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14/10/08

Permalink 06:27:21 pm, by Tom, 292 words, 2722 views   English (UK)
Categories: News

Students at Freshers’ Fair show they are “Pro-Test”

The success of the Pro-Test stall at Freshers’ Fair shows once again that students are in support of the lifesaving animal research and the new Oxford Biomedical Facility. This builds on the success of Pro-Test at the last Freshers’ Fair, as well as the OUSU referendum in 2006, in which over 90% of students voted to support animal research and new lab(1).

This year the Pro-Test stall proved to be an enourmous success, with well over 700 signatures in a petition of support(2). Pro-test would like to thank everyone who signed, and the hundreds who added that they would like to get involved in the campaign. It was pleasing to see not just science students, but also art and social science students rushing over to sign up and show support for a cause that has obviously appealed to a wide cross-section of the university.

After seeing partner organisations being established overseas, including in the United States this year(3), it was great to see that this issue continues to enjoy huge support in the city where the original campaign was launched. No doubt this success predicts another exciting year ahead for Pro-Test and the hundreds of new members eager to get involved.

FIRST MEETING OF TERM:
Wednesday 15th October.
6-7:30pm
Contact - James@pro-test.org.uk if you are interested in attending and need more details.

Regards

James Burgess

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Notes
(1). http://www.pro-test.org.uk/b2evo/index.php?blog=5&title=90_4_of_oxford_students_support_animal_r&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

(2). The petition stated:
I support necessary Animal Research carried out for medical science
I support the new Oxford Biomedical Research Facility

(3). Pro-Test jointly setup the organisation Speaking of Research with Americans for Medical Progress – http://www.speakingofresearch.org/

05/10/08

Permalink 09:51:21 pm, by Tom, 269 words, 1464 views   English (UK)
Categories: News

Pro-Test welcomes recommendations on recording animal suffering

Pro-Test welcomes the recommendations made this week by the Animal Procedures Committee and Lab Animals Science Association working group in their final report on gathering data on the severity of animal procedures retrospectively.

At present the statistics on animal suffering published by the Home Office are based on estimates of the suffering that animals may experience during the procedures that are made when scientists apply for a licence to undertake a procedure, with projects that are approved being categorised as mild, moderate or severe. Home Office examiners need to consider all the potential animal welfare implications of a procedure when considering whether to grant a licence. Since Home Office regulations require that procedures do not exceed the severity limits stated in a licence there is unsurprisingly a tendency to stress the "worst-case" scenario. Research undertaken by the working group found that the actual suffering experienced by animals during experiments is often significantly less than that estimated in the licences.

The working group has proposed that the adverse effects, if any, experienced by every animal should be recorded and later made public in the annual statistics on animal use published by the Home Office. We hope that the Home Office will soon approve pilot studies to evaluate the scheme recommended by the working group, and if successful implement the scheme nationwide. The availability of accurate data on the actual suffering experienced by laboratory animals will help to inform both the public debate and discussions of any future changes to the systems used to assess severity, and will also help to prioritize areas where work is needed to further reduce suffering.

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