Azara Blog: Major report into animal testing released

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Date published: 2005/05/25

The BBC says:

Efforts to cut the suffering of animals used in testing are still hampered by poor funding and a reluctance by companies to release experimental data.

That was the reaction of campaigners as a major report into the ethics of animal testing in the UK was published.

Ministers have announced more funding for a national centre for the "three R's": refinement, reduction and replacement of animals in research.

The working group behind the report did not reach agreement on key issues.

The panel, set up by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, included scientists, animal rights groups, philosophers and a lawyer.
...
On Tuesday, the government announced it was awarding £3m in funds to the recently established National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research for 2006-2008.

But some still regard the funding for such initiatives as a drop in the ocean.
...
Others criticise the lack of information about animal testing. The working party accepted that rivalry between different scientific research teams and commercial confidentiality in industry complicated the sharing of information.
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David Thomas, legal adviser to the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (Buav), added: "Unless we are allowed that full information we cannot in my judgement have an informed debate."
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The report concludes that it is unrealistic to assume that all animal experiments will end in the short term. The working party therefore appealed for open and rational discussion with "due respect for all views". It gives examples of where animals have proven useful models for the study of human biology and disease, but that the issue had to be judged on a case-by-case basis.
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But Andre Menache, scientific consultant to campaign group Animal Aid, said the Nuffield report was "a missed opportunity".
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"Adverse drug reaction is the fourth biggest killer in the UK today. That points to the fact that there is something wrong with the system that relies so heavily on animal experimentation."

The people who want to stop all use of (non-human) animals in experiments make the usual disingenous comments. If "adverse drug reaction is the fourth biggest killer in the UK today" then what would it be without animal testing. The big pharmas would love nothing more than not to have to do animal tests, think of all the money they would save. If only the governments of the world would promise to pay for all lawsuits arising out of drugs, that were not tested on animals, killing people. And unfortunately the number of tests on animals is going to rise in the EU in the short term, thanks to the so-called environmentalists, because more tests now need to be done to prove chemicals are safe. No doubt better work could be done on the analysis and collection of data on animal tests, and if the report does nothing else, it hopefully will push the government in that direction.

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