A concordat has been agreed by universities, medical research charities, pharmaceutical companies and the government to create greater transparency in animal research. This is a step toward safe-guarding the high quality and economically important scientific work which goes on in the UK and could not come at a more important time. A recent IpsosMORI poll shows a slight dip in public support for animal research. The public represent, to different degrees, scientists, customers and bosses. This reduced support will only embolden anti-vivisection groups who have recently lobbied and intimidated various airlines and ferry companies into ceasing transport of live animals for legitimate medical research. I have launched a petition to demand that the government provide these hauliers the protection and support they require to resume the transport of animals. Please sign it here.
Actions like this will show the government that the scientific community and the general public view the lobbying of anti-vivisectionists as undemocratic. In the spirit of greater openness,the scientific community must take on the arguments of anti-vivisectionist groups whilst doing far more to inform the public. Greater public understanding will bring this debate into the light, where these campaigns of innuendo can no longer persuade. No scientist can legally be pro-animal research in the way that anti-vivisectionist groups claim. By law we must exhaust all other avenues before using animals and legally we must work towards the “3R’s” of reduction, refinement and replacement. The UK is considered the best in the world for safeguarding the welfare of animals in research facilities. We must also become world-leaders at informing and being transparent. This will ultimately safeguard our industry, the economy, animals and the public’s health.
IMAGE: Understanding Animal Research/Wellcome Images