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Leading Health Researchers Lie about SSPCA Support

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For Immediate Release

Leading Health Researchers Lie about SSPCA Support

Animal welfare charity Scotland for Animals has condemned Edinburgh University's Roslin Institute for misleading the public regarding their use of animals in experiments. They claim the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals support animal experiments as necessary to find cures and treatments for disease.

Roslin Institute Director, Professor David Hume, circulated this statement to members of the public concerned about Roslin's use of animals in their research programmes.

Scotland for Animals' Spokesman John Patrick stated "We contacted SSPCA CEO Stuart Earley who has confirmed that this is untrue and that they are completely opposed to animal experiments. If Roslin Institute is being so brazenly economical with the truth here how can we be expected to believe their claims that their animal experiments are necessary?"

Referring to the Institute's project to replicate Cystic Fibrosis in genetically modified pigs Stuart Earley told Scotland for Animals that in light of the SSPCA's opposition to the use of animals "it is highly inappropriate if Roslin are quoting us in letters as being supportive of this initiative". He added that their policy statement outlining their opposition to animal experimentation is "pretty emphatic".

Scotland for Animals is campaigning for action on animal testing from MSPs and the Scottish Government and demanding a public inquiry into the massive rise in animals used and killed in research in Scotland which saw a 42% rise in just one year.

John Patrick added "We have huge public support for our campaign. As a result, animal researchers in Scotland are under the spotlight like never before and know they can no longer rely on the "trust me - I'm a doctor" line they've taken in the past."

"They've treated the public as if they're daft and now they're under new scrutiny they appear to be resorting to misinformation and false claims to justify their increasingly indefensible activities."

"For Roslin Institute to abuse the name of the SSPCA, one of Scotland's most respected animal protection organisations, to cover their backs is particularly troubling."

Scotland for Animals have arranged a meeting at the Scottish Parliament with Dr Ray Greek and Dr Andre Menache, leading experts on non-animal research, for 5th October. They will be providing scientific testimony that animal experiments are not only causing suffering to animals but costing human lives and hampering the discovery of cures and treatments for disease.

John Patrick said "Scotland could be a world leader in non-animal research providing jobs, investment and tackling our country's woeful health record. Reliance on vivisection is literally killing us. We're ready to state our case against it. And now that they're being held to account the Scottish Government and pro-vivisection scientists seem to be running scared."

For more information on Dr Greek go to:>  and Dr Menache:

Notes to Editor:

Over 560,000 animals were used and killed in experiments in Scotland in 2008 (last set of figures available) (1)

92% of new drugs successful in animal studies go on to fail in clinical trials (2)

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." (3)

Despite claims that it is essential no evaluation has been carried out regarding the efficacy or effectiveness of animal experiments (4)

Many studies have shown that animals predict correctly for humans less than 50% of the time: worse than tossing a coin (5)

More than 10,000 people are killed every year in the UK by side effects of prescription medicines (6)


(1) Home Office figures released 2009

(2) 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.

(3) Survey conducted by TNS Healthcare; see

(4) "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.

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

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

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