The New Primate Laboratory
The site before construction started
Artist’s impression of Stage 1
Artist’s impression of Stage 2
Oxford University began work to build their new £18 million animal torture lab in early 2004, just weeks after the announcement by Cambridge University that they were to abandon their plans to build Europe’s largest primate lab due to the protests that had been held against them and their rising security costs.
Right from the beginning Oxford University have been less than truthful about this new building and what will happen inside, and even failed to inform Oxford City Council or Thames Valley Police of their plans.
At the beginning of 2004 the university claimed that it was to be an ‘animal hotel’. They said that “NO experiments would be carried out there and there would be NO primates”. These statements were to mark the start of a series of lies and misinformation that has proven to be the norm for Oxford University.
In March 2004 Oxford University issued a statement which contradicted their initial claims, finally admitting that “the facility will be used to experiment on animals.”
In August 2004 a leading Oxford Professor claimed that the monkeys being experimented at Oxford on lived “the life of riley” and that “there was no pain or stress” involved. These words are from a researcher who has routinely inflicted brain damage on highly intelligent and sensitive creatures and whose own published papers describe how after one experiment the monkeys required ‘intensive nursing’ to keep them alive.
In October 2004 Oxford University sought to impose a draconian injunction on those involved in a legal campaign against the new animal lab in order to stop them highlighting the lies told by the University.
In November 2004 The Times newspaper reported that the police had investigated a case of animal cruelty against a leading professor at Oxford University. The article stated that the professor had refused to have a monkey who was suffering put out of her misery because he described her as an ‘asset’. This intransigence persisted despite pleas from the university’s own vet to end the animal’s suffering. It was only after a direct intervention from the home office that this poor creature’s torment was ended.
In November 2006 another Oxford University researcher claimed that the macaque monkey he was experimenting on, whose head was sliced off and electodes inplanted into his brain, suffered no pain. This was despite the fact that the Home Office Licence for this very experiment stated that it would cause ‘severe and substantial suffering’ to the monkey involved.
SPEAK learnt from a source well placed within Oxford University, that talks between Cambridge and Oxford took place and that the new facility will be doing some of the brain experiments that were lost at Cambridge. This is a totally unacceptable state of affairs, Cambridge University failed to demonstrate to a public enquiry that the brain experiments they planned to conduct on primates at Girton had any scientific validity and yet Oxford are prepared to go down the same discredited road.
Oxford University have been keen to play down the status of this new building, they have insisted that it does not mark an ‘expansion’ of their animal research capability but a ‘rationalisation’ of existing facilities. They must think we were born yesterday, it is a blatant lie. 31 staff will be transferring from Experimental Psychology, Zoology, Physiology and Human Anatomy and Pharmacology: all these departments have been associated with horrific experiments on primates. Add to this the salient fact that none of the existing departments are to close and you realise just how deceitful and mealy-mouthed the apologists of animal abuse can be.
The term ‘research hotel’ strongly suggests that not only will Oxford scientists be torturing innocent animals but the facility will be home to visiting vivisectionists all eager to make the British Governments dream of making this country the vivisection capital of Europe a hideous reality. Oxford University will be looking to fill their depleted coffers by offering animal abuse facilities to the highest bidder.