VERO is a University-based group established to oppose the University's
construction of a new animal research laboratory, and to campaign for a more
ethically responsible approach to biomedical research at Oxford. Founded in
the summer of 2006, it unites academic and administrative staff, students
and graduates from a variety of disciplines. VERO is emphatically in favour
of medical progress, but believes that the ethical principles underpinning
it should be agreed upon by society as a whole, and continually reviewed and
tested through open and informed public debate.
VERO is committed to peaceful, lawful campaigning, and to
defending the tradition of intellectual freedom which has allowed
enlightened, humane thought to flourish at Oxford through the ages.
Why A New Group?
Controversy over the new animal laboratory at Oxford has become caught up
in questions of law and order. Opponents of the laboratory can feel
intimidated and deterred by the complex injunctions and aggressive policing;
the University feels beleaguered, suspects its critics of unlawful
intentions, and concentrates upon its security. In this situation, little
progress can be made. There is a clear need for an anti-vivisection group
which the University believes it can trust and work with. Such a group can
promote awareness of the real issues among University people, and try to
persuade the University's scientists and other leaders to change their
attitudes and practices.
As members of the University, we strongly object to the University's
construction of a new animal research laboratory, and to the huge investment
in vivisection which this implies. We object on both ethical and scientific
The ethics: research using animals can cause them considerable pain and
stress, lasting harm, and premature death. It bases humanity's honourable
search for better health on cruelty and exploitation.
The science: the relevance of animal results to human physiology is
always questionable and has been habitually exaggerated by researchers and
others who have an interest in doing so. UK law requires that no such
research should be done where there is a valid alternative approach which
does not involve animals, but scientists and fund-providers have mostly
shown little readiness to look for and develop these alternatives.
We therefore call on Oxford University to comply more actively with
the spirit of the law, to re-direct its funds and talents away from
vivisection and into human-based research, and so to set an example of
excellence in this as in so many other areas of enlightened and progressive
Scientists argue against the use of animal models: to read some recently published articles, click here.
New animal experimentation law: VERO calls for stricter controls
Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of
animals used for scientific purposes is due to be transposed into UK law by the end of 2012.
Read VERO's submission to the Home Office here.
The scientific and ethical case against vivisection by eminent neuroscientist
Watch the video (approx. 1 hr) here and Q&A session here
Dr Hansen is Professor of Neuroscience and Pathology at the University of California, San Diego, and a brilliant and engaging speaker who has made his opposition to animal experimentation well known. Highly recommended, and described by VERO associate Marius Maxwell as "the most compelling anti-vivivisection lecture I have ever seen".
Distinguished Oxford alumni back VERO's campaign.
J.M. Coetzee, Desmond Morris, Jonathon Porritt, Ann Widdecombe and the Bishop of Liverpool were among the signatories to
an Open Letter to the new Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton. Published in Issue No. 291 of the Oxford
Magazine, the letter calls on the new administration to lead the way on animal replacement. Read the letter here.
Neuroscientist Marius Maxwell sets the record straight on Parkinsonís research
In an open letter to VERO, Oxford University alumnus Marius Maxwell MBBChir DPhil (MD PhD) strongly refutes the often repeated claim that the deep brain stimulation technique used to treat Parkinson's disease patients has its origins in primate research.
Read his letter here.