ACTIVISTS are demanding the University of Brighton stop using vivisection, slamming the method of study as inhumane.

Members from Brighton Vegan Activists stood outside the university on Friday with posters and photographs of vivisection designed by the Animal Justice Project. The group is calling for universities to use alternative methods, such as tissue cultures (the artificially growing of a group of cells) rather than sentient animals.

Marc spokesman for Brighton Vegan Activists, said: “We came to inform students and members of the public that 50 per cent of vivisection takes place at universities.

“We challenge the use of animal testing. Most people would agree that inflicting pain on animals is unnecessary, especially when there are alternative methods such as tissue cultures.

“Sentient animals have the ability to feel pain and suffering as humans do, therefore we can relate to their plight. The vivisection is hidden from the general public and even students, as many were shocked to hear the university took the lives of 1,182 mice this year. It’s cruel and inhumane.

“This was revealed recently after a Freedom of Information request from Animal Justice Project. Laboratory animals are killed by having their necks broken, being gassed with aversive and painful CO2, or having their heads cut off with scissors. Death may not be immediate.”

The group also pointed out people are more sympathetic to certain animals if they are used for experiments. Marc said: “We are a nation of animal lovers yet it depends on the species. Generally people are against testing on cats and dogs.”

A spokesman for the University of Brighton said: “The University of Brighton undertakes research which underpins the development of novel treatments for various illnesses and disabilities which will have an impact on improving quality of life for patients.

“Our research also involves the study of wildlife in their natural environment and human/wildlife interactions in human-dominated landscapes.

“The university only supports the use of animals in research where their use is justified based on scientific, ethical and legal grounds, and where there are no alternative approaches available. All of the University’s in vivo research is regulated and monitored by the Home Office under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1968.”