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news release

1.5 million people demand Government road map to end animal experiments

Uncaged submit largest-ever animal protection petition to 10 Downing Street

On Thursday 2nd July, Uncaged submitted a historic 1.5 million strong petition to 10 Downing Street, calling on the UK Government to develop a ‘road map’ for the end of animal experimentation.

From l to r: David Drew, Mike Hancock, Dan Lyons (Uncaged), David Taylor, Dr Caroline Lucas, Norman Baker. Photo: Angela Roberts

Uncaged is very grateful indeed for the support of the following parliamentarians from across the political spectrum:

Dr Caroline Lucas MEP for South East England (Green)
Mike Hancock MP for Portsmouth South (Lib Dem)
Norman Baker MP for Lewes (Lib Dem)
David Drew MP for Stroud (Labour)
David Taylor MP for North West Leicestershire (Labour)
Andrew Rosindell MP for Romford (Conservative Animal Welfare Spokesperson)

From l to r: Dr Caroline Lucas, David Taylor, David Drew, Andrew Rosindell, Mike Hancock, Dan Lyons (Uncaged), Norman Baker. Photo: Angela Roberts

We are also deeply grateful for the help of the tireless volunteers who joined us for the photocall and braved an intense heatwave to wear animal costumes and hold banners. They attracted a huge amount of attention on busy Whitehall, with many passers-by taking information and asking about the issue, and many motorists beeping in support!

Uncaged founder Angela Roberts and volunteers with the petitions

The event also attracted TV and radio coverage, reaching several hundred thousand more people. (Click here to listen to a live interview with Dan Lyons on BBC Radio Sheffield, the interview is about 1hr 37mins 13 seconds into the show.)

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The signatures - understood to comprise the largest animal welfare petition in British history - are the culmination of 15 years of epic effort in hundreds of towns and cities across the UK. We have submitted this petition now because we are at a critical point in this historic controversy - the UK Government has been asking for the public’s views on animal research ahead of discussions with other Governments over a new European Union law. The consultation period ended on 3rd July.

Norman Baker, Caroline Lucas and Mike Hancock

The petition cites moral and scientific reasons to prohibit animal experiments. Even animal researchers themselves admit that laboratory experiments inevitably cause pain, suffering and distress to animals, which can often be severe. There is also growing confirmation that the results of animal experiments are an unreliable - and sometimes dangerous - guide to human biology, while non-animal methods offer greater accuracy and safety assurance.

Norman Baker, Caroline Lucas, Mike Hancock wheel the enormous petition across Whitehall to Downing Street

But the Government has repeatedly ignored advice from ethical experts who have recommended that targets should be set towards ending animal tests.

Instead the number of animal experiments in Britain has been increasing since 2001. Dr Dan Lyons, Uncaged Campaigns Director and one of the UK’s leading experts in animal research policy, says the petition must persuade the Government to stop its extreme policy that shows total indifference to animal cruelty:

“The Government and the animal experimentation industry pay lip service to ‘animal welfare’ and the need for alternatives to animal tests, but their actions betray a callous indifference to the suffering of innocent, defenceless animals. The dominant view among animal researchers is that it’s their god-given right to sacrifice animals in the pursuit of knowledge, no matter how cruelly-obtained or useless that knowledge is.

“Sadly, for the past 127 years the Government has been caving into that fundamentalist view, while feigning concern about animal welfare to dampen public outrage.

“Unfortunately, animal experimentation is so globally entrenched that it isn’t going to stop tomorrow. But the Government has a moral duty - and now a clear public mandate - to work with other countries to start implementing a pro-active, rational policy that reflects the public’s desire for an end to this cruel practice. This enormous petition shows that washing their hands of the problem is no longer a viable option for the Government.”

Uncaged and volunteers hold demonstration opposite Downing Street entrance

Uncaged Campaigns 06.07.09

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Uncaged 1993-2012: This is the archived website of Uncaged. All information correct at the time of archiving - November 2012.