National Anti-vivisection Society

 

National Antivisection Society

April 2008

Posted: 24 April 2008

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From right to left: LDF Chief Executive Jan Creamer, Professor Paul Furlong, Neil Parish MEP

Well here we are, approaching another World Lab Animal Day, and this year, we are asking the public to have a ‘Spring Clean for Compassionate Cupboards’, by kicking animal-tested household products out of the house – replacing animal-tested products with cruelty-free. We’re delighted that actresses Julie Christie and Jenny Seagrove and TV presenter Wendy Turner Webster are backing the campaign.

The NAVS is both raising public awareness, but also calling on the Government not to approve any licences to test household products, and press for a Europe-wide ban. You can see an interview I gave yesterday on Friction TV about the campaign

Prompted by public opinion, Britain led the way in Europe on the cosmetics testing ban, which means that by 2013 no more cosmetic products will be tested on animals. There is no reason a household ban cannot be implemented, too.

Many supermarkets and shops stock household products indicating that they are ‘not tested on animals’, you can also check out our lists of cruelty-free products here.

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Jan Creamer and Paul Furlong at the Progress Without Pain Conference

In the most recent Government statistics (2006), the number of household product tests in the UK has dropped to zero, for the first time ever. In Europe, the most recent statistics (2004) show that 7,000 animals are used in household and cosmetics product testing, with the largest users being Spain, France, and Denmark. So household products from these countries, on sale in the UK, will have been tested on animals.

The UK Government has never been in a better position to ban household product tests once and for all, and to press Europe for action. You can find out more about the campaign here.

As I say, we will be taking this campaign to Europe and it is being launched by our San Francisco office in the USA and also in Ireland by our campaign partners, ARAN.

It has been a breathless few months of campaigning so far in 2008, and a great deal has happened since my last entry at the end of 2007.

In Europe our key work has been the campaign on the revision of Directive 86/609 – the rules that govern vivisection throughout Europe. Part of this is pressing for the implementation of our Declaration to end primate tests. The Declaration was adopted by the European Parliament last year.

In January, along with a delegation of supporting MEPs, we met with the EU’s Environment Commissioner, Stavros Dimas, to discuss a ban on primate research under the review of EU Directive 86/609. The following month we were back at the Parliament in Brussels for presentations by myself and LDF grant holder Professor Paul Furlong, of Aston University, on the replacement of primate experiments. Commissioner Dimas also addressed the meeting. This coincided with the launch of our new non animal research publication New Science.

We also met with the Home Office to discuss ideas for improvements to the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act of 1986, also to press the Home Office to back a strong line when the revision of Directive 86/609 reaches the Council of Ministers.

We rounded up this latest European push on animal experiments in Brussels with the launch of our 86/609 manifesto at a special meeting hosted by Jens Holm MEP and also addressed by myself, our senior Political Officer, Helder Constantino, and MEPs Robert Evans and Mojca Drcar Murko.

This Directive affects the lives of many millions of animals and any review has the potential to save hundreds of thousands – maybe millions – so we will ensure that the NAVS and ADI are there putting the case for animals right to the end.

Meanwhile our ADI Stop Circus Suffering campaign keeps pushing forward. As I write this, 135 MPs have now signed the Early Day Motion calling for a ban on wild animals.

And there has been great news elsewhere. We have been involved in writing legislation in Peru and Bolivia and believe these countries may set an example to shame our UK Government into action. In Colombia we are instigating legal action to secure bans in three major cities and two South American countries we are pressing hard to rescue circus primates and large cats. Plus great news from the Stop Circus Suffering Ireland campaign with a ban on wild animal acts in Cork – well done, ARAN!

There have been lows of course. There was sad news that Shere Khan, one of our elderly tigers rescued by ADI way back in 1996, had died in January. She was at least 18 years old and had lived most of those years free of the circus, thanks to ADI supporters.

There was also a blow in the House of Lords when they rejected the appeal on our political advertising case.

But overall, the first four months of 2008, have seen our group of organisations right where they should be – on the front line working as hard as we can to help animals.

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