The latest from the BUAV's Chief Executive...
The BUAV has dedicated this week to raising awareness for cats and kittens used in experiments. We do, of course, campaign to end the use of these animals in research every day, but in order to harness vital public advocacy we decided to run a week of focussed messaging to place the issue of feline experimentation firmly on the agenda of the public, media and government alike.
On Monday, our week launched with some widespread national media coverage in The Mirror, the Mail online and The Independent online detailing the horrors that can be carried out in the name of some cat research. We revealed how our scientists have produced a report –What is happening to cats? – which takes a comprehensive look and analysis of the research that has been published over a five year period.
Between 2008 and 2012, at least 855 cats were used in 1,304 experiments. Some of these were carried out at Cardiff University which is why, on Tuesday, our campaign team travelled to the Welsh capital to deliver our petition –signed by over 119,000 people –requesting the institution commit to never carrying out cat experiments again.
Public support for this petition and for our Cat Week has been wonderful to witness and thoroughly reinforces the message that the public does not support these kind of experiments being carried out in the UK. So on Thursday, Dr Nick Palmer, our Director of Policy went to the Home Office in person to deliver a copy of our report and request that the Home Office Minister Norman Baker brings an end to these experiments once and for all.
Over the week we have been moved by the gestures of support by the public and high-profile animal advocates who wish to support our cause. Thousands of you have rallied to sign our petition and we can thank Ricky Gervais, Christopher Timothy, Ann Widdecombe, Carley Stenson and Dame Vera Lynn for helping us shine a spotlight on those cats and kittens still suffering every day behind laboratory doors.
This week may have been dedicated to cats – and we are pleased with the important discussions that this has initiated - but we have naturally continued to work for all the mice, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, primates, birds, fish, dogs and all other species who are unfairly imprisoned and suffer daily in laboratories.
Without you behind us to support our mission we would not be able to achieve so much. Thank you for your dedication and for all that you do for the animals.
Until next time……….