The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry expressed its best wishes to the Hall family, following the announcement today that they are to stop the breeding of guinea pigs for life-saving biomedical research. The principal members of the Hall family are nearing retirement and the long and sustained campaign of intimidation by animal rights extremists has led to this "regrettable but understandable" decision.
"Guinea pigs have provided essential information to support biomedical research into respiratory disease resulting in real breakthroughs in the development of new medicines," said Dr Philip Wright, the ABPI's Director of Science and Technology.
"The activities of a few animal rights extremists have placed impossible pressure on those going about their legitimate business. While animal rights extremists are likely to be only one factor in the final decision, it does underline the need for greater protection of those individuals and companies targeted and committed long-term resources from the Government to back up the recently-introduced legislation."
Guinea pigs are used for a small but important part of world-leading biomedical research in the UK and the animals from this farm have a particular role to play in developing new and better treatments for respiratory diseases, such as asthma. While new technologies and techniques lead to the replacement of animals in this research, the use of animals remains essential. The closure of the breeding facilities makes it less likely that investment in such research will be made in the UK, which has the tightest regulation and world-leading standards of animal welfare.
For further information, please contact: ABPI Press Office 020 7747 1410