Candle-lit vigil held to oppose animal testing

Jeannette McClunan, Tristan McClunan and Helen Nelson from Stop Wickham Animal Testing.''Picture: Sarah Standing (143494-1840)
Jeannette McClunan, Tristan McClunan and Helen Nelson from Stop Wickham Animal Testing.''Picture: Sarah Standing (143494-1840)

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PROTESTERS objecting to animal testing held a candle-lit vigil on an international day of action.

Members of Stop Wickham Animal Testing met outside Wickham Laboratories’ site in Barwell Lane, Gosport.

Helen Nelson, 90, from the group said the use of animals was archaic and should have stopped years ago.

Mrs Nelson told The News: ‘We all believe very strongly that this archaic and out-dated method of testing should have finished long ago.

‘It seems ridiculous when there are so many other things they can use.

‘Good heavens – animal testing should have gone out with the Ark.

‘It’s totally unscientific – apart from that it’s extremely cruel.’

A small number of protesters had gathered for International Animal Rights Day.

Mrs Nelson added: ‘It’s going on everywhere so we decided that we would.

‘Animal testing is not reliable.’

She added bad traffic had stopped others from coming.

As reported, members of SWAT held a march through Gosport in opposition to the lab on September 13.

The group has long been opposed to the firm and has campaigned vigorously against its work.

Wickham Laboratories did not respond to The News’ request for comment late yesterday evening.

But in a previous statement the firm’s technical director said it focuses on a wide range of services – not just animal testing.

Chris Bishop said: ‘While Wickham Laboratories is portrayed as only conducting animal research, we provide a wide range of services to pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in microbiology and toxicology.

‘Testing on laboratory animals is a small but essential part.

‘To complement this, we have set up a department to develop non-animal tests as part of our commitment to the 3Rs – reduction, refinement and replacement.

‘We are proud of our contribution to scientific research but take our responsibility to animals, society and the environment very seriously.’