PARLIAMENT INCREASES PRESSURE FOR IMUTRAN XENOTRANSPLANTATION INQUIRY

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 misconduct.

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."

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Uncaged Campaigns, 18 November 2004

 

Piglet
Credit: Organ Farm

"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."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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