Strengthen Animal Welfare Laws in Laboratories


Target: Theresa May, U.K. Minister of the Home Office

Goal: Provide more protection for animals involved in experiments and also provide greater oversight for laboratories

Recent investigations into the suffering of laboratory animals in the United Kingdom have had sad and startling conclusions, proving that the laws protecting these animals are much too weak. The lives of lab animals are already short, void of autonomy, and fraught with suffering. This is even when the strictest regulations are being followed. They need all the protection they can get and we must demand it is given to them.

The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) led the investigation, which took under consideration the extent of suffering experienced by lab animals and whether the Home Office rules have been broken. The Home Office is the department in the United Kingdom responsible for governing science and research. The results of their investigation are alarming.

At Imperial College animals were left unattended overnight after invasive surgery: mice had to be euthanized because they were found in an incredibly distressed state. A staff member even commented, “We would have been screwed if the Home Office saw those mice.” Even worse, licensed procedures with significant death rates were classified as “moderate,” rats were decapitated using a guillotine or left with one transplanted kidney; and other animals underwent excruciating abdominal surgeries.

At MSD Animal Health, an animal pharmaceutical company, tests were carried out on puppies as young as 4 weeks, and kittens as young as 8 weeks. The younger animals were often left to suffer even more, especially as the result of deadly disease, because there was no overnight watch. Despite BUAV’s accusations, not a single one of the laboratories they investigated challenged or objected to their findings. The Home Office even admitted that the culture of care at Imperial College was poor and knew it had breeched its license on several occasions, confirming that animals were often left to suffer even more than already allowed by the licenses.

There are no words to describe the appalling callousness and insincerity of both the Home Office and those operating these labs. Animals are not ours to do with as we please or to treat without mercy and respect.

Please sign the petition below and demand that the Home Office not only strengthen its regulations on animal experimentation, but also ensure that the laboratories it oversees are following them to the letter.


Dear MP May,

A recent series of investigations by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection into the conditions and suffering experienced by lab animals throughout the United Kingdom had horrifying results. Not only were Home Office rules being broken on a daily basis, even when rules were being followed within the labs the amount of suffering experienced by these animals was appalling. None of the labs that were investigated challenged the findings and the Home Office even knew rules were being broken, such as those at Imperial College.

This cannot continue. What kind of example does it set if you are training people to have so little consideration for the suffering of others, or that the governing body created to ensure that doesn’t happen is also turning a blind eye to situation? Please enforce stronger regulations for research laboratories throughout the United Kingdom immediately.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: polybiotique via Flickr

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