PARLIAMENT INCREASES PRESSURE FOR IMUTRAN XENOTRANSPLANTATION
The Government is coming under severe pressure after 165 MPs signed
a Commons motion calling for an independent inquiry into the legality
of Imutran's pig-to-primate organ transplant experiments. Meanwhile,
a new Uncaged briefing reveals how the Home Office is misleading
Parliament and the public over its role in covering-up this illegal
cruelty. In addition, the Home Office' handling of the Imutran research,
which took place at Huntingdon Life Sciences, is currently the subject
of two Uncaged complaints being considered by the Parliamentary
Ombudsman, a watchdog body whose role is to investigate Government
At the end of the 2003/04 Parliamentary session today (18.11.04),
a massive 165 MPs have signed Early
Day Motion 685 - "entitled 'Uncaged Campaigns", ranking
it in the top 3% of EDMs in terms of parliamentary support. The
Motion, which has now expired, calls for an independent inquiry
into damning evidence of Government bias and misconduct in its regulation
of the Imutran research programme.
This evidence emerged into the public
domain after a historic legal victory gained
by Uncaged over the research company responsible, Imutran Ltd and
their parent corporation Novartis Pharma. Documents were leaked
to Uncaged from Imutran (in spring 2000) and the Home Office (October
2002). For two-and-a-half years, Uncaged had fought off attempts
by Imutran/Novartis to gain a permanent High Court injunction preventing
disclosure of the documents. However, Uncaged had argued that because
the documents revealed misconduct by the Home Office and Imutran,
there was an over-riding public interest in their disclosure. Despite
their massive resource advantage, Imutran/Novartis capitulated in
April 2003, allowing Uncaged to publish over 1,000 pages of unique
primary evidence that details the day-to-day reality of animal experimentation.
These are some of the scandals revealed by the secret papers:
Since their extraordinary court success, Uncaged have relentlessly
cranked up the pressure for an independent inquiry. Home Office
bureaucrats who were implicated in the misconduct have tied themselves
up in knots as they desperately try to defend their behaviour. But
as the support from a growing number of MPs testifies, the Home
Office's credibility is taking a huge battering.
The latest exercise in Home Office deception comes in its response
to 12 searching questions put to the department in an Open Letter
signed by several MPs. Uncaged director Dan Lyons has just completed
a detailed briefing that rebuts the Home Office's version of events.
Uncaged are calling for support from the public to distribute this
briefing to MPs so that the Home Office's lies can be exposed.
Dan Lyons comments:
"Anyone who has watched 'Yes, Minister' will
understand the subtle, yet powerful methods of deception employed
by Whitehall to cover-up scandals. Often, a combination of blustering
denials and authoritative-sounding lies are enough to put people
off. On this occasion though, they have met their match. We are
absolutely determined not to let the Home Office off the hook.
Our mission is to relentlessly pursue justice for the thousands
of animals who suffered in the macabre and pointless Imutran experiments.
Government officials cannot be allowed to get away with cruelty,
law-breaking and misrepresenting the truth."
Click here to find out how you
Uncaged Campaigns, 18 November 2004