Uncaged Campaigns, campaigning against vivisection  
Uncaged 1993-2012: This is the archived website of Uncaged. All information correct at the time of archiving - November 2012.

news archive

animal experiments
procter & gamble
vegan recipes

International Animal Rights Day

More Uncaged sites:

Read the secret history of xenotransplantation experiments



news release

Dr Dan LyonsCampaigns Director Dan Lyons successfully completes PhD on animal research policy

Uncaged's Campaigns Director Dan Lyons has been awarded a PhD for his research into the evolution of British animal research policy. This establishes Dr Lyons as one of the country's leading authorities on the politics of animal experimentation.

Dr Lyons' research was carried out on a part-time basis through the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield, which is one of the leading politics research centres in the UK. His extensive thesis described and explained the entire evolution of animal research policy in Britain, from its inception prior to the 1876 Cruelty to Animals Act to the present day.

Previous studies have been severely hampered by the secrecy surrounding this policy area - going back to Victorian times - which has meant that there has been no reliable evidence concerning the real processes and effects of animal research policy. However, Dr Lyons' research represents a major step forward in this field as it employs a unique case study involving unprecedented primary empirical data concerning Imutran's xenotransplantation experiments. These documents were disclosed following Dr Lyons' and Uncaged's historic public interest legal victory over Novartis.

When the Imutran case is analysed in the context of this policy area's evolution, it reveals that the pivotal moment in the history of animal research policy was the institutionalisation of covert, insider relationships between the experimenters' lobby groups [1] and the Home Office in 1882. Since that point, the interests of animals and public opinion have been given scant consideration in an elitist policy process characterised by research interests' domination and the exclusion of animal protection groups.

The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 represents another critical juncture in the evolution of animal research policy. At first sight the 1986 Act appeared to introduce policy changes that would mean greater scrutiny and accountability in relation to animal research proposals. However, continued secrecy, the absence of detailed rules, a pervasive ideology of professional self-regulation, an insignificant and pro-animal research Inspectorate, and the entrenched structural power of animal research interests have prevented meaningful changes.

The Imutran case study revealed that the adverse effects suffered by animals significantly exceeded the level posited by the regulatory assessment. On the other hand, Imutran did not achieve the scientific and medical advances that they and the Home Office predicted and formed the legal justification for the research. Thus, the case vividly illustrates that, when granting licences to conduct animal experiments, animals' interests are afforded little effective weight relative to researchers' demands. Furthermore, policy implementation is revealed to be inconsistent with formal policy requirements and official statements on the implementation of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.


  1. In particular, the Association for the Advancement of Medicine by Research - the forerunner of today's Research Defence Society.

Uncaged Campaigns 16.01.07


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