Campaigners have labelled the University of Oxford’s monkey-testing programme a “national disgrace” after footage of the laboratory was aired on BBC News on Tuesday.

Following the programme, which showed footage of animals with lesions (or areas of damage), Luke Steele, head of the Anti-Vivisection Coalition, said: “These tests are financed by the very public who oppose this national disgrace.”

Neuroscientist Professor Matthew Rushworth said the lesions in the frontal lobe helped look at what happens when certain areas of the brain malfunction: “This gives us key insights into how some of these areas are going wrong in psychological illnesses such as depression, but it can also apply to disorders like autism.”