Pro-Test was formed in January 2006 by Laurie Pycroft, a 16-year-old frustrated with the way that those opposed to vivisection (testing on animals for the purpose of scientific progress) were dominating the public debate on animal research. For well over a year, groups like SPEAK had been protesting the University of Oxford's construction of a new Biomedical Research Facility on South Parks Road, Oxford. Their campaign of intimidation had forced the University's original contractors off the job in July 2004. Construction did not recommence until November 2005, after which anti-vivisectionists renewed their campaign, abetted by extremist groups such as the ALF, which announced it would target students. Similar campaigns led to the cancellation of a very similar laboratory project in Cambridge in 2004.
Pro-Test aims to counter the irrational arguments of anti-vivisectionists by raising public awareness of the benefits of animal research and creating an environment where scientists can speak out about their work and be proud of the contributions they make. We stand for science, reasoned debate and, above all, the promotion of the welfare of mankind. Pro-Test exists to support the construction of the Oxford lab, to make the case for animal research, and more generally to defend scientific research as a necessary tool of human progress in a climate that is increasingly misanthropic and suspicious of scientists.We support only non-violent protest and condemn those using violence or intimidation to further their goals. We strongly support animal testing as crucially necessary to further medical science.
Pro-Test is guided by a committee of students and academics. Click on the link above to find out more about us. We are funded entirely by voluntary donations from private individuals. Pro-Test does not accept anonymous donations and all funds are accepted on a no-strings-attached basis. No one funding Pro-Test has any influence over the committee's decision-making process.
In February 2010, five years after it formed, Pro-Test wound up its UK operations. Pro-Test has successfully met its goals of defending the construction of the Oxford Lab, increasing awareness of the importance of animal research, and bringing the public on-side in support of life-saving medical research.
Pro-Test's sister organisation, Speaking of Research, was created by Pro-Test press officer Tom Holder in 2008 and continues to be active in both the UK and US