Lord Sainsbury that the laboratory was in the national interest. Lord Sainsbury is a multi-million pound donor to the Labour Party and has secured the post of Minister for Science.

Before the public inquiry, the Government had controversially decided that the final decision for the planning decision would be made by the Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, rather than being left to the Inspector. In overruling the Planning Inspector, the Government has relied heavily on Lord Sainsbury's assertions in support of the laboratory.

Last year, an undercover investigation by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection at a Cambridge primate brain research lab revealed horrific suffering endured by primates and systematic law-breaking following open brain surgery experiments. This was the latest in a series of inflitrations of laboratories that have revealed severe suffering and collusion between researchers and the Government to evade the regulatory process.

Dan Lyons, campaigns director of anti-vivisection group Uncaged, warns of major protests against the Government's decision:

"Lord Sainsbury and the Government are attempting to ride roughshod over the democratic process in order to promote the harrowing torture of higher primates - the cousins of humans. The public inquiry heard extensive evidence from both sides of the debate on primate experiments, and concluded that there was no need for a laboratory to conduct barbaric vivisection primates. It seems that Sainsbury's millions count for more than due process. This cruel and corrupt decision will inspire a huge backlash. Such a blatant abuse of power will hardly encourage animal activists to stick to lawful protests."

"Despite high-profile failures in biotech research on plants and animals, and deep public scepticism, Blair naively remains entranced by the false promise of modern science. But not only is this research often extremely cruel to animals or a danger to the environment and public health, it promises to be an economic disaster as precious time and investment is wasted on projects more akin to alchemy than sound science. We need more balanced and humble approach to science and the economy, rather than a bubble driven by commercial greed and arrogant scientists divorced from complex reality."

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Uncaged Campaigns 21.11.03


Uncaged 1993-2012: This is the archived website of Uncaged. All information correct at the time of archiving - November 2012.