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Tuesday, 11 February, 2003, 17:07 GMT
Animal testing complaints dismissed
Marmoset, Buav
The dispute centres on marmoset testing
An official report has cleared Cambridge University scientists of breaching animal testing regulations.

The review by the Animals Inspectorate was begun after the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (Buav) released a video last May to back up its claims that scientists were carrying out brain experiments on marmosets without proper authorisation.

However, junior Home Office minister Bob Ainsworth said on Tuesday: "No evidence has been found to support any of the Buav's main contentions."

Buav said it was "utterly appalled and deeply angered" by the report.

Severity limits

The dispute centres on three animal research projects for the study of neurological conditions such as amnesia, dementia and Parkinson's disease.

Buav claimed a 10-month undercover investigation had shown scientists were carrying out tests that were more severe than allowed under the terms of their Home Office licence.

The Chief Inspector of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate reported: "The severity limits and bands for these projects, none of which was classified as higher than 'moderate', have been correctly assigned in accordance with the published criteria."

Welfare important

It concluded: "Nothing seriously untoward has been discovered about the licensing and running of these projects at Cambridge University, and on those aspects there are no grounds for significant concern or further action."

The news was welcomed by Cambridge University.

A spokesman said in a statement: "The report confirms that the welfare of animals used in research at Cambridge is of the utmost importance."

But Buav chief executive Michelle Thew said: "This is further proof, if proof were really needed, that this government has no concern whatsoever with the suffering of laboratory animals and no concern either with the truth."


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19 Aug 02 | Health
24 May 02 | Science/Nature
01 Nov 01 | England
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