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Animals In Laboratories- Charlotte Chapman

Back in April I took part in the amazing march through Birmingham city centre for the”World day for animals in laboratories”.
So many people turned up, the majority of people had either made signs, had leaflets to hand or even dressed up in lab coats stained in blood.
This was the first big protest I had been on and I felt quite emotional at times, it was such an intense day where fellow animal right activists were shouting the same heart felt chants to the city of Birmingham.Animal testing can be a very touchy subject, of course this is understandable.
We all know someone who has had to suffer through awful diseases such as cancer or heart disease, and like everyone else I wish that did not have to happen, but how is it right to push all that pain, terror and torture onto innocent, voiceless and helpless beings?

To disagree and speak out about animal testing does not mean we do not want progression to be made, for people to get better or for scientific research to continue.
Of course we want to find a cure for cancer, heart disease, dementia or any other disease.
I myself have lost family and friends to these horrible diseases, but I genuinely believe there are better ways to conduct medical research, other ways which do not make humanity worse monsters than the diseases we are fighting against.

Why is animal testing such a bad thing?

If you asked 20 random people on the street I bet you they could not guess the number of animals used for research in the UK in 2016.
In 2016 alone there were just under 4 million terrified souls tested on. I know the majority of people think it is only mice and rats which are used in research, but you would be surprised. Firstly, it does not matter on the size or preconception of the animal, as rats are one of the most commonly used and yet they are extremely intelligent and social beings. Secondly, researchers test on many other animals including dogs, monkeys, rabbits and cats.

I have had many pet rats and each one had their own personality. They are so friendly, so inquisitive, clever, loving and social. It breaks my heart to know that each and every day many of these beautiful creatures are in unimaginable pain and sadness.
This was Roy Mustang, he was a friggin legend, just like all my other rat babes too. xxx 

Animals aren’t only used for the research of medical diseases, they are also abused and murdered for the sake of cosmetics, food tests, chemical testing and pure sickening scientific curiosity.

To understand how cruelly these animals are treated you must watch footage which is widely available You tube and other online websites.

See a video here from Cruelty Free International – https://youtu.be/FVtHxE7Nnsg

It is too horrific to even imagine some of the things these so called scientists do to such defenceless animals. They are often starved, hidden from light, mutilated, blinded, gassed, have pieces of their brains cut out, bolts shoved into their heads, heads cut off, smoke inhalation, poisoned, burnt, and too many other barbaric things to list.

As well as the horrendous experiments that take place it is known that the general care of the animals is beyond disgusting, as many have been left to starve and/or simply drown in their own faeces. Many of these animals also die from stress or shock, partly due to witnessing other animals being tested on and knowing they will have to endure the same.

There are plenty of arguments against animal testing, the tests are often inclusive or give completely inaccurate information, after all why would we think that curing cancerous cells in mice would work in humans. It is known that animal experiments are not only torturous but often very expensive, hugely time consuming and completely misleading therefore producing many side effects and mistakes often resulting in human deaths.

The alternatives to animal testing are things such as cell cultures, computer models, human tissues and many more. See some examples here: https://www.animalfreeresearchuk.org/animal-replacement/

I know this it is not a clear cut situation. I cannot blame anyone for taking medication which is tested on animals, what choice do we have when we are poorly? But unless we speak out about these issues and support alternative charities then nothing will ever change.

What can we do to make a change? 

First things first, buy cruelty free cosmetics and household products, look for the leaping bunny symbol. There is no need to buy products tested on animals, there are many more options out there.

The next time you take part in a Wolf Run or charity bake off please think about raising money for a kinder charity, one which does not support animal testing.

Spread the word, follow non-animal testing charities on Facebook, make your own charity event at work or with family and friends, stop giving your £5 a month to Cancer Research UK, make a group at university to stop the in house testing on animals, request for a collection tin to be put at your work place…the list goes on.

My main advice would be to stop supporting the huge “charities” such as the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK, as the top dogs who work for these charities only care about one thing, and it is not curing your loved ones…it is their pay packet at the end of the month.
Not only do they waste millions of pounds of public money each year, they avoid the truth, they do not care about prevention of diseases only our money in which to attempt a fake version of finding cures.

(Another thing…another subject/debate? Go Vegan, you may just reduce your risk of becoming seriously ill, but this is something you won’t hear Cancer Research UK suggest, why ever not?)

