Animal Import Troubles Squeeze UK Clinical Research
Posted 19 March 2012 | By
Clinical research in the UK is at risk because private companies are refusing to import animals after being pressured by animal rights activists, reports Reuters.
Researchers and scientists are claiming many ferries and airlines are refusing to import many commonly-used research animals, including mice and rats.
"Threats to the carriage of these animals will slow down the progress of essential and life-saving biomedical research," said scientists from the Medical Research Council, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, the Association of Medical Research Charities and others to Reuters.
A spokeswoman from P&O Ferries said the company's decision to withdraw from animal transport was done partially in response to threats made against the company's employees, including letter bombs sent to executives.
Clinical research in the UK is "already being impeded because of the targeting of airlines and ferry companies by tiny, unrepresentative pressure groups," said Prof. Colin Blakemore of Oxford University. "The government and the medical research community must support the transport companies and explain to the public why the importation of small numbers of animals... is crucial for medical progress."
Reuters - Animal import bans "put UK drug research at risk"