On Saturday 2nd Week, the ‘World Day for Animals In Laboratories’ marched in silence down Cornmarket and onto the Life Sciences department in Parks Road.
Between 400 and 1000 people took part in the protest, including members of the University. Support was shown for a protester who was jailed in 2010 for trying to bomb Universtiy sites.
Demonstrators gathered on South Parks Road outside a University building whose construction they previously put off for 18 months. They claimed to have saved “tens of thousands of animal lives” in the delay.
The University is the largest centre of animal testing in Britain, with an estimated 150,000 expended each year.
Many protesters believe animal testing to be unnecessary and that results obtained unreliable.
However the University – and many scientists – have strongly maintained that testing on animals forms an invaluable part of the research process.
It highlights the “millions of lives” saved and improved by the research and cites its official commitment to “pursuing the replacement, reduction and refinement of animal use, [and] engage fully in the ethical review process”.
Elsewhere in the University this week, Somerville College’s principal intervened to stop plans for a live shark to appear at the college ball, after animal welfare concerns were raised.
The EU permits animal testing under incredibly strict regulation. It banned the import of cosmetics tested on animals in in 2009.
Frank Macpherson met members of the demonstration, including academics; and also spoke to passing students and police officers.