In answer to a recent parliamentary question, tabled by Henry Smith MP, James Brokenshire stated that Home Office inspectors have been investigating the allegations made by the BUAV against Imperial College and that the Home Office intends to publish its report later this year, which will be made public.
The BUAV investigation at Imperial College London, one of the UK's leading universities, lifted the lid on the secrecy surrounding animal research with a chilling insight into the day to day reality for animals with staff admissions of their own wrong-doing and incompetence. Since then the BUAV has urged the Home Office Minister to set up an inquiry, wholly independent of the Home Office and Imperial College, into the concerns we raised. Celebrities, including Joanna Lumley, Morrissey, Chrissie Hynde, Moby, Jenny Seagrove, Twiggy, Wendy Turner-Webster, Bill Oddie and Chris Packham joined our call by signing up to an open letter to Lord Taylor of Holbeach, Home Office Minister and a BUAV petition, signed by over 65,000 people calling for an independent inquiry into our disturbing evidence, was also submitted. To date, the Home Office has refused to set up such an independent inquiry.
In his response, James Brokenshire stated:
'Home Office inspectors have been investigating the allegations against Imperial College and we intend to publish a report later this year.
My noble Friend, Lord Taylor has met with the Imperial College establishment licence holder and other relevant senior individuals to discuss the independent investigative report that they have commissioned and agreed to publish. They have provided strong assurances of a rigorous inquiry.
It is imperative that lessons learned and broader issues for the wider community are taken from this incident. We have therefore requested the Government's independent expert advisory body, the Animals in Science Committee (ASC), to review both the inspectorate's report and Imperial College's independent report, when both are available, and to provide me with advice.
The ASC report will also be made public. Copies will be placed in the House Library.'
The BUAV investigation documented a catalogue of shortcomings that caused even more suffering to animals than was allowed in the experiments. Findings included: breaches in and lack of knowledge of UK Home Office project licences; staff incompetence and neglect that resulted in animal suffering and distress; unsupervised researchers - with little experience - anaesthetising and carrying out surgery on animals; a failure to provide adequate anaesthesia and pain relief and the controversial use of a guillotine to carry out live decapitation.
For further information, please visit http://licensedtokill.buav.org