Oxford University obtained a draconian injunction in an attempt to hinder SPEAK's ability to protest - it is the law that we include the injunction here. injunction

Monday, 22 September 2014

Wickham Labs National Demo

Campaigners from SPEAK were pleased to travel to Gosport and give their support to the national demonstration against the vile Wickham Laboratories.

The following exposé by the BUAV came as no surprise to those who had spent many years campaigning against this disgusting establishment -

                        BUAV report
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.
In addition, the report highlights a potential conflict of interest with the Named Veterinary Surgeon, responsible for animal welfare, being a major company shareholder. Despite the above findings, the BUAV are disappointed that the Home Office have failed to properly investigate whether the drugs tested at Wickham Laboratories necessitated animal tests, in particular whether such tests were required by national and international regulators.

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.