Students Staff

17 October 2013

Essex students join The Big Animal Research Debate

The University of Essex Debating Society is joining universities and schools from across the UK and beyond today (Thursday 17 October) to thrash out the controversial issue of animal research. The event is expected to be part of the biggest debate on animal research ever held, attracting participation from most of the UK’s top universities.

The Big Animal Research Debate will involve more than 30 universities from the UK, Republic of Ireland and the USA, hosting debates on the motion, ‘This House would ban all forms of animal research’. Other universities taking part include the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, LSE and Imperial College London. Results from the universities’ debates - including the University of Essex, as well as live streams from a number of institutions including Essex, will be available online at

Speakers include:

  • Dr Darren Calley - Animal welfare law lecturer
  • Audrey Anzil - Vice President Animal Protection Society
  • Sam French - President of Essex Debating

There will also be a number of student speakers.

The event will start at 7pm in LTB7 in the Lecture Theatre Building at the Colchester Campus. The event is open to students and the public.

Universities minister David Willetts said: “Britain is at the forefront of scientific endeavour and medical development and the use of animals in scientific research - where there is no alternative - remains a vital tool in improving our understanding of how biological systems work in health and disease, the research and development of new medicines for humans and animals, the development of cutting edge medical technologies and protection of our environment. I hope the Big Animal Research Debate will encourage a better understanding among the British public, and especially among young people, about how and why animals are used”.

Sam French, President of the University of Essex Debating Society, said: “We feel really privileged to be involved in such a great scheme and feel really confident that students will make a massive informed contribution and the debate will get everyone on campus talking about such an important and pertinent issue."

The initiative has also been endorsed by numerous organisations and leading figures including Lord Drayson formerScience and Innovation minister, the Science Council, the Speaker's Corner Trust, the Medical Research Council and the Society Of Biology.

Event endorsements can be found here:

You can aollow the event on Twitter via @AnimalArguments, where the public can post their comments to #MakeUpYourMind. The Big Animal Research Debate is also on Facebook at:

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