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Petitioning Home Secretary and Member of Parliament for Maidenhead Rt Hon Theresa May MP and 1 other

Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Secretary of State, Home Office: Stop animal research at Imperial College London

An undercover investigation carried out by the BUAV has exposed appalling suffering and wrong-doing inside one of the UK’s leading universities, Imperial College London, ranked as one of the best in the world. Despite Government and industry claims that the UK has strong regulations in place, the BUAV has uncovered a catalogue of suffering and wrongdoing.

Behind the closed doors of this ‘world-leading’ university, the BUAV investigator discovered a nightmare world for animals used in experiments: animals who suffered even more than was allowed by the experiment because of staff incompetence and neglect; a failure to provide adequate anaesthesia and pain relief; breaches and lack of knowledge of UK Home Office project licences and the shocking way in which animals were killed.

The harrowing experiments carried out at Imperial College during the investigation involved the deliberate infliction of major organ damage, surgical mutilation and invasive head surgery to implant cannulas (tubes) so that substances could be directly injected into the brain. Some animals were forced to run on treadmills to exhaustion to avoid electric shocks, others were restrained while a long tube was forced down their throats and substances injected directly into their stomachs.

This investigation has shed new light on the daily reality for animals in laboratories and the ordeal they are forced to endure. Their suffering was often severe and could include a high degree of pain, distress, weeping or bleeding head or abdomen wounds, diarrhoea, lethargy or hypothermia. Many animals died during or after the surgery; and others had to be killed because the level of their suffering was so great.

The BUAV is calling on the Home Secretary to revoke Imperial College’s Establishment Licence, stopping them from carrying out further animal research, and launch a full and independent inquiry in the concerns raised by the BUAV investigation.

Former Imperial College student and Queen guitarist Dr Brian May has spoken out against the university and backed our call for an independent inquiry:

“I am shocked and saddened to see these revelations. And ashamed that it could have taken place in the University of my own training, in which I have had so much pride.

I can only fully support the work of BUAV and the RSPCA in conducting a full inquiry.

And I hope the result will be that this appalling cruelty will never be allowed to happen again.

Research on animals is an outdated concept - unethical, and unsupportable now that it is known that it yields false results.

There is now, in every case, a better alternative.

Experimentation on animals must now come to an end, and I urge Imperial College to use this opportunity to put all cruelty in the past, by eliminating animal experimentation, and thereby set an example to the world.”

Watch the investigation film and find out more about the investigation:

Please give a voice to these animals and take a stand against the terrible suffering at Imperial College London by signing this petition.

Letter to
Home Secretary and Member of Parliament for Maidenhead Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Secretary of State, Home Office Rt Hon Theresa May MP
The BUAV investigation into animal research at Imperial College London, one of the UK’s leading universities, has uncovered a catalogue of appalling animal suffering and staff wrongdoing.

The UK Government and research industry claim that the country has some of the highest welfare standards in the world for animals in laboratories, yet the findings of the BUAV investigation show that at Imperial College animals suffered unnecessarily because of staff incompetence, a failure to provide adequate anaesthesia and pain relief, breaches and a lack of knowledge of UK Home Office project licences and the methods in which animals were killed.

The animals were viewed as dispensable tools of research, with little intrinsic value, and their welfare was relegated below the needs of the research and staff convenience.

The BUAV’s findings documented at Imperial College London are an issue of great public concern. I urge you to take immediate action by revoking the institution’s Establishment Licence that enables it to carry out animal experiments and to launch a full inquiry, independent of the Home Office, into the concerns raised.

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