Animal Justice Project has revealed through a freedom of information request that universities have been found to be using taxpayer’s money to fund animal testing using recreational drugs.
They have revealed details of experiments inside the University of Nottingham as part of the ‘Deadly Doses’ campaign.
The campaign uncovered that during 2013 almost 30,000 animals were used for experiments at the University of Nottingham. Of the 30,000 over 12,000 were used in ‘curiosity-driven research’ and over 13,000 animals used as breeding ‘stock’.
“We challenge the University of Nottingham to defend their use of animals for recreational drug research by holding a public scientific debate”
It has been revealed that the university had injected rats with class A and B drugs during a series of experiments. 204 procedures involving different amphetamines were carried out between 2012 and 2013 and a total of 48 procedures were carried out on rats using ecstasy in 2012.
Claire Palmer, spokesperson for Animal Justice Project, stated that, “The extent of the University of Nottingham’s drug testing on animals was among the worst we found. We believe these sorts of experiments shouldn’t be taking place at all”.
She added, “Non-animal studies are by far the most accurate way of investigating the effects. These type of experiments cause immense suffering for the animals involved. The Home Office should only allow animal experiments if an alternative way of testing doesn’t exist”.
“I think animal testing is cruel and other viable alternatives should always be sought out, even if the testing is within home office guidelines”
Yiota Papouridou, a first year History and Politics student commented, “I think animal testing is cruel and other viable alternatives should always be sought out, even if the testing is within home office guidelines”.
However, the University has defended its position on animal testing by stating that all experiments were carried out in line with Home Office guidelines.
A spokesperson for the University of Nottingham argued that, “The animal studies were conducted under strict Home Office legislation, approved under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and reviewed in advance by the University Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body”.
The investigation revealed that the laboratory-bred rodents had been injected with the drugs to test the toxic effects on the brain and that some were given electric foot shocks to test their responses before their necks were broken to kill them.
Animal Justice Project science adviser Dr Andre Menache stated, “We challenge the University of Nottingham to defend their use of animals for recreational drug research by holding a public scientific debate, with experts for and against. Then let the public be the judge of whether such research should be allowed to continue”.