Leading mouse lab shut down as scientists reassess use of animal tests | Totally Vegan Buzz

Leading mouse lab shut down as scientists reassess use of animal tests

mouse lab shut down as scientists reassess use of animal tests
Image: tiburi/ Pixabay

The leading centre for mouse genetics in the UK is set to be shut down as scientists reasses the use of animal testing in research.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) has decided that its huge testing centre, the Harwell Institute in Oxfordshire, should end all its research projects.

The sites test mice to develop models for genetic disorders such as diabetes, neurodegenerative disease and child deafness among many other projects.

The move comes as growing evidence that tests on humans can be as or more effective than animal testing, and animal rights groups fight to outlaw the practice on ethical grounds. 

The MRC said in a statement: “This is no reflection upon the value or quality of MGU science, but a reflection of the changing scientific landscape. 

“Detailed proposals are now being developed in line with these recommendations, in consultation with staff. A final decision on the way forward will be made by MRC council in December 2019. MRC is supporting its dedicated staff during this challenging time.”

The MRC has recommended the lab be shut down entirely, and the final decision will be made following a one month consultation on the recommendation by an internal strategy board.

Critics of the decision argue the closure would undermine crucial research into disease.

The site is home to the Mammalian Genetics Unit which maps how disease and disorders, such as infertility, are affected by genetics.

Researchers are expected to drop their current research and be dispersed to universities and research centres around the country.

Robin Lovell-Badge, a geneticist at the Francis Crick Institute in London, labelled the decision ‘ridiculous’.

“I am dismayed at this decision. The mouse genetics research that has been carried out at Harwell had been world-leading,”  he told the Guardian.

What do you think of the decision to close the lab? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Published by Oli Gross

Oli’s career and personal ethical values both help shape his reporting of the diverse world of veganism. His background is in local newspaper and magazine journalism, and his work has included reporting court cases, celebrity interviews, business analysis, food and drink features and government legislation.



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