National Anti-vivisection Society


National Antivisection Society

The NAVS and charity work

. Updated: 11 February 2016


The NAVS is a non-profit limited by guarantee of members; this is a campaigns and education group, also referred to as an NGO (non-governmental organisation). All of our work is charitable, for the benefit of animals, in the wider meaning of the word. The NAVS is not a registered UK charity because the law does not allow for charities to campaign to end animal experiments. Founded in 1895, the NAVS was a charity until 1947, when the Inland Revenue challenged charitable status for groups opposing animal experiments and the narrow terms of charity status worked against us at that time. Since then, charity law has been amended to include activities which would fall naturally within a charity’s core work, but would still not allow the NAVS to campaign to change the law to end animal research. In fact, many activities today which society regards as charitable were not deemed charitable under the original definition drawn up in 1891.

In order to take up charitable status, the NAVS would be obliged to give up our work to change the law on animal experiments, including drafting legislation, working with government departments and educating legislators around the world, in addition to our public education work. In our view, this work is the most important thing we can do to achieve lasting protection for animals and so our members have made the decision that the financial benefits of charitable status must be sacrificed, in order to do what is right and necessary for animals. We do, however, keep this under review.

Those wishing to donate to a suitable charity are recommended to donate to either the Lord Dowding Fund for Humane Research, or Animal Defenders International Foundation.

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