VICTORY! SARC STOP GOAT EXPERIMENTS
After a sustained campaign over the last year and a half, the Southern Animal Rights Coalition have finally put a stop to cruel and unnecessary hyperbaric research conducted by the MoD at the QinetiQ laboratory in Alverstoke, Hants.
The campaign began after 9 goats were rescued from the facility in June 2006. We immediately began weekly protests in Alverstoke, as well as leafleting and demonstrations across the country. This ensured mass local support for our campaign.
We reviewed the MoD's research, and exposed the scandal behind their 'science', as well as highlighting other agencies who had already adopted non-animal tests in this field.
As well as this we worked with MP's, including Mike Hancock MP, who helped keep this issue in the political arena. After a few months of the campaign, the MoD announced a review of the tests, which we ensured was fully aware of our findings and research.
Today the MoD put out the following statement. We are delighted that these tests have stopped, although we maintain that it is a decision that is 100 years overdue. This also highlights a far wider issue, of repeat tests which are being conducted across the country without review, and which would be halted were they exposed to the public.
Statement from the MoD:
"Written Ministerial Statement- Cessation of Goat Experiments in support of MOD requirement to be laid in the House on Tuesday 5th February The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has today announced the end of its immediate requirement for testing on live goats as part of its hyperbaric research in support of the MoD's Submarine Escape Rescue and Abandonment System (SMERAS).
This research programme has been aimed at improving the accuracy of the information relating to the likely risk of the incidence of decompression illness following escape from a submerged submarine in varying depths and internal submarine pressures. Information obtained from these trials has been used to provide advice to submarine crews in the event of early abandonment of a disabled submerged submarine. This information enables the crew to make an informed judgement of the relative risks of delaying abandonment until rescue arrives. The welfare of its personnel is paramount to the MoD and this advice forms an integral part of MoD's Duty of Care to its submarine staff.
The MoD only conducts animal testing where absolutely necessary and all work involving animals is carried out in strict accordance with the requirements of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. Therefore, all testing using animals is subject to regular review to assess the need to continue with such work.
The MoD has recently reviewed the requirement for further such hyperbaric research. The testing programme was aimed at improving the accuracy of the information relating to the likely probability and consequence of decompression illness following escape from a submerged submarine in varying depths and internal submarine pressures. This requirement has now been achieved, and the review has concluded that the remaining associated areas of uncertainty in submarine escape and rescue relate to events that are considered highly unlikely, and do not therefore need to be addressed by means of animal testing. The MoD has endorsed these recommendations and as a result, it has no immediate need to continue animal testing of this type."