Stop Subsidizing Cruel Animal Research Laboratory


Target: Chris Wormald, Permanent Secretary, UK Department for Education

Goal: Cut government funding of cruel animal testing facility at Cambridge University

The Cambridge University’s taxpayer funded animal testing laboratories cause unnecessary pain and suffering to several species of primates and other animals. Rhesus macaques, marmosets, as well as rats and other creatures are subject to brutal mutilation and electrical shocks, sometimes without proper anesthetic.

The laboratory induces physical injury and brain damage to primates in order to measure physical and cognitive abilities afterward. In one set of tests, the primates’ arms were broken, and they were restrained in such a way that only the damaged limb was useable. They were then deprived of food and water, twenty-two hours a day for two and a half years, so as to force the primate to fetch nourishment with only its broken arm.

After inducing brain damage in some monkeys, they would place them in small glass-like boxes to induce rotation behavior, a common characteristic of confusion and stress. The monkeys were then injected with methamphetamine and other chemicals in order to speed up their rotations, often resulting in screeching, clawing, and panic.

In another, the monkeys’ scalps were sawed open in order to induce a stroke. The monkeys were then left unattended for 15 hours without veterinary attention, as there are no after-hours care staff employed by the facility. Sometimes, the creatures on the operating table displayed muscle tone, a sign of improper anesthesia.

The university laboratory relies on taxpayer dollars in the form of government subsidies to operate. Demand an end to the cruel experiments and retirement of all primates in the facility by withdrawing all taxpayer funding from the facility.


Dear Chris Wormald, Permanent Secretary, UK Department for Education,

The Cambridge University’s animal research laboratories inflict cruel pain and suffering on intelligent and sentient primates. During tests, the monkeys are physically injured, deprived of food and water, injected with drugs such as methamphetamine, and restrained. Stroke and brain damage is induced, sometimes with improper anesthetic, and the animals are left unattended for 15 hours afterward when the staff return home.

The pain and stress caused by these experiments is cruel and unnecessary. I demand that taxpayer funding in the form of government subsidies is revoked. I ask that the primate testing be cancelled, and the monkeys retired to sanctuaries.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Grey Wulf via Flickr Creative Commons

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One Comment

  1. Helene Beck says:

    The use of animals in research in the UK was the highest in 25 years in 2011 despite constant campaigning for the opposite by animal rights groups (such as Peta, BUAV, and others).
    Primates are also still being used despite strong and intense campaigning to permanently retire all primates from research.
    I responded to one action alert (much like the above from Force Change)regarding this matter, and the Home Office (UK) sent me the following reply regarding the continuing use of primates in research in the UK and the plans to abolish this.
    The letter is dated 4. Febr. 2014 and it is from Home Office, Direct Communications Unit, London SW1P 4DF, and it is FYI:

    “Dear Ms Beck,

    Thank you for your e-mail about the use of non-human primates in scientific research.
    The Government recognises that many people have a particular concern about the use of non-human primates and will continue to be supportive of all work directed at developing alternatives to non-human primates in scientific research. Research using non-human primates is a small but important part of animal research in the UK.
    Non-human primates and certain other species are given special protection under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and may only be used if no other species is suitable or it is not practicable to obtain animals of any other species that are suitable for the purposes of the relevant programme of work. The use of Great Apes (gorillas, orang-utan and chimpanzees) is not allowed.
    In 2010, the Coalition Government made a commitment to work to reduce the use of animals in scientific research in “Coalition: our programme for Government”. The Coalition Commitment is not concerned with just baseline numbers, but encompasses the replacement, refinement and reduction (3R’s) more broadly, putting them at the heart of a science led approach. 
    We will publish a Delivery Plan shortly that will set out how the Government is supporting and encouraging these advances and the programmes and policies through which Government will continue to deliver its commitment. The consequence will be accelerated take up of the 3R’s – both domestically and internationally set on the tenets of good science, good animal welfare and good for the UK and economic growth.
    The commitment to is being delivered through a science-led programme led by the National Centre for Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs), an organisation with a strong record in reducing animal use. The NC3Rs closely involves government departments and agencies, the Home Office Inspectorate, the research community in both academia and industry, and others with relevant animal welfare interests. The Coalition Government is proud to support the work of the NC3Rs which is an internationally recognised leader in the field.
    We also welcome the Technology Strategy Board’s recent announcement of its decision to invest £4 million in feasibility studies into how non-animal technologies can be further developed and applied to improve product development across a range of industries. We are confident that we can maintain a thriving UK life sciences sector in looking for such new and innovative ways to do our science which will also contribute to our economic growth.

    Yours sincerely

    Animals in Science Regulation Unit”

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