A group of parliamentary representatives, animal welfare organisations, veterinarians and scientists met for the first time to discuss the harm versus the benefits of using dog for experiments in the UK.
The UK is now the biggest reported user of animals in the EU with 3.9m experiments reported in 2016.
Dogs have been used in scientific experiments in the UK for decades, with beagles being the most used. Beagles are used because they are biologically similar to humans in many situations, and because they are small and easy to keep.
The meeting was chaired by Dr Lisa Cameron MP who is instrumental in leading the campaign called Lucy’s Law to bring about legislation to ban the sale of third party puppy selling in the UK.
The campaign reached over 100k signatures from supporters within 13 days, ensuring that legislation to bring about an immediate ban will be discussed in Parliament. Also, in attendance were supporters from both sides of the debate.
The event was introduced by Marc Abraham and Peter Egan. The speakers were Michelle Thew (CFI), Dr Jarrod Bailey (CFI), Jessamy Korotoga (Animal Aid), Sue Starkey (Run Free Alliance), Dominic Wells (Royal Veterinary College), Roy Sutcliffe (B&K), Tom Holder (Understanding Animal Research).
After the event, Peter Egan, veteran British actor, tweeted “It is time to have a proper peer reviewed debate as described in #EDM66 to end the chain of horror for all species involved in outdated animal experiments”.
An international petition calling for a worldwide ban on animal testing in the cosmetics industry is being run by Cruelty Free and The Body Shop with a goal of enforceable and enforced harmonised rules ending the use of animals in cosmetics testing worldwide.
Jo Amit, co-founder of HOWND says: “We were honoured to be invited to this event, it is an issue we are extremely passionate about and it’s great to see support from such high-profile politicians to ending this terrible and cruel practice”.
Tom Holder, spokesman for Understanding Animal Research said: “Dogs continue to play a key role in ensuring that the human medicines we rely on are safe – they are also used to understand disease and develop veterinary medicines”