Campaigners dressed in red boiler suits are planning a protest against “grotesque and repugnant” animal testing at the University of Bradford.

The Anti-Vivisection Coalition (AVC) said its decision to take action followed a Freedom of Information request that revealed more than 2,000 animals were used in experiments at the university last year. Last week, the education establishment defended its use of animals in research, saying it only used them when “there was no viable alternative.”

A spokesman was speaking following after an online petition against the animal testing reached 7,000 signatures.

It has reiterated the same message following AVC’s announcement to protest.

The AVC, an international organisation involved in the protection of animals in laboratories, believes testing on 2,047 mice and 126 rats should not have happened. Its research showed tests performed at Bradford have included psychology research, involving depriving animals of food and the testing of recreational drugs. The latter, it said, was of particular concern.

A spokesman said: “The University conducts pioneering research designed to improve the treatment of cancer and mental illness. The use of animals is tightly regulated and is only permitted when there is no viable alternative. The University adheres rigorously to the requirements of current legislation and is subject to a strict regime of licensing and inspection carried out by the Home Office.”

The AVC recently launched a national charter calling for the government to immediately abolish areas of animal testing – one of which was psychology tests, including those performed at Bradford.

AVC’s Director of Campaigns Luke Steele said: “Experiments performed on animals at the University of Bradford are grotesque and repugnant. Animals have been deprived of food and dosed with recreational drugs.

“We call for Government action to immediately outlaw psychology experiments on animals and shall protest at Bradford in support of this demand. However, local responsibility must be taken by the Vice Chancellor and we ask the institution to commit to ceasing these tests.”