U bent hier

Yesterday 29 September, VUB and its animal unit on the campus in Jette has been reported on in the press in a very negative way. In a video with a duration of 6 minutes, images were shown of the housing of the test animals and the killing of animals. The latter is obviously always something very disagreeable to watch. VUB understands that these images are viewed with aversion and has immediately committed itself to a careful examination as to whether or not the situations and actions shown are in accordance with legislation and our standards. The university will also consider whether or not the existing internal procedures need to be reinforced. 


The images were shot during an undercover operation of an animal carer upon instructions of Gaia. She worked in the animal unit for 3 months and made recordings with a hidden camera of the test animals. She also recorded conversations with various employees.


Brussels State Secretary Bianca Debaets has instructed the inspection unit to carry out a thorough inquiry into the functioning of our animal housing. VUB will give its full cooperation.


In the meantime, VUB has also made very advanced plans for a new research infrastructure designed to provide housing for test animals with the most modern techniques, with particular attention being paid to animal welfare.


The organisation is of the opinion that the fact that VUB was the target of this action is pure coincidence. It is evident that a university must deal with criticism and that it should pay full attention to animal welfare. On the other hand, the university understands that those closely involved with our animal research will feel that this touches them on a personal level and are hurt by this.


Finally, the university likes to point out that the need for the use of animals for research into life-threatening diseases such as cancer, diabetes or Parkinson’s disease, is not being questioned, not by Gaia, nor by the State Secretary. This does not prevent VUB from committing itself to continue to invest in ground-breaking research into valuable alternative methods. The VUB has a pioneering role in this and is determined to continue to do so.