Found by Lindsay via the Independent:
Universities accused of cruel animal tests
By John von Radowitz
Published: 12 April 2007
Universities were accused today of conducting “cruel and unnecessary” tests on animals using banned drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines.
A report from the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) also attacks the Home Office for granting licences for the research.
An estimated Â£10m had been spent on the experiments in the past decade, said BUAV, which based its findings on figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
Cambridge University was singled out for conducting “frivolous” tests on mice that involved combining lethal doses of methamphetamine, or “crystal meth”, and then playing loud music from Bach and the dance band The Prodigy.
Another Cambridge study, funded by the Medical Research Council, involved testing the effect of amphetamines on rats subjected to enforced isolation, it was claimed. In a third research project, rats were made to become addicted to cocaine.
The report also cited research at the University of Birmingham designed to see if rats given cannabis got “the munchies” – a hunger-inducing effect well known in humans. That study would have cost the university up to Â£100,000, BUAV estimated.
Similar tests had also taken place at Liverpool, Nottingham, Aberdeen University, as well as De Montfort university in Leicester.
Animals were made to undertake a range of “bizarre” activities, such as burying marbles and swimming in vats of milk, under the influence of drugs. Most of these experiments were “a complete waste of time” from a scientific point of view, Buav claims.
The chief executive of Buav, Michelle Thew, said: “I think people will be appalled that public money is being used to fund such unnecessary and cruel animal tests. Surely public funds would be better spent on relevant, ethical human volunteer research, improving drug rehabilitation centres and supporting families dealing with drug abuse?
“We are calling on the Government to put an end to this entirely unnecessary animal suffering and divert funding where it is sorely needed.”