Specific legislation is needed to tackle the problem of animal extremism, said the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) following the decision not to go ahead with the proposed Cambridge University primate facility.
The costs needed to defend the laboratory against attacks by animal extremists were the principal reason for the scheme being abandoned. The centre would have conducted research into neurological conditions that affect millions of people worldwide
"It is quite intolerable that much-needed research into conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's should be prevented from taking place by people who use intimidation, harassment and violence," said Dr Trevor Jones.
"The decision shows just how urgent it is that a single, specific piece of legislation to tackle this problem is drawn up by the Government so that action can be taken against animal terrorists. At the moment, the sad fact is that they seem able to break the law with impunity and prevent vital medical research from taking place."
Attacks are continuing against not only the medical facilities that are tightly regulated by Government but also against the people and their families who work in this area of medical research.
The UK has some of the toughest regulations in the world to protect animal welfare, and these regulations and their enforcement are fully supported by the UK-based pharmaceutical industry. Britain is home to world-leading medical research conducted both in universities and by the industry, especially in the field of neurological science.
"It is tragic that such vital, legitimate research is being impeded in this way," said Dr Jones.
For further information, please contact: ABPI Press Office 020 7747 1410