Statistics regarding the level of animal testing being conducted at De Montfort University have been released. In the last five years, 853 live animals have been used in experiments, which have been done under the banner of ‘medical research’. While the University isn’t engaging in animal testing on the levels that other institutions do, the figures have the potential to make some uneasy. Read on for full details.
It is commonplace for Universities to engage in animal tests. However, some have stopped doing so in recent years, including the nearby Loughborough University. Yet De Montfort University does conduct experiments, and keeps 15 animals on University owned-premises for research and teaching purposes. As mentioned in the introduction, in the last five years, 853 live animals were used in experiments. The normal practice is for these animals to be euthanised, following the experiment.
De Montfort University stated in their response to a Freedom of Information request pertaining to animal testing, that they operated experiments involving animals for ‘medical research’. They were asked if the University had plans to halt the use of animal’s in tests on University premises. In response, the University stated that it was ‘always our policy to reduce to the minimum the number of animal tests that are conducted’. Yet it seems a complete halting of experiments seem unlikely.
Of course there is no doubting the advancements in medicine that have been forged due to research on animals. The topic always produces fervent debate, with good arguments both for the use of animals, and against the use of animals. When a University does engage in these experiments however, it puts students in the difficult position of possibly inadvertently financing these experiments due to their tuition fees. Many are against animal testing, and would therefore be uneasy at this prospect.
Rats and mice were the only animals used by De Montfort University. It should also be pointed out that Universities must conduct animal experiments in line with regulation, which aims to protect animals where possible from harm. But, animal testing does inevitably harm animals. Several anti-animal testing groups have protested against statistics from other Universities, where typically the amount of experiments are much higher. The topic always creates a debate.
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Animal testing is a very sensitive topic, which divides opinion considerably. The statistics released by De Montfort University suggest that the practice is still very much alive in British institutions – despite campaigners urging for an end to such tests.