Health charities within the UK like Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and British Heart Foundation (BHF) are big business – with CEOs earning massive salaries, racking up millions in donations and spending hundreds of millions on research. It is easy to be fooled by their positive, persuasive, and apparently transparent websites that promote their successes towards cures and treatments. They even appear to be honest with dedicated pages on the use of animals in experiments, claiming it to be an ‘unavoidable evil’. So why are they the target of our Cures not Cruelty campaign?
This week while debating the Brexit bill, Conservative MPs had voted not to transfer into UK law parts of EU legislation which recognise that animals have sentience and can feel pain and emotions. This would have come into effect once we leave the EU in 2019.
In contrast to this vote extensive scientific evidence shows that non-human animals do have feelings and emotions, some even stronger than ours. An example of this comes from Carl Safina, the author of Beyond Words, he talks about sightings of humpback whales helping seals being hunted by killer whales. There is a documented account of a humpback sweeping a seal on its back, out the water and away from the killer whales. This has only recently been recorded but could have been happening for thousands of years. This story alone is proof that non-human animals have more empathy than many humans do.
BLOG: Why Damaging Dogs Is Not An Effective Way To Better Diagnosis And Treatments For People With Osteoarthritis – Dr Lindsay Marshall
Blog by Dr Lindsay Marshall, Humane Society International
To artificially create an arthritic-like knee in a perfectly healthy dog requires an awful instrument known as the dropping tower. This device drops a 2 kg weight onto the bent hind leg of an anaesthetised dog – most commonly a beagle, but Labradors, golden retrievers and German shepherd dogs are also used for this. The beagle in the photo is about to have more than 2000 N of force applied to her flexed knee. To put this in some context, a person bench pressing 100 lbs uses around 450 N of force.
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?
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.
Joining up our struggles: A call to anti-speciesists to join the Stop the Arms Fair week of action this September
This September, London will be hosting Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI), the world’s largest arms exhibition. Political and military delegations from all over the world will come to shop for weapons, sold by thousands of arms companies. The UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the US military, both of whom carry out military tests on animals, as well as causing untold suffering to those that live in the countries that they invade, bomb and occupy, will be participating in the fair.
Pig organs being transplanted into humans was an idea that started in the 60’s. Many opposed it due to disease and virus crossover possibilities Some pigs carry Porcine Endogenous Retroviruses (PERVs). Retroviruses are a group of viruses that can cause cancers and immunodeficiency illnesses, including HIV, which affect humans. This means that pig cells are not safe for donation unless they are edited to take out the parts that we don’t want.
Researchers in China and the United States have carried out a study where they have been able to remove the genes we wouldn’t want. The death toll for this study is already 37 pigs, with no piglets surviving past four months old.
Every year for the last five years Moffatt, a small town in Dumfries, Scotland, holds a sheep race through their town. 2017 will be their sixth year. Or, if we are successful, last year will be their last.
The sheep are raced through the town and people place bets on which one will win. Crowds line the streets and cheer and shout as they race by. Sheep are by nature timid and quiet animals. This must be a terrifying experience for them. Sheep are prey animals, which means they are sought, captured and eaten by a predator, so they will only run when they are frightened.
Some may argue that it is not moral to grow human organs at all, let alone test on them. This level of playing God seems to be too futuristic to be comprehended as a current possibility.
I have grown up seeing science progress to the point of cloning sheep and growing ears on the back of mice. This has never sat well with me personally, yet I never heard many people opposing it. I have, however, heard a lot about people opposing stem cell research in recent years. I think it’s safe to say that humans put a much higher value on their own species than they do on the lives of other species.
“The question is not, ‘Can they reason?’ nor, ‘Can they talk?’ but, ‘Can they suffer?’” – Jeremy Bentham.
Vivisection is the exploitation of animals in scientific experiments, in which animals are poisoned, deprived of food and water, isolated, paralysed, injected with diseases, burned, gassed, electrocuted, surgically mutilated and much more. As a result, most of these animals are killed. Approximately 11.5 million animals are used for vivisection in Europe every year, with rats and mice being experimented on the most. The products tested on these animals include pharmaceutical drugs, bleach, tobacco, and cosmetics, and these tests can last for months, years, or for the duration of the animal’s life. And all of this happens legally.