The BUAV has carried out a comprehensive review of scientific literature involving cat experiments in the UK. Our Report, 'What is happening to cats? A critical analysis of UK cat experiments,' provides a shocking insight into the suffering and cruelty cats and kittens endure in UK universities that will appal all those concerned with animal welfare. Over the last five years, from 2008 to 2012 inclusive, at least 855 cats were used in 1,304 experiments. Much of it driven by university researchers who want to find out how cats ‘work’.
Experiments carried out included:
The rationale underlying all animal experiments in the UK is that the ‘ends justify the means’ and that animal suffering and loss of life is permissible if it is of benefit to humans or other animals. Yet, as the BUAV Report outlines, the information gained from cat research has little direct relevance to humans because of the fundamental nature of the work and the substantial differences between the two species. Research on cats is cruel, unnecessary and unpopular. Sophisticated, humane and human-relevant techniques can be used instead. The BUAV is calling on the Government to listen to public opinion and take decisive action to ban experiments on cats.
One experiment highlighted in the BUAV report took place at University College London where 10 cats suffered for respiration research, published in 2013.
The cats were anaesthetised and a plate was screwed onto their skulls. They were placed face-down with clamps on their backs to keep them in position.
Researchers then made several incisions into the cats and attached wire electrodes to the cats’ nerves inside the muscles surrounding their spines and ribcages. A section of the cats’ spines was also exposed and electrodes inserted into their spinal cords.
Part of the cats’ skulls were then removed to expose their brains so that the researchers could extract brain tissue and insert an electrode. Recordings were then taken from all of the electrodes to measure nerve and brain activity.
The cats were killed with an overdose of anaesthetic at the end of the experiment. It is not clear how long the cats were tested for.
Cats and dogs are Our Best Friends – They don’t belong in laboratories. Please sign the petition today to save them at www.ourbestfriends.org/petition