A national animal rights group protested today in UCL’s Main Quad against the university’s use of animals for scientific research.
The group managed to rally over fifty activists and protesters to demonstrate against UCL. Most of those present held up heart-shaped placards containing the types and amounts of animals that are being used for research by the university.
The demonstration was organised by Animal Justice Project (AJP) in collaboration with UCLU’s PAW Society and the UCLU Vegetarian and Vegan society.
AJP has already conducted protests at several British universities, among which Bristol and Cardiff universities.
Claire Palmer, one of AJP’s founders, told Pi Media that today protest at UCL was a “first step” in fighting what she sees as the “outrageous use” of animals for scientific research.
Ms Palmer said that UCL Management was not contacted, but that the group was considering writing to the university in the future. This would be the most recent of a series of attempts on behalf of activist groups to change UCL policy this year.
Part of a nation-wide campaign called “Campus Without Cruelty”, today’s demonstrators protested UCL’s use of over 200,000 animals like mice, pigs, ferrets and guinea-pigs.
The group also claims that UCL has used six rhesus monkeys for studies on Parkinson’s Disease. Ms Palmer lamented that, since monkeys do not naturally fall victim to the neurodegenerative disease, they are injected with substances that artificially induce it.
She than added that recent scientific studies have attested to the genetic differences between humans and monkeys that make such experiments potentially invalid.
Several animal rights groups have claimed that UCL is the third-largest user of animals during research.
AJP hope that today’s event will lead UCL students to conduct their own research and continue protesting the university’s research methods.
Featured image: Lex Kartane WWW.AIWS.LT