Michelle's Blog

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


Thank you for helping animals during 2013!

Thank you so much for your support throughout 2013. With the help of our supporters we have made some important strides towards our mission to create a world where no one wants or believes we need to experiment on animals. None of this would have been possible without you.

During 2013 we have been the leading voice for animals suffering in laboratories. Our campaigns continue to receive support from high-profile celebrities and significant national and international media coverage.  

One of the highlights of the year for the BUAV was the 11th March. On this day, after over 20 years of campaigning against cruel cosmetics, we were finally able to celebrate an end to animal cosmetics testing in Europe with the implementation of the ban on animal testing anywhere in the world for cosmetics and toiletries sold in the European Union. Thank you for helping us to achieve this milestone for animal welfare in Europe. We could not have done it without you – our supporters who have been there with us every step of the way. Our sister organisation, Cruelty Free International, is now successfully working across the world to achieve a global ban.

Our efforts to save as many animals as we can from the EU REACH chemical testing programme resulted in a landmark case following intervention from the BUAV and