The NAVS steps up its UK “Cutting Edge Not Knife Edge” animal testing campaign with the support of Jonathan Evans MP

14/07/11

As a new law is considered on animal testing, The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) has stepped up its campaign to highlight the current Home Office public consultation and Jonathan Evans, MP for Cardiff North has pledged his support. The campaign call comes on the day of the release of the latest UK animal testing statistics by the Government.

Last month, the UK Government began the first major revision of animal experimentation rules in over 25 years to bring the new EU Directive on animal testing (2010/63/EU) into UK law, and has embarked on a public consultation exercise as part of the process.

The NAVS believes this to be an ideal opportunity for government to bring in advanced scientific techniques to replace animals, which benefits people and will end animal suffering.  NAVS is calling for members of the public to have their say and provide a voice for the millions of animals who die every year in UK laboratories.  
 
In a show of unity, Jonathan Evans MP, NAVS representatives and cross party politicians and peers gathered on Wednesday 13th July at Parliament, to request that the Home Office gears the legislation to replace animal use, while adopting the strictest animal protection legislation as the new EU Directive becomes law.  Now it’s time for the public to take part in the public consultation process. They were accompanied by a giant inflatable beagle to help bring further publicity to this important animal welfare issue.
Jonathan said: “I am seriously concerned that current protections in relation to the use of animals in experiments may be downgraded.  We need to improve not diminish the protection of animals.”
Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of the NAVS said: “We applaud Jonathan for helping strike a blow for the millions of animals who die in UK animal testing laboratories by pledging his support and encouraging his constituents to actively take part in the consultation.

“The Government must move the country towards modern, reliable non-animal research techniques – literally the cutting edge of science – and move away from outdated animal research. Alternative methods can provide robust, relevant and accurate results faster and more cost effectively, without animal suffering.”

“We are calling on members of the public to play their part and the consultation offers them a chance to voice their opinion on the subject of animal testing and help influence the Government to do the right thing for both people and animals – let’s have a law that is geared towards replacement of animals with advanced techniques to benefit people and save animals.” 

The NAVS is urging as many people as possible to take part in this consultation by visiting the Home Office website or in writing. NAVS has also launched a postcard which the public can send in. To have your say contact the NAVS today by telephoning 0207 630 3340, email: info@navs.org.uk.  The consultation is running for 12 weeks and the closing date for responses is 5th September 2011.
A Parliamentary Early Day Motion (EDM) 1842 calling for the Government to hold a democratic, transparent debate on the issue and ensure that the Government pursues the highest standards possible for laboratory animals is also active in the House of Commons and has already been signed by nearly 40 MPs. The NAVS is asking all politicians to sign.

The latest Home Office animal testing results show that there was an increase in the number of animals in the UK by 101,265 (3%) to 3,642,517, compared to 3,541,252 in 2009. There has also been an increase in the number of procedures by 105,186 (3%) to 3,724,726 compared to 3,619,540 in 2009.