Update on new animal experiments law
Last week, the government sent PETA its proposed new law on animal experiments – the one resulting from the long, long process of translating the 2010 EU directive passed into UK law. Parliament will only be permitted to rubber stamp the draft regulations so we can expect very few changes before the new law comes into force at the start of 2013.
PETA – and our fantastic supporters – have been working for nearly two years to ensure that implementing the directive wouldn’t lead to the standards of protection for animals in UK laboratories getting even worse. We reported a few months ago that the government seemed to have responded to our arguments and public concern by keeping higher UK standards where they already existed and the detailed draft law we’ve now seen confirms that. Among the things we fought for that are in the law are:
• retaining special protection for cats and dogs;
• a full ban on the use of Great Apes has been introduced to the law for the first time;
• there will be no exceptions to the ban on experiments that “cause the animal severe pain, suffering or distress that is likely to be long-lasting and cannot be ameliorated”;
• while not yet confirmed, it looks as though cage sizes will not be reduced.
While we’re relieved that things haven’t worsened – which they may well have without our efforts and your support – sadly we essentially have the same law that has allowed animal tests to creep up to over 10,000 a day, and which keeps so much about animal experiments hidden from the public.
The government however is now considering whether to abolish a secrecy clause in the law that keeps much of what happens in laboratories hidden from view. Please contact them to demand that the public is given the right to know what is done in its name.