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Internal training manual for animal experiments


Scotland for Animals has obtained the internal training manual for animal experiments in Scottish research units.

Photographs show animals in highly distressing situations, many appear to have been taken within Glasgow University.

SfA spokesman John Patrick:

"This document is riddled with misinformation based on outdated ideas, it actively encourages bad practice. It's worrying that this is the benchmark for medical research in Scotland".

"The fact that this manual endorses brutal killing and restraint methods is a national embarrassment. It puts to rest the fallacy that animals are treated with care and respect in the UK vivisection industry".

"Scotland for Animals has called for jurisdiction over animal research to be included in any further transfer of powers to the Scottish Parliament. We owe it to our families and everyone we care about to bin the use of animals and invest in real research".

Pictures show animals such as dogs, cats and rabbits being used in procedures.

Dr Andre Menache, CEO of Antidote Europe:

"The authors carefully chose to ignore the growing debate within the scientific community about the validity of animal experiments. The authors claim that the main opposition to animal experiments comes from welfare groups. Why do they ignore the British Medical Journal?"

"One of the photos in the manual shows how mice are restrained for taking blood samples from a vein in their hind leg - by being squashed into a centrifuge tube. The human equivalent would be to push a person into a drain pipe just wide enough for them to get into but that would not let them get out again without help. This is a terrifying experience as anyone can tell you who has ever been in in a confined position like this."

"Some killing methods encouraged can lead to extreme animal suffering when performed incorrectly, either due to inexperience or bad practice by the researcher. This is incompatible with the 3Rs principle of reducing animal suffering. It is a sad reflection on the UK animal research community that these forms of killing an animal should still be allowed in the 21st century."

The document also reveals that there could be only 24 Home Office inspectors supposedly enforcing welfare laws in the entire UK.

The manual can be viewed here: http://www.filedropper.com/scotlandforanimals

Scotland for Animals is a Scottish based charity which campaigns for animal protection. http://scotlandforanimals.org/

Antidote Europe is a Europe wide organisation made up of scientists and medical professionals to inform the public about the harm done to human health due to reliance of flawed research methods. It's committee is opposed to animal experimentation on strictly scientific grounds. http://antidote-europe.org/en/

Notes

92% of new drugs successful in animal studies go on to fail in human trials. (1)

82% of doctors in an independent survey in 2004 were "concerned that animal data can be misleading when applied to humans" and 83% would "support an independent scientific evaluation of the clinical relevance of animal experimentation." (2)

Despite claims that it is essential, no evaluation has been carried out regarding the efficacy or effectiveness of animal experiments. (3)

Many studies have shown that animals predict correctly for humans less than 50% of the time: worse than tossing a coin. (4)

More than 10,000 people are killed every year in the UK by side effects of prescription medicines. (5)

Many practitioners and funders of animal experimentation also admit that it is a poor predictor of how drugs will perform in humans. For example Cancer Research UK have stated that "We do trials in people because animal models do not predict what will happen in humans" (6). The reliance of these organisations and individuals on animal models is widely acknowledged to be significantly affected by fear of litigation should a product cause death, injury or not be fit for purpose.


References

(1) Lester Crawford, FDA Commissioner, in The Scientist 6.8.04 "More compounds failing Phase I" / US Food and Drug Administration (2004) Innovation or Stagnation, Challenge and Opportunity on the Critical Path to New Medical Products.

(2) Survey conducted by TNS Healthcare; see www.curedisease.net/news/040903.shtml

(3) "Government has not commissioned or evaluated any formal research on the efficacy of animal experiments and has no plans to do so." Home Office Minister Caroline Flint, 2004.

"the reliability and relevance of all existing animal tests should be reviewed as a matter of urgency." Toxicology Working Group of the House of Lords Select Committee on Animals in Scientific Procedures, 2002.

(4) GAO/PEMD-90-15 FDA Drug Review: Postapproval Risks 1976-1985.

(5) Pirmohamed, M. British Medical Journal 2004;329:15-19

(6) Dr Sally Burtles, Cancer Research UK. Report of the Expert Scientific Group on phase one clinical trials/ TGN1412.


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