The following exposé by the BUAV came as no surprise to those who had spent many years campaigning against this disgusting establishment -
In November 2010, the UK Home Office released a report on Wickham Laboratories, Hampshire, which substantiated many of the findings of the BUAV's 2009 undercover investigation, "The Ugly Truth" The BUAV's investigator worked undercover for eight months at Wickham Laboratories and secretly filmed the treatment of animals inside the facility.
Following our revelations, the Home Office report found breaches to the animal testing licenses issued to the company and infringement proceedings are being considered against it.
The reports key findings include:
- Mice routinely died in cruel poisoning tests rather than being "humanely" killed by staff - a clear breach in the institution's Government project licence;
- Staff incompetence in the way mice were killed led to their suffering - including the practise of neck breaking with a pen on the corridor floor;
- Key staff did not carry out their legal responsibilities under the Animals Scientific Procedures Act, including the Named Veterinary Surgeon not insuring rabbit welfare;
- Staff training in the monitoring of killing animals was poor;
- There was a lack of enforcement of available non-animal alternatives.
Following the BUAV's investigation, it has emerged that one of the companies commissioning tests on rabbits at Wickham have since moved to non-animal alternatives and the UK Veterinary Medicines Directorate have launched a review into the use of rabbits for pyrogenicity testing. The Home Office investigation is a missed opportunity to review the need for animal tests across the institution and has seen the Government wash their hands of their responsibility to enforce non-animal methods.
After the march through Gosport, we paid a visit to the Wickham Labs. We received much support from the passing public.