If it takes an undercover investigation, a review by an independent committee of experts, 65,000 signatures on a petition and an ongoing Home Office inquiry to bring these shameful acts of cruelty in one of our most prestigious Universities to light what hope is there for animal welfare standards in laboratories across the country?
Instead of gambling our medicines -- and our lives -- upon these dismal stakes, scientists can make more meaningful predictions about the effectiveness of new therapies in humans and about their safety that are relevant to people in the real world, and intercept the progression of disease before a patient even receives their diagnosis.
The name makes it sound as if these statements, which Members of Parliament can put their names to in support, lie at the foothills of some sort of legislative process, sparking debates and justifying Parliamentary scrutiny. In fact, the process begins and ends with MPs sending a letter to the Vote Office, where their name will be added to a list. They are essentially meaningless.
On 16 July, the Home Office released statistics regarding the types of 4.11 million scientific procedures on other animals used in 2012, which again show an increase compared to 2011 figures. The Vegan Society is deeply worried about this trend and the assumed effectiveness of animal research that exists among many scientists and parliamentarians.
One criticism of World Day for Laboratory Animals, is that protest groups tend to paint a very one-sided picture of animal research and are rather selective in their reporting. The picture below, for instance, originates from 1970s America, yet is still used today. Not representative, not this country, not even this century.
Chris Magee writes in the Huffington Post "We all agree" that the European ban on animal testing for cosmetics is "fantastic news" that has been "a long time coming", but that the research community parts company with animal protection campaigns that seek to end animal testing for veterinary and medical uses.
Every life scientist is standing on the shoulders of the previous generation. As we make ever greater inroads to understanding the functioning of living bodies, we should remember that, just because the utility of a piece of knowledge is not yet clear, doesn't mean the process of obtaining that knowledge can be considered a waste of time.
An interesting row has arisen around the transposition of an EU Directive into UK law. It has been sparked by a claim that stray or feral animals will be used in animal research, and tells us a great deal about how anti-animal research lobbyists sometimes mislead their supporters by raising phoney "issues".