Posted: 31 March 2017. Updated: 26 April 2017
April 24th marks World Day for Laboratory Animals, and throughout Lab Animal Week (22nd-29th April), people around the globe will commemorate the suffering of animals in laboratories.
Founded by the NAVS in 1979, World Day is a focal point that has moved the issue forward, educating the public and legislators about animal tests and the alternatives for over 35 years.
This year the NAVS is shining a light on ‘species differences’ – the fundamental flaw of animal experiments which makes such tests bad for animals and humans.
Each species reacts differently to substances, making animal tests an unreliable way to predict effects in humans. As a consequence, animal tests have resulted in human tragedy.
Just last year, six human volunteers were hospitalised in France following adverse reactions to a drug that had successfully undergone extensive safety testing in animals. Monkeys were estimated to have been given doses 75 times greater than the highest human dose without the same effects. One volunteer tragically died and others experienced horrific symptoms, including brain injury and bleeding, and one lost their fingers and toes.
Despite the risks, current laws require that, before entering the market, safety testing of products must be carried out on at least two mammal species – the first a rodent species and the second a non-rodent.
Animals are burnt, blinded, scalded, poisoned, mutilated, starved and products are forced down their throats through tubes, so that the products we use in our food, home, cars, gardens and the medicines we take can be called “safe”. Everything has been tested on animals.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Modern sophisticated techniques are available which can replace the use of animals in such tests.
As part of a step-by-step approach, the NAVS is calling for the elimination of second species testing, for which around 3,000 dogs and 2,000 monkeys are used in the UK each year.
Please join our campaign to end these painful tests.