2000-2003 Xenotransplantation exposed

The largest ever leak of documents from a vivisection laboratory was shown to the Daily Express and they covered the fourth exposé of cruelty, sloppiness and fraud at HLS on 21st & 22nd September 2000.

Soon after the Daily Express article was published Novartis (who sponsored the experiments) obtained an injunction from the High Court in London banning any further disclosures to the public of this research.

In early 2003 this injunction was overturned after a two and a half year legal battle. In April 2003 the Observer newspaper carried a full and frank update on the xenotransplantation research carried out at Huntingdon Life Sciences. To view this article please click here.

The confidential documents gave us hard evidence of the daily cruelty, incompetence and horrific suffering which is all in a day’s work inside the razor wire of HLS laboratories.

The documents cover over five years of xenotransplantation experiments commissioned by Imutran Ltd and conducted by Huntingdon Life Sciences at their research centre, Woolley Road, Alconbury, Cambridgeshire.

Q: What is xenotransplantation?
A: Xenotransplantation involves the tranplantation of live organs, tissues or cells between different species. Such transplants are also referred to as xenografts.


The leaked documents include 39 draft reports describing xenotransplantation experiments on higher primates, correspondence, meeting minutes, feasibility studies and internal reports concerning many aspects of the conduct of and plans for confidential xenotransplantation research. This confidential information was surprisingly easy to get hold of and we guarantee that more exposés of HLS and their customers will happen.


Quite apart from the revelations contained in the acquired documents, xenotransplantation research has been widely regarded as controversial because of:


Huntingdon Life Sciences has been the subject of previous undercover investigations. These produced photographic, video and documented evidence of cruelty, illegal acts, suffering, falsifying data and gross incompetence by HLS staff.


In this latest cache of leaked confidential documents evidence was found that HLS has seriously endangered human lives.


The true extent of the suffering inflicted on higher primates is now revealed.


How many times have we seen quotes by HLS saying the animals at HLS are well cared for and that the staff “love and respect” the animals they mutilate and kill?

Did HLS staff “love and respect” the female monkey who was given a quadruple overdose and was found shaking and grinding her teeth and died the following day?

Did they “love and respect” the monkeys they observed screaming, reluctant to move, salivating, huddled, found dead, severe tremors on upper torso and head, sudden collapse, quiet and lethargic, large open wound, laboured breathing, lying on cage floor. Of course they didn’t! We have proved HLS to be liars yet again.


The experiments involved wild-caught baboons, cynomolgus monkeys and thousands of piglets. The experiments were a complete failure. Piglet organs were grafted onto primates’ necks, into their abdomens and replaced their own healthy organs.

Many primates died within 24 hours of surgery due to “technical failures”. One primate died when a swab was left in his body by mistake and caused an infection.

The remaining primates died as a result of the following:

Infections, toxic effects of immunosuppressant drugs, heart failure as a result of rejection, heart failure for apparently inexplicable reasons. All of this intense and protracted suffering of the wild-caught baboons was inflicted with the blessing and support of the Home Office. The baboons used in these horrific experiments were just 2-4 years old - mere youngsters.


Three cynomolgus monkeys destined for xenotransplantation experiments at HLS died in transit from the Phillipines. Home Office Minister Mike O’Brien stated that the deaths “were probably due to a combination of factors” including the size of the crates, ventilation, females in heat and journey time. Basically the monkeys couldn’t stand up properly or turn around for two days. It was HLS’s responsibility to import those monkeys and they failed again.

If HLS can’t even import monkeys alive how can they be trusted to screen them for viruses that kill humans?


Huntingdon Life Sciences have been exposed again. We have proved they cannot be trusted and that they do not tell the truth, they break the law, they are cruel and incompetent, they breached the Good Laboratory Guidelines over 520 times and knowingly put human lives at risk.


PDF of xenotransplantation experiment

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