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Greens pledge to end use of GM animals in research

The Green Party’s manifesto for the 2015 election formalises the party’s commitment to raising government spending on R&D to 1 per cent of GDP over the next 10 years and pledges to stop the use of genetically altered animals—a staple of modern biomedical research.

For the Common Good, the party’s manifesto launched on 14 April, is more robust in its stand against animal research than its 2010 election manifesto.

That document spoke only of banning “causing harm to animals in research” and mentioned that the party would apply the precautionary principal when evaluating novel genetic techniques.

In the 2015 manifesto the party, which describes itself as "pro science", says that, if elected, it would immediately take action to “stop the breeding of and use of genetically altered animals” and “end government funding of animal experimentation”.

Almost all biomedical research uses animal experiments and testing on animals is mandatory before medicines can be tested in humans.

The manifesto also lays out the party’s higher education policy with an attack on growing commercialisation and over-focus on research outputs at the expense of teaching. “UK universities are now all but privatised,” it says.

In contrast, the party repeats its pledges to end undergraduate tuition fees and cancel student debt issued by the Student Loans Company. The party also commits to reducing income disparities in higher education and “ending the scandal of vice-chancellors paying themselves £300,000 a year while cleaners on the national minimum wage have to resort to food banks”.

Elsewhere in the manifesto, the party prioritises massive investment in renewable energy sources and commits £4.5 billion over the course of the next parliament to support R&D on less energy-intensive industrial processes.