Last June the
British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) filed a complaint
with the Home Office complaining that Harlan UK Centre, a medical research
facility, was engaged in cruel mistreatment of animals. The BUAV regularly
files these sorts of complaints against research companies in the UK.
this time is that a Labour Member of Parliament, Stephen Ladyman, is turning
the tables on BUAV and wondering what the group has to hide. One of the
reasons BUAV is so anxious to file reports against research facilities
is that, under British law, it has requested that the resulting reports,
including any exoneration of the facility, remain confidential, and generally
the government has gone along.
Ladyman and others
requested that the report on Harlan UK Centre be released, and it was,
but only after BUAV asked (and got) large sections of the report blacked
out. What exactly does BUAV have to hide?
A lot according
to Ladyman who said, Â“The usual pattern of events is that BUAV make allegations,
splash them all over the newspapers but refuse to allow the report to
be published when people are exonerated. I can only assume that they are
prepared to fabricate evidence to win sympathy for their cause.Â”
The report did
vindicate Harlan, concluding that the claims of animal cruelty and neglect
were unfounded. According to Ladyman, BUAV intentionally manufactured
false claims. BUAV claimed, for example, that Harlan was not feeding animals
adequately, but according to Ladyman it was an undercover BUAV operative
who was responsible for feeding the animals (wow, where have we seen that
BUAV claims the
report is just a government Â“whitewash,Â” saying through a spokesman that
Â“Wherever there is a conflict of evidence between what the BUAV investigator
says and what Harlan staff say, the report choose to believe the latter.Â”
Which could be
because Harlan isnÂ’t manufacturing evidence, unlike the BUAV investigator,
but regardless if the report is such a shameless whitewash that naively
takes HarlanÂ’s word for it, a reasonable person might conclude that BUAV
would definitely want the full report published in that case to expose
the governmentÂ’s complicity in protecting animal abusers.
to a report on the controversy from Americans for Medical Progress, BUAV
and other UK antivivisection opponents Â“have been lobbying for a Freedom
of Information Act that would require full disclosure of pueblo and private
information about research.Â”
BUAV could set
an example for the researchers and fully disclose the results of the investigation
into Harlan as well as the results of previous investigations which went
unpublished at BUAVÂ’s request.
Activists Â‘fabricated cruelty evidenceÂ’. Jill Sherman, The Times (UK), March
UK activists accused of fabricating cruelty
charges. Americans for Medical Progress News, March 9, 2000.