The University of Sussex has defended itself against claims by an animal rights group that it has been funding “cruel” testing on animals in its laboratories.
Sussex, alongside other institutions such as Cambridge, Bristol, Cardiff and Imperial College London, has been conducting ‘archaic and futile animal experiments using recreational drugs’, according in the Animal Justice Project.
In a Freedom of Information request by the animal rights group, a spokesperson from Sussex revealed that over 100 mice were subjected to experimentation involving cocaine and alcohol over the last four years.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Animal Justice Project called for Sussex to end its ‘cruel’ experiments saying: “These types of weird and futile experiments have been going on for years now inside universities, causing immense suffering and death for the animals involved and have no tangible benefits to humans. Researchers carry out these experiments to secure funding grants and further personal careers, yet these cruel experiments reveal very little about the harmful effects of recreational drugs on humans.”
In one experiment conducted last year, 62 mice, some of whom were genetically modified, were dosed with cocaine intravenously to the point of addiction. The revelations also showed that several mice died during experimentation, either through being killed in undisclosed methods or for unknown reasons.
However, the university has released a statement to The Badger defending its use of animal testing: “Research into drug addiction plays an important part in the alleviation of human suffering, as does other vital research at Sussex into diabetes, cancer, muscle disease, deafness and obesity.
“We use non-animal methods as much as possible for our research but some questions can only be answered by studying living animals.”
Back in April, reports surfaced in The Sunday Times that universities across the countries have been conducting experiments on various animals using recreational drugs. Cambridge alone was found to have used almost 170,000 animals for research experiments in 2013, including monkeys, sheep and guinea pigs.