See below just a few websites to check out, please have a look and read the information from experts, not just a random blog from little me over here!:

Cruelty Free International – https://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/

Animal Aid – https://www.animalaid.org.uk/

Animal Justice Project – http://animaljusticeproject.com/

Animal Free Research UK – http://www.animalfreeresearchuk.org/

British Heartless Foundation – https://www.britishheartlessfoundation.co.uk/

Thank you for reading this, I promise to write a happier blog post next! But this suffering needs to end and the only way that can happen is if people speak up, educate and think with compassion.

See a few snaps I took from the march back in April…
🙂 xxx

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Say NO to charity experiments on animals! #CuresNotCruelty

Today is the launch of our new campaign, Cures Not Cruelty, in which we will be exposing the chilling truth animal experiments taking place in laboratories all over the country by, or on behalf of, British Heart Foundation – the single biggest funder of cardiovascular research in Britain – and Cancer Research UK the world’s largest independent cancer research charity. These charities each have a £600 million income and spend much of this money on cruel and archaic tests which actually holds back medical advancement.

Today we are asking you to make a special donation for our campaign, so we can tell the truth about these multinational corporation charities.

Many medical charities like British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK who rely for their funding on the goodwill of the general public go on to use this money to support animal research in the mistaken belief that animal experiments will yield data that is relevant to human disease. Yet animal ‘models’ are misleading and the consensus today among scientists who work in areas associated with drug development and disease research is that animals have NO predictive value. This is supported by empirical evidence, complexity science and evolutionary biology.

The Cures Not Cruelty campaign will involve raising awareness on the two charity’s extensive and unnecessary use of animals through informative materials and the media, as well as putting pressure on both to end funding extreme animal cruelty.

It is an ambitious campaign. And it relies entirely on you.

British Heart Foundation’s ‘Fight for every heartbeat’ ..
Despite British Heart Foundation saying that funding animal research is not a decision they “take lightly”, thousands of rats, ferret, pigs, rabbits, mice .. even dogs, continue to be used in their cruel, heartless experiments each year. Often hidden away in university laboratories around the country, animals are burnt, poisoned, starved, deprived of sunlight and their mother’s love. Many will spend their entire life locked away in barren, ‘sterile’ cages and all will want freedom. Instead, all they can do is sit and wait in fear of the next terrifying and painful procedure. Each undercover investigation inside a laboratory has revealed a catalogue of abuse on an almost unimaginable scale –  tiny rodents being live decapitated, dogs beaten, cats blinded, animals waking up in the middle of surgery … These are just some the horrifying things that happen every day.

Cancer Research UK .. missing a trick?
Cancer is a largely preventable disease. Smoking is the number one cause of cancer, and eating meat is the second. Should significant changes in lifestyle be made through effective public education, potentially 95 per cent of all cancers could be avoided. In late 2015, the World Health Organisation, announced that red meat should be classified as a carcinogen. It therefore makes sense to invest primarily and as a matter of priority in public education and public awareness campaigns. Yet shockingly, Cancer Research UK’s Annual Report last year failed to even mention the link between meat and cancer. The charity spent only 41 million on activities that increase knowledge and awareness of cancer and contribute to its prevention. That is only 6 per cent of its total income!

Will you support this new campaign to end animal use by British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK?
Our team of volunteers are working around the clock but we are operating on a shoestring budget. We urgently need your donations to fund educational materials, press work, outreach events and research. We desperately want to produce Cures Not Cruelty materials for every town, and to provide every campaigner with what they need to carry out effective outreach.

Please become a laboratory animal advocate today. Countless animals are depending on you!

DONATE HERE

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Gucci Goes Fur Free!

Bosses of Italian fashion house, Gucci have pledged to stop using fur by 2018.

Mark Bizzarri spoke at a London College of Fashion event that the move was part of a commitment to ‘sustainability’. They have said that they will auction off all their remaining animal fur items, following a stop in production for their spring-summer range in 2018.

The proceeds of the auction will go to animal rights organisations Humane Society International and LAV. Kitty Block, president of Humane Society International welcomed the brand’s ‘compassionate decision’ and said that ‘Gucci going fur-free is a huge game-changer’.

The International Fur Federation, which represents the global fur industry, has said that to them, the decision makes no sense. ‘Claiming that they have done this for environmental reasons makes no sense’. They stated that ‘it comes from nature and lasts for decades’.

However, the Fur Free Alliance said ‘Gucci is taking a bold stand for animals, showing the world that the future of fashion is fur-free’.

Hopefully now that such a huge name in fashion has made this important pledge to no longer be part of this cruel and inhumane practice, many others in the industry will follow.

