The Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology (LPT) have been members of the European Animal Research Association (EARA) since 2016. As the EARA statement on the 16 October 2019 made clear, secret filming within an LPT facility revealed unacceptable standards of animal welfare.
Once we were aware of the footage, we urged LPT as members of EARA to fully and publicly answer the serious questions over animal welfare raised by the film, and to address widespread concern about their research practices. EARA also offered assistance to LPT in any investigation it was conducting into the contents of the film.
As no response was forthcoming, the directors of EARA took the decision, at a Board meeting in December 2019, to begin the process to terminate LPT’s membership of EARA. This was carried out under article 22.1 of the EARA Articles of Association. This states that the directors of EARA may terminate the membership of any Member, if in the reasonable opinion of the directors the member is, ‘guilty of conduct which has or is likely to have a serious or adverse effect on the Company or bring the Company or any or all of the Members of the directors into disrepute’.
As legally required under the EARA Articles of Association we informed LPT of this decision and gave it the opportunity to respond, in writing or in person, as to why its membership should not be terminated. Two days before the date the EARA Board had set to meet to discuss the termination of LPT membership, Dr. Jost Leuschner, managing director of LPT, wrote to EARA cancelling its membership. Therefore, LPT is no longer a member of EARA.
We believe that the process to initiate the termination of LPT’s membership of EARA, was right and proper. It followed both the letter of our Articles of Association, but also the spirit and raison d'etre of EARA, that biomedical research should be conducted with openness and transparency, and under the highest welfare standards.
Kirk Leech EARA Executive Director