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news release

5 Sept deadline to avert nightmare scenario for millions of animals

The UK Government is currently holding a critical consultation exercise on how it will ‘transpose’ the new EU Directive on animal experiments into UK national laws. This will set the scene for animal experiments for a generation. Please speak up for defenceless animals by submitting your views to this consultation exercise (see below for how you can do this).

Many of the provisions in the EU law are even weaker than existing UK measures and there is huge concern because the Government seems to want to take this chance to lower UK standards to the EU level.

Although the Government cannot legally introduce new measures that are stricter than the new EU Directive, it could lead to improvements if the UK retained its current laws where they are stricter (which is legally permitted), and emphasised animal protection, public accountability and research modernisation when it interprets the EU Directive.

So we are at an absolutely critical juncture. If ever the animals needed you, it’s now. Our leading politics expert Dr Dan Lyons has analysed the long consultation document, and these are some of the worst threats to animals from the Government:

  • Lack of any overarching commitment to animal protection or consideration of animal welfare
  • Intends to implement loopholes that could allow severe and prolonged pain and experiments on great apes.
  • Other new loopholes could permit use of stray/feral animals, leading to stolen pets being used in experiments
  • Could open door to more experiments on cats, dogs and horses
  • Permitting painful killing methods not currently allowed, such as decapitation of adult birds or smashing the heads of puppies’ and kittens
  • Trying to ensure that no current animal experiments are prevented under new laws
  • Considering lowering competence standards of vivisectors
  • Intends that it will no longer be compulsory for researchers to inform Inspectors if they break regulations
  • Proposing even less independent assessment of experimental proposals
  • Allowing millions of poisoning tests on animals and the breeding of GM animals without proper assessment or accountability
  • Proposing to maintain excessive secrecy
  • Proposing to weaken current UK restrictions on the repeated use of an animal in experiments, which could lead to more prolonged, distressing ordeals for animals
  • Considering allowing even smaller cages for animals
  • Contemplating the decimation of the Inspectorate with some labs only visited every five years
  • Weakening the powers of ethical review bodies and national advisory committee

What you can do

  1. Uncaged has produced a template consultation response for you, which can be downloaded here - the suggested answers are in green. It focuses on what we see as the most critical questions. You need to fill in the relevant details at the very start, and then edit it if you wish/as you see fit.

    Please send it to:

    Animals Scientific Procedures Division
    Home Office
    4th Floor, South-West
    Seacole Building
    2 Marsham Street
    London SW1P 4DF

    Email: aspd-brp@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

  2. Please send a copy of this briefing to your MP as well to alert them to this looming danger - get their contact details from www.vote4animals.org.uk

  3. Please send an urgent donation to support this crucial campaign, cheques or postal order payable to ‘Uncaged Campaigns’.

  4. For further information, including links to the text of the new Directive, visit the Home Office Consultation webpage


Uncaged Campaigns 18.08.11


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