Scientists in Row over Animals for Research
Luck, Deborah, The Birmingham Post (England)
Four leading Birmingham scientists have been caught up in a row with the Government over animal experimentation.
They have demanded Home Office action over lengthy delays in gaining approval for the use of animals in research.
They are among 110 scientists who believe the time-consuming process to gain the permission is giving international colleagues an edge with most prizes for achievement being won aboard.
The group claims Britain's future as a leading centre for medicine, biotechnology and drug discovery is being put in jeopardy.
The four scientists all work on the Birmingham University campus. They are Prof Eric Jenkinson, professor of anatomy; Prof Martin Kendall, professor of clinical pharmacology; Prof Ian MacLennan, professor of immunology, and Prof Janice Marshall, professor of cardiovascular surgery.
Prof Marshall was unavailable for comment and the other three declined to comment yesterday.
Their names appear on a letter along with the other eminent British scientists including 38 Fellows of the Royal Society and five Nobel prize winners.
But the move has been condemned by animal rights campaigners who claim Britain is the biggest user of laboratory animals in Europe.
The scientists want officials to slash through red tape which they feel is hindering their research on the international playing field.
The letter to Science Minister Lord Sainsbury said: 'Researchers using animals in the UK are already in a situation where overseas competitors can complete a series of experiments and be exploiting the results, before permission to start would be given in the UK. …