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BLOG: Animal research, the “3Rs” and Imperial College London – Daisy Hall, Senior Researcher, Animal Justice Project

The Reduction, Refinement, and Replacement of animals in laboratories is a concept that has been in existence since the 1950s. And whilst compassionate and intelligent members of our society would without-doubt agree that the main focus of this concept should be the total replacement of animals in research, the reality is that many U.K laboratories are actually increasing the amount of animals they are using in research year-to-year. And this year, Imperial College London have congratulated themselves on what they perceive to be their ‘achievements’ in relation to the 3 Rs principle.

One ‘winning’ researcher at Imperial stated that “by thinking about how to minimize the use of animals, we were prompted to think more deeply about what is going on in our experiments and how we can measure that in a different way”. Surely it should be critical that research scientists are continually thinking deeply about what occurs throughout their experiments? Not just to be acknowledged in an event such as this?

Another researcher’s supposed refinement of methods, involved “leading an initiative to house post-operative guinea pigs in groups, rather than in single cages. This refinement work has led to reduced stress levels among the animals”. In their natural habitats, guinea pigs live in groups and are social creatures. The fact that the laboratory animals have previously been housed individually means the stress this will have caused will undoubtedly have skewed the already dubious results achieved via animal-based experiments.

Animal Justice Project is a 1R organisation – we advocate the abolition of animal breeding, and the abolition of the use of animals in all forms of research and within educational institutions. We do not support the concept of 3Rs since we are opposed to animal experiments on moral and also scientific grounds. This is true also for our Scientific Advisors organisation; Antidote Europe.

In 2012 the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (now Cruelty Free International) went undercover at an Imperial College London laboratory. Their investigation documented “a catalogue of misery and poor practice shedding new light on the reality of animal experiments in the UK”. This appalling treatment involved animals suffering due to “staff incompetence, neglect, a failure of staff to provide adequate anaesthesia and pain relief, and breaches and lack of knowledge of UK Home Office project licences which set out what can be done to animals used in experiments”. Some key concerns noted were:

  • Researchers underestimated animal suffering
  • Staff ineptitude in surgical and other procedures, resulting in animal deaths and suffering
  • Poor monitoring of animals – leading to further suffering
  • Live rats decapitated by guillotine
  • Loud pop music played throughout the laboratory – music played during surgery, whilst animals were recovering from surgery, and whilst they were being killed

A Daily Mail article, reporting on the exposé, described an independent review which took place in response to the investigation. They state the review “identified a lack of adequate operational, leadership, management, training, supervisory and ethical review systems at Imperial, where more than 1,000 people are involved in animal research on four separate sites”. It also identified “a number of serious concerns on the conduct, management and oversight of animal research at Imperial College”.

In response to the CFI investigation, government advisors also found “systematic patterns of infringements” at Imperial. In articles by The Guardian and Evening Standard it was reported that the organisation’s “investigation accelerated action despite ‘a pattern of concerns’ having been identified by the Home Office Inspectorate as early as 2012”. Therefore, it is not a surprise based on this history of abuse, that it is the researchers from Imperial College themselves who are awarding their current ‘advancements’, rather than any external or independent body.

Imperial claim their researchers look for “methods that replace animal research or reduce the number of animals involved”, but the numbers speak for themselves – in 2016, 101,369 animals were used in research at Imperial, an increase from the previous year. It is truly staggering just how many animals are tortured and killed each year at Imperial College London. Rather than continuing to carry out cruel and futile animal experiments, it is time they led the way to develop non-animal research methods that will not only yield more relevant and reliable results, but will also accelerate the improvement of scientific research and technologies.

Links:

First mention of the 3 Rs – Russell, W.M.S. and Burch, R.L., (1959). The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique, Methuen, London. ISBN 0900767782

History of 3 Rs

CFI Review

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London’s Royal Parks Have Culled Over 10,000 Animals

London’s biggest parks have been accused of ‘callous slaughter’ after figures have revealed that over 10,000 wild animals have been killed by rangers in the last four years.

The Royal Parks authority have eight open spaces, these include Hyde Park and Richmond Park. Since January 2013 rangers have exterminated more than 8,400 animals, including: 1,734 deer; 2,657 rabbits; 3,679 squirrels and 330 foxes.

Animal rights campaigners, Animal Aid have urged the Royal Parks to adopt alternatives to culling such as removing food sources for problem species and urging members of the public against feeding them. It is suggested that the removal of some species, such as foxes is pointless because it will simply cause others to move into the area.

Long-standing government policy also advises against culling, stating that the ‘most effective strategies have primarily relied on non-lethal methods’.

Over 77 million people visit these parks every year, and for many of them these visits offer a rare opportunity to see and interact with wild animals.

A spokesperson for the Royal Parks insists ‘humane’ culling is essential to maintaining ecological diversity in its open spaces.

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