2009 – A Year Of Progress Against Vivisection

· Chimp research into HIV was finally understood to be useless. It was expertly examined and dismissed by a team of scientists who published in a medical journal at the end of 2008.

· A rise of 14% in animal use was admitted by the UK Home Office.

· A review on animal GM models for heart disease showed it was ineffective and misleading.

· Immunologists explained that "mice are lousy models for clinical studies" and suggested we study humans instead.

· A published study explained that "Despite claims by the research industry, chimpanzees have proven to be a poor model for human cancer research."

· More technology including virtual humans, artificial skin grown from human skin cells and 3D models of brain blood flow have been revealed and approved.

· UK researchers investigating what went wrong in the drug trial with TGN1412 in 2006, developed a test that uses a mixed culture of white blood cells and endothelial cells, which prove what drugs like this really do.

· Computer modelling lead to the Times Headline “Animal experiments could end in a generation”, as computer modelling is proving more accurate. “These models have the ability to be far more accurate. I sometimes think it is just tradition — that feeling that if it’s safe in an animal it’s safe in a human — which means so many animal tests are still carried out.”

· ‘Toxichip’ was revealed - which can monitor how cells behave and interact with drugs, chemical pollutants in the environment and toxic substances in food and beverages.

· Scientists have for the first time been able to record spontaneous epileptic activity in brain tissue "Until now we have only been able to mimic epilepsy using experimental animal models but this can never give you a true picture of what is actually going on inside the human brain in epilepsy".

· A Swiss animal experimenter was sued for his experiments on monkeys which opponents believed could not be justified legally. He lost the landmark case, thus threatening the future of his work and opening opportunities for many such future cases.

· MEPs were overwhelmed by the massive support from the public for meaningful changes in the legislation affecting vivisection in Europe.

· MPs in the UK in their masses supported EDM569, which called for an independent inquiry into animal testing. This EDM finished joint 10th out of over 2400 Early Day Motions, ranking inside the top 0.5%. This showed beyond doubt the political support for historic action in this area.

· Even more MPs supported EDM545, which expressed outrage at the unacceptable increase in use of animals and demanded action to reverse this trend.



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© Keith Mann