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Government Response to Lords Committee is cynical and deceitful

Published today (20.01.03), the Government's response to the House of Lords ad hoc Select Committee Report on "Animals in Scientific Procedures" reveals a biased policy dripping with contempt for the rule of law and for the welfare of animals.

[See www.homeoffice.gov.uk/animalsinsp/
reference/publications/hol_select_ comm.htm

The Home Office response has seized the opportunity to weaken yet further the implementation of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, while stalling once more one of the positive recommendations of the Lords Committee - that there should be more openness on animal experiments. The Government has agreed with the Lords' Committee's recommendations on 'streamlining' the regulatory system. In reality this means dismantling it even further. This recommendation came after direct lobbying from industry representatives who had threatened to relocate to countries with no explicit animal welfare regulations. [www.uncaged.co.uk/news0108.htm]

"There has been a deliberate, secret policy of non-enforcement."

Uncaged Campaigns and Director Dan Lyons have been fighting a two year legal battle to publish leaked documents revealing the inside story of vivisection [www.xenodiaries.org/legalaid.htm]. Part of the public interest Defence is that the documents reveal a collusive relationship between the Home Office and the company Imutran, and that the Home Office cannot be trusted to conduct itself properly.

Dan Lyons comments:

"The Government's claims of 'stringent' regulation and a 'culture of care' are a cynical and deceitful attempt to lull the public into a false sense of security about vivisection. Behind am iron curtain of secrecy, the Government actively helps researchers flout the criteria for gaining licences, turns a blind eye to breaches of the law, and covers up for the culprits when the truth threatens to emerge. It refuses to even question the exaggerated predictions of 'human benefits' put forward by commercial and vested interests. There has been a deliberate, secret policy of non-enforcement."

The Government has also said that it will consult with "the research community" regarding more access to information about animal experiments. However, the Government's own advisory committee, the Animal Procedures Committee, has already held a lengthy consultation exercise involving all interested parties, including animal protection groups. It reported in 2001 and recommended greater openness [www.apc.gov.uk/reference/openness.pdf].The Lords Committee also took evidence from all sides of the debate, though the pro-vivisection lobby dominated proceedings. It also recommended greater openness. Dan Lyons comments:

"The fact that the Government has ignored both its own advisory committee and the Lords - both of whom are conservative bodies - shows how extreme and biased the Government's position is. The 'research community' has repeatedly attacked freedom of information, both politically and legally, because they know that the truth about vivisection will prove politically difficult for them. Now the Government, true to form, is going to work with them alone to delay and evade the broad consensus view for the need for freedom of information in this controversial area."

For further information and interviews, please contact Dan Lyons on 07799 117695.

Uncaged Campaigns 20.01.03


Uncaged 1993-2012: This is the archived website of Uncaged. All information correct at the time of archiving - November 2012.