`Spy' tells of animal cruelty

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The Independent Online

An undercover investigation at leading research institutes found disturbed monkeys in tiny laboratory cages and tens of thousands of rodents gassed because they were surplus to requirements, it is claimed today.

Anti-vivisection campaigners condemned the Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School and the Institute of Neurology, both in London, for causing unnecessary suffering to animals by allegedly breaking rules for their care.

Animal rights investigator Cris Iles, 24, went undercover to discover the alleged breaches in nationally agreed welfare regulations as part of a campaign to highlight the secrecy surrounding medical research on animals. His findings are revealed in a report published today by the National Anti-Vivisection Society.

Among the experiments documented were a monkey with a metal plate and electrodes permanently bolted into its head and dogs with pacemakers implanted to cause heart failure.

The society details several instances where it claims facilities were not up to standards laid down in the Home Office's code of practice. For example, it says Mr Iles found fascicularis macaques, a type of monkey, at the Charing Cross Medical School kept in cages measuring less than a metre square.

Nearly 7 out of 10 rodents bred for research were culled, it also alleges. Both the institutes denied breaking the code of practice.