Following the BUAV’s investigation exposing breaches of animal experiment licences at Imperial College London (ICL), Home Office Minister Norman Baker today said that “I have discussed the ASC report with ICL and have now been informed by them that the current establishment licence holder has agreed to step down from holding that responsibility with immediate effect.”
Michelle Thew, CEO of the BUAV said, “We welcome this U-turn by Imperial College, following its statement last week that it fully supported the Establishment Licence Holder despite the catalogue of shortcomings and wrongdoing shown by our investigation. In light of the seriousness of the failings and the conclusions of the government’s advisory body’s report published last week, we believe the position of the Establishment Licence Holder to be untenable. However, we also believe the public will not understand that despite constant reassurances from the Government that the UK has the best regulation in the world; a university can be allowed to fall short of best practice for so long without action taken by the Home Office. We also call on the Home Office to release the full report so the public is aware of all the facts."
Ms Thew also welcomed a statement by Home Office Minister Norman Baker today that he intends to make changes to the secrecy shrouding animal experiment licences in this Parliament. “We expressed strong concern that Home Office proposals would kick the issue into the long grass and we are very pleased to learn that they have decided to press ahead.”