Marmoset with head wound. Credit: BUAV
The primary visual area of the human brain is twice the size of, and in a different location to, that of macaque monkeys



An Anti-Vivisection Battleground

Animal Aid is the UK's largest animal rights group and one of the longest established in the world, having been founded in 1977. They campaign against all forms of animal abuse and promote a cruelty-free lifestyle.

The University of Cambridge twice had its plans refused by the local authority, but appealed again. This led to a public inquiry. The inspector's final report was a triumph for all those opposed to these pitiless and unscientific experiments. He declared that the University had failed to show that the proposed brain research was in the national interest. However, John Prescott has swatted aside the report and given the university permission to proceed.

The University claims that the experiments will provide insights into human diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Yet we know that there are crucial differences between monkeys and people; and the artificial way in which the disease symptoms are induced also means that the experiments will be of no use to human medicine. (For more on this see the Dr Hadwen report). The Cambridge proposal has become a vitally important battleground where the wider arguments over animal experiments will be fought out.

Animal Aid played a leading role in the successful opposition to the earlier attempts by Cambridge University to gain planning permission for the primate lab. Animal Aid has now brought together the leading national anti-vivisection groups to support X-CAPE and to bring about a co-ordinated response.

More about the background to the campaign >>

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