A new Leicester research centre will test on animals
University of Leicester will use rodents for medical research purposes
University of Leicester's new biomedical research centre will test on animals; an action the National Anti-Vivisection Alliance is against.
The alliance is strongly protesting testing on rodents at the university.
As a result of the protesters visiting the new research centre on a regular basis, the facilities equipment supplier has cancelled its contract.
BBC Leicester's Tony Wadsworth speaks to both parties to find out why they are for and against animal testing.
Animal testing debate
The University of Leicester is replacing its existing research facilities, with a new unified centre.
The university said it is committed to conducting biomedical research without the use of animals and that their research involving animals is carried out only in situations where there is no alternative.
The National Anti-Vivisection Alliance has questioned the continued use of any animal testing for medical research by the university.
So will the project continue to go ahead or there is an alternative to testing on animals?
Tony questions the Chief Executive of Understanding Animal Research Simon Festing, about testing on animals.
"We do medical research to save people's lives and to stop people suffering. A small and vital part of that does involve the use of animals.
"Animals have contributed to many medical advances of the the last century.
"One example is a medicine for breast cancer called Herceptin. Not only was this developed and test in mice, but it still now comes from mice.
"Also 50 years ago nearly all children with leukaemia died. But now a treatment, which was developed and tested in mice again, can save the lives of eight out of 10 children."
Luke Steele from the National Anti-Vivisection Alliance believes there are alternatives to testing on animals.
"I believe some of these statistics are disfigured.
"A study reveals 80% of GP's wouldn't trust animal tested medicines to their patients. So who is accurate enough to say animal testing works?
"I believe animal testing cannot be relied upon because of the biological, physiological and genetic differences.
"Non-animal methods can be trusted 60% to 90% of the time compared to 15% to 25% when using animals."
Debates for and against the ethical use of animal testing in the development of medical science are likely to continue for years to come.
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