Michelle's Blog

The latest from the BUAV's Chief Executive...


Making a difference

This week, my team attended the World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Testing, in Prague, which is a four day conference where animal protection organisations from around the world, scientists, academics, politicians and companies executives can discuss progress and plans for ending animal experiments in their regions. If any significant change is to happen for animals in laboratories in the UK, and abroad, it is essential we are present and at opportunities, such as this one, where we can meet and influence the very people who could make a real difference.

The BUAV Head of Science, Dr Katy Taylor, presented regarding our work on REACH and chemical testing and our scientific consultant, Dr Jarrod Bailey, presented our analysis of dogs in toxicity testing which casts serious doubt on the validity of using dogs to predict toxic responses in humans. Monica Engebretson, our North America Campaigns Manager -from our sister organisation Cruelty Free International– also presented on its dedicated efforts around the world to end cosmetic testing.

The next couple of months will be a busy time for the team as we travel up and down the country attending the various party political conferences. At the beginning of September, I will be heading to the Green Party conference to speak about our work and meet with the senior party officials and members in order to explain exactly why politicians need to include the plight of animals in laboratories in their manifestos.

This year, we shall be present at all the main UK party conferences and pressing the cause for animals in laboratories at each one.  We are particularly championing an end to experiments on dogs and cats, ending household product testing on animals and increasing transparency in animal experiments by the removal of Section 24 – after all no informed debate can take place on this important issue if it is surrounded by secrecy.  As we head nearer to the general election next May, we shall be highlighting what the various parties are prepared to commit to.

Over the many years that I have been involved in animal protection, I have witnessed  how change can happen for  animals if we keep working tirelessly and unite  to campaign for an end to their outdated and unnecessary use in experiments. The BUAV was instrumental in achieving a ban on cosmetics testing in both the UK, and the EU, and we can now celebrate the thousands of lives that have been saved as a result.

Together, we can make change happen and I remain resolute in continuing to use my voice for those who have none and speak directly to those who have the power to stop animal suffering.

Until next time…