Over 4 million animals suffer and die in UK laboratories each year. That’s 4 million living, breathing, feeling individuals, often with complex physical and social needs and able to form strong bonds with their families. And, critically, they feel pain just like you and I do.
But despite this, they are being poisoned, gassed, electrocuted, mutilated and killed in laboratories across the country.
As a supporter of the BUAV, I know you don’t need convincing. I’m not writing to preach to the converted. I’m writing because I desperately need your help to show the rest of the UK public what is happening to these animals behind closed doors.
The Government and the animal research industry consistently tout the UK as having the strictest animal welfare regulations in the world. But the BUAV has carried out undercover investigations documenting breaches of Home Office project licences, neglect and failure to provide adequate anaesthesia, pain relief and post-operative care – with animals routinely left unattended overnight after highly invasive surgery.
And shockingly there are only 18 full time equivalent inspectors overseeing the over 4 million experiments carried out.
Just last week a Concordat on Animal Testing, developed by 72 animal testing establishments, claimed they are committing to greater openness in animal research. The BUAV believes the Concordat simply delivers transparency on the industry’s terms, with researchers having complete control over what the public gets to see.Even Newcastle University is one of the signatories, yet not long ago the university spent £250,000 in legal fees trying to stop the BUAV accessing information about highly invasive primate experiments its researchers were conducting. So much for openness.
The BUAV has been fighting many years for genuine openness and transparency in animal research, so that the public can make up their own minds about what is happening to animals in laboratories.
So last week I went on The Today program on Radio 4 and Newsnight on BBC 2 to get the message out there. I was also quoted in the Guardian. But we have so much more to do in our fight to lift the veil of secrecy, and I am writing to you today to ask you to please donate to support this work. The sooner the public sees what really goes on behind the closed doors of a laboratory, the sooner we can end the suffering.