Proposed: Erich Kofmel
Seconded: Duncan Connors

Submitted 30/05/06


The National Postgraduate Committee notes:

1. That Pro-Test is "a UK based group with the aim of promoting and supporting scientific research and debate including animal based research" (http://www.pro-test.org.uk).

2. That Pro-Test staged a 700-strong demonstration in Oxford on Saturday, 25 February 2006, "with complete non-violence and bearing a message of solidarity and support for scientific advancement" (http://www.pro-test.org.uk/past.htm).

3. That Pro-Test is being supported by eminent scientists at the University of Oxford, the Research Defence Society (http://www.rds-online.org.uk) as well as MPs (http://www.pro-test.org.uk/past.htm).

4. That Pro-Test is made up largely of students (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2019256,00.html and http://www.guardian.co.uk/animalrights/story/0,,1722508,00.html).

5. That Pro-Test is being democratically "led by a committee of nine individuals" (http://www.pro-test.org.uk/).

6. That Pro-Test plans to stage a 5,000-strong demonstration in London in the near future (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1718512,00.html).

7. That Pro-Test activists and biomedical researchers conducting tests on animals as well as their institutions have for many years been the target of sometimes violent opposition and intimidation from animal-rights groups (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1718512,00.html).

8. That it is standing policy of the NPC to support academic freedom as last expressed in the motion opposing the academic boycott of Israel passed at the OGM on 26 February 2005 (NPC policy file and http://www.npc.org.uk/page/1112805370).

The National Postgraduate Committee believes:

1. That there are strong arguments both in favour of and opposing animal testing.

2. That it is not for the NPC to take a stance pro or against animal testing.

3. That there is no justification for the use of violence and intimidation in opposing animal tests and the researchers and institutions conducting them.

4. That the Pro-Test movement is about more than the new biomedical research laboratory in Oxford or animal testing in general.

5. That the Pro-Test movement is about opposing violence and intimidation that threaten academic freedom and the freedom of scientific inquiry.

6. That it is in the interest of postgraduate students in the United Kingdom to defend academic freedom and the freedom of scientific inquiry within the frame of the current law.

The National Postgraduate Committee resolves:

1. That it is in line with the NPC's objective to advance, in the public interest, the education of postgraduate students in the United Kingdom to articulate support of the Pro-Test movement.

2. Not to support the Oxford lab or animal testing per se, but to support Pro-Test in its fight for academic freedom and the freedom of scientific inquiry within the frame of the current law.

3. That there shall be no financial contribution to Pro-Test.

The National Postgraduate Committee mandates:

1. The General Secretary, the Communications Officer and other officers concerned to communicate the NPC's support in an appropriate manner to the media and NPC's stakeholders.