Enough Is Enough: Latest Figures Reveal Millions of Animals Tortured in UK Experiments
It’s with a heavy heart that we bring you news of the Home Office’s latest figures on animal testing in the UK: 4.11 million animals were the victims of experiments in this country in 2012. That’s 4.11 million animals who led lives of quiet misery, locked up in laboratories, terrified and alone.
This number represents an 8 per cent rise in tests on animals compared to 2011 – a step in the wrong direction. Animal abusers are increasing the industrial-scale breeding of genetically modified animals, many of whom are deliberately bred to have painful defects, and performing more tests than ever on mice, sheep, goats, guinea pigs and primates.
Every day, animals in laboratories are blinded, burned, shocked, infected, poisoned and surgically mutilated. It is cruel and unethical to treat animals as though they were test tubes with tails instead of living, feeling beings. What’s more, it’s bad science.
Way back in 2002, the House of Lords Select Committee on Animals in Scientific Procedures announced what we’ve always known: that animals are “highly imperfect models” for the study of human disease and that it would be “for the benefit of science, and ultimately of human health, if better methods of research and testing could be developed”.
We’re not even allowed to know exactly what goes on behind closed doors in the name of science because of a shady “secrecy clause” that denies the British public the right to know what horrors are being inflicted on animals through the use of the taxpayers’ money.
There is a different and better way. Humane and effective testing methods exist, which can help humans without harming animals. Forward-thinking researchers are already using progressive techniques – such as in vitro (test tube) toxicity screening, “skin” grown in laboratories – to test the impacts of potential drugs. Many more high-tech non-animal testing methods are waiting to be developed.
It’s high time for the Home Office to put a stop to inexcusable experiments on animals – a scientific breakthrough we’ve all been waiting for.
Image: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals