University asked to justify controversial kitten experiments exposed by
BUAV's recent exposé of experiments carried out on kittens at Cardiff
University has received widespread attention. Today, the South Wales Echo
has carried a follow-up article in which it reports that the deputy leader
of Cardiff council, Neil McEvoy, has written to the Vice-Chancellor at the
University asking why its scientists are using cats in experiments.
experiment, in which 19 two to six months old kittens were subjected
to invasive surgery under anaesthesia and had parts of their brains
exposed in order to implant electrodes, hit the headlines earlier this year
in the Wales
on Sunday newspaper.
that time an attempt by the BUAV to find out further information about this
and other experiments on cats under the UK's Freedom of Information (FOI)
Act, has been refused by Cardiff University. This lack of accountability
and transparency is totally unacceptable. Much of the animal research carried
out at universities such as Cardiff is funded by the tax payer. The Medical
Research Council supported the kitten experiment. Therefore, it is important
that Cardiff University is held accountable for the pain and suffering it
inflicts on animals.
our online lobby tool to
ask your MP to take action on Freedom of Information.
2009, Cardiff University was responsible for using 46 cats, which accounted
for 26% (over a quarter) of all those cats used in research facilities in
the whole of the UK during that time period.
another experiment uncovered by the BUAV, cats were implanted with electrodes
and placed in sound-proofed large boxes so researchers could record their
brain activity. Other cats were deeply anaesthetised and their brains removed
while they were technically still alive so that the researchers could do
additional experiments on slices of their brains.
Williams MP has also tabled a number of Parliamentary Questions to establish
further information on the use of animals in experiments during 2009 in
The BUAV has received support from Dr Adrian Stallwood, a lecturer at Cardiff
University, who has spoken out against the kitten experiments and also written
to the Vice-Chancellor.
a medical practitioner used to assessing clinical papers, I cannot see how
these cruel experiments could have any use in developing treatments for
people or animals - indeed, Cardiff University have refused to explain how
they could. It is highly disturbing that the scientific papers describing
the experiments do not fulfill even the minimum guidelines from the National
Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research
- which makes them nearly useless as information sources. The overall impression
is of blinkered academics pursuing esoteric interests, oblivious to the
suffering they inflict on animals."
Adrian Stallwood, MB BS, Specialty Doctor in Emergency Medicine, Lecturer
in Emergency Medicine to Cardiff University Medical Undergraduates)
Dr Ned Buyukmihci, the BUAV's Veterinary Adviser and an ophthalmologist,
stated the following regarding the experiment on kittens:
only was this not a study in ‘vision’, it was of little relevance
to human beings. The structure and function of the eyes and brains of
cats with respect to vision are substantially different from human beings.
Furthermore, the information ‘learned’ from this study is
not even of value to veterinary medicine. The cats in question were mutilated
and suffered for no benefit to anyone. The information could have been
derived from elegant, and ethical, studies on people."
C. Buyukmihci, V.M.D., Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Medicine, University
of California Emeritus Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists)
today's South Wales Echo story
help our Freedom of Information campaign by asking your MP to sign
the Early Day Motion 172: 'Freedom of Information and Animal Experimentation'.
Use our online lobby tool.