117,000 animal tests at Cambridge
By Matt Roper 20/11/2010
Researchers at Cambridge University carried out more than 117,000 experiments on animals last year.
Animals used included 103,580 mice, 35 monkeys and three horses. It was also revealed yesterday that 2,000 out of the 117,212 experiments were classed as the highest level of severity.
Animal rights campaigners reacted with fury at the figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act.
Andrew Tyler of Animal Aid said: "These animals are not reliable surrogates for human beings and we don't have the moral authority to inflict such torments.
"These creatures aspire to something better than to be locked in a cage - whether i t 's a mouse or a monkey." A spokes-man for the British Union Against Vivisection claimed the university is hiding the facts about its animal testing.
He said: "It receives huge amounts of public money for its work. It is high time it came clean about the research, so that students can make up their own minds."
In 2001, campaigners released shocking details of experiments being performed on 400 marmosets over nine months.
They alleged that scientists sawed open monkeys' skulls and inserted toxins to simulate Parkinson's Disease.
The university refused to release precise details of tests carried out in 2009. But it is known that animals often end up dead.
A university spokeswoman said testing could lead to improved treatment for diseases such as cancer, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and alzheimers.
She added: "Without animal research, which is only used when there is no alternative, many treatments we take for granted today would not be possible."