FoI Requests 2009 - Questions

On 13th February 2009 Doug Paulley submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Open University asking the following questions.

Relating to the use of Animals and Animal Material at the Open University:

  1. the number of animals used for a) education and b) research at the Open University for each of the past 10 years
  2. where these animals are sourced from
  3. the amount of animal tissue and other animal material used for a) education and b) research at the O U over the last 10 years
  4. where this tissue / material is sourced from
  5. which courses currently involve the use of animal tissue
  6. whether students on each courses involving experiments on animal tissue can opt out of the experiments
  7. whether the right to opt out is clearly advertised and whether or not it is frowned upon, formally or otherwise, or students otherwise discouraged from opting out of such experiments
  8. what alternatives for such use of animal materials have been considered and why they have been discounted
  9. which named degrees, if any, are impossible to complete without students having to take part in experiments on animals
  10. how many and which animals are kept on Open University premises, why they are kept, and in what conditions they are kept
  11. how the Open University ensures that animals on its premises are kept in as good conditions as possible
  12. what mechanisms the Open University has for ensuring that animals and animal tissue and other animal materials are sourced ethically
  13. what mechanisms you have for informing students of their use of animals
  14. what mechanisms you have for involving students in the monitoring of such use and the ethical basis for such use
  15. a copy of all correspondence relating to the request in December 2008 by OUSA’s V P Education for a report from the Biology Department on the Open University’s animal usage, including all internal staff emails on the issue and the report itself if it was produced
  16. a copy of all correspondence and documentation relating to the Animal Ethics Advisory Group, previously the Animal Ethical Committee, over the past year
  17. information as to whether students participate in the A E A G; if so how they are selected and what experience they have of the area; if not, why not
  18. what links, if any, the Open University has with Huntingdon Life Sciences or its parent company, Life Sciences Research, both as a customer and in terms of investment
  19. what policy the Open University has on investment in animal research companies (in, amongst other things, its staff pension scheme) and how it is enforced
  20. whether the Open University are aware of any banks of voluntarily donated human tissue and cadavers for medical research use
  21. whether the O U use, or could potentially use, this tissue instead of using animal materials, and if not why not
  22. in relation to SXR376: synthetic liquid media are supplemented with commercially available growth factors derived from animal serum; which types of growth factor are used?
  23. again in relation to SXR376: animal-derived biological molecules, such as antibodies, are used. Which antibodies and other biological molecules are used?