A spokesperson for Novartis has clarified that no monkeys are used in its research base in Horsham following a petition that has attracted thousands of signatories for them to be released.
Linking to the exclusive article on the County Times website which first revealed Novartis would be closing its Horsham operations in 2014 with the loss of nearly 400 jobs, the Anti-Vivisection Coalition (AVC) launched a petition calling for research monkeys there to be retired.
However, a spokesperson for Novartis told the County Times that no primates were present on the 24 acre site off Parsonage Road, which will become subject to redevelopment once the pharmaceutical giant sells the freehold.
“We only use rodents for our research studies in Horsham,” said the spokesperson.
“They have been acquired and ordered in line with an animal use protocol that has been approved by the Home Office and local authorities.
“They will be managed according to these protocols.
“It is important to note that Novartis uses animals in our medical and biological research when it is scientifically necessary, required by regulatory authorities and alternative approaches are inappropriate.
“We support the development of alternative research methods and are strong adherents to the ’3R’ concept of reduction, refinement and replacement of animal research.”
The AVC petition has been widely circulated on the internet and has attracted more than 3000 signatories from all over the world, including USA, South Africa and Australia.
On November 5, 371 employees in Horsham were informed their jobs were at risk as a result of the Horsham research operation being closed down.