On Saturday 7th February there was a concerted effort by animal advocates across the UK to ensure the Home Office is held to account for its role in the Diaries of Despair affair.

Uncaged Campaigns called the urgent Day of Action, due to two key developments, which make the month of February an absolutely vital period in this historic campaign:

  • The House of Commons' Home Affairs Committee is expected to decide whether to instigate their own inquiry into the shameful behaviour of the Home Office in the Diaries of Despair.

  • With it's back to the wall, the Home Office has gone on the offensive by writing to all MPs an aggressive, inaccurate and misleading letter about the Diaries of Despair affair.

Campaigners took to the streets with information stalls in over 60 different towns and cities all over the UK - from Cornwall to the Scottish Highlands - to ensure the Home Affairs Committee comes to the correct decision; to prevent the Home Office from getting away with their latest attempt to mislead MPs; and to educate the public about the reality of vivisection in the UK.

On highly visual information stalls in busy town centres and High Streets, petitions were raised and hundreds of letters were signed by members of the public urging local MPs to press the Home Affairs Committee to instigate an inquiry into the Diaries of Despair. Many supporters of Uncaged also visited their local MP in his/her constituency surgery to emphasise the case for an inquiry in person. We already have news of several MPs who are contacting the Home Affairs Committee.

In addition, hundreds of postcards calling for an independent inquiry were completed on these stalls, and are now on their way to 10 Downing Street.

Many thanks to everyone who took part!

What Now?

If you conducted a stall on the Day of Action, please send the letters and petitions and a covering letter to the relevant MP(s) as soon as possible - or better still, arrange to deliver them in person at the next constituency meeting in February, so you can have some time explaining the case for an inquiry.

Although the Day of Action has passed, there is still an urgent need to lobby MPs to influence the Home Affairs Committee; to rebut the falsehoods coming out of the Home Office; and to educate the public about this scandal.

In addition, we will soon have a new Early Day Motion (EDM) tabled. The last EDM was signed by 153 MPs, making it one of the best-supported EDMs in the session, and putting huge pressure on the Home Office. We will again need your help to get as many MPs to sign the new EDM as possible. Watch this space for further details.

The two key methods of that UK citizens can influence the political process are:

Conducting information stalls to get petitions, letters and postcards signed by members of the public calling on MPs to write to the Home Affairs Committee supporting the call for an inquiry, and to the Prime Minister to demand that he establishes a full independent judicial inquiry.

Writing to and visiting your MP in his/her constituency surgery to urge them to write to the Home Affairs Committee and press for an inquiry; and ask them to sign the Early Day Motion when it is tabled.

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Uncaged Campaigns, 10 February 2004


Diaries of Despair rally, 2002
Credit: Corin Jeavons


Uncaged's new report on the Diaries of Despair scandal has uncovered yet more systematic misconduct on the part of the Home Office in its enforcement of animal research regulations.





















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