|Uncaged 1993-2012: This is the archived website of Uncaged. All information correct at the time of archiving - November 2012.|
UNCAGED ASSISTS AUSTRALIAN XENOTRANSPLANTATION MORATORIUM
Xenotransplantation attracted public attention in Australia in early 2001 when the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) established a working party to determine whether clinical (animal-to-human) trials should be permitted in Australia.
An initial public consultation process in the form of meetings across Australia drew little interest, although there was strong community feeling against such research occurring in Australia. The main areas of concern were animal welfare and the risk of a novel xoonotic (cross-species) pandemic emerging.
A second round of consultation was much more widely publicised, followed and attended, and attracted over 330 submissions. Public meetings were held in each major Australian city and were all well attended. Several of the submissions and representations in the second round drew heavily on the Diaries of Despair Report and documents that Uncaged fought a 2½ year legal battle for the right to be able to make available to campaigners and interested parties across the world (www.xenodiaries.org). Of particular interest were the 'clinical signs' - the regular assessments of primate recipients of pig organs - a horrifying account of the suffering endured by hundreds of primates. In the past 11 years Uncaged's website has built up to be a valuable resource. Information at www.uncaged.co.uk/xeno.htm about the dangers of virus transfer and threat to human health on a worldwide scale was used extensively in many of the submissions.
The result was increased public and media concern in Australia about xenotransplantation, and campaigners achieved a surprise partial victory when the Government agreed in September 2004 to impose a 5 year moratorium on animal-to-human organ transplant trials. However, animal research has not yet been halted and animal groups continue to lobby for this ban.
- Based on report from Helen Rosser, Humane Charities Australia
Uncaged Campaigns 27.09.04