BAFTA and multiple Golden Globe-winning actress Miranda Richardson is supporting Our Best Friends, a BUAV campaign calling on the Government to end the use of dogs and cats in experiments.
Miranda said: “Millions of families in the UK share their home with a dog or cat. They enrich our lives and bring us so much happiness. It is, therefore, unacceptable to me that in this day and age cats and dogs are still being tested on in UK laboratories. Please join me and sign the BUAV’s petition to call on the Government to end these cruel and outdated tests once and for all.”
The UK is often said to be a nation of animal lovers, with dogs and cats our most popular companion animals, yet they continue to be harmed in cruel experiments and there is no government policy to reduce their use, let alone bring it to an end.
Home Office statistics report that 3,214 dogs and 202 cats were used in experiments in Great Britain in 2012. This represents a 6% increase for dogs and a 32% increase for cats on the previous year.
These cats and dogs endure a life of misery caged in laboratories where they may never see the sky or feel grass under their paws. These animals are not protected by the same law as domestic family dogs and cats, which means researchers can carry out experiments on them which may inflict severe suffering and harm.
Most experiments carried out on dogs are toxicity (or poisoning) tests. The dogs may be injected with or force fed drugs and chemicals and then observed for signs of adverse (toxic) effects that include vomiting, internal bleeding and organ damage, seizures, paralysis - even death. They are killed at the end of the experiment.
Cats are often used in fundamental biological research. This usually focuses on the visual and nervous system and can involve experiments in which cats are deprived of their sight or subjected to lengthy, invasive brain experiments from which they do not recover.
Other celebrities who are supporting our campaign include Mary McCartney, Kirsty Gallacher, Jilly Cooper, Ann Widdecombe, Ricky Gervais, Paul O’Grady, Kimberly Wyatt, Chris Packham, Helen Skelton, Dave Spikey and Wendy Turner Webster.