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A leading UK university has accused activists of misrepresenting its animal research programme. / Picture source: Hopkins Architects

Top UK research university says activists are misrepresenting its work

A leading UK university has accused activists of misrepresenting its animal research programme.

The University of Nottingham vowed to continue its work which includes research into treatment for arthritis.

It was targeted by The Animal Justice Project which claimed the research was causing unnecessary suffering to 25,000 animals.

But the university said it follows “strict guidelines” set out by the UK’s Home Office and that testing on animals is an important part of its scientific work.

A spokeswoman for the university said: “The statement released by the Animal Justice Project is not a fair representation of the important scientific work that takes place at the University of Nottingham involving animals.

“All the procedures using animals at the University of Nottingham are regulated by the Animals Scientific Procedures Act 1986 and meet the strict guidelines set out by the Home Office.

“Our work into arthritis offers hope to the 10 million people in the UK who suffer this painful condition.”

In 2014, Arthritis Research UK awarded the university £2 million worth of funding for studies to be carried out.

The Animal Justice Project is calling on the university to end its testing.

Daisy Hall, senior researcher for Animal Justice Project, said: “This has no place in civilised society and is absolutely unnecessary – using animals as ‘models’ for research into human disease such as arthritis is outdated.”

In 2016, 25,449 procedures were conducted on animals at the university.

Animals involved in research include mice, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, ferrets, pigs, sheep, cattle and fish.

The university added that animal testing is used in cancer research, aging, obesity and diabetes.

Natalie Carter, head of research, liaison and evaluation, at Arthritis UK said: “Arthritis can have a devastating impact on a person’s overall quality of life.

“Through investing in breakthrough research, we are increasing our understanding of how arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions develop and discover treatments to take the pain away.

“The charity funds a range of medical research and in accordance with legislation, animals are only used in research where there are no alternatives.”

A Home Office spokesman added: “The UK has one of the most comprehensive animal welfare systems in the world and we are completely committed to the proper regulation of the use of animals in scientific research.

“This research helps us to ensure that medicines are safe to use and to find treatments for cancer and other diseases, among a range of other benefits.”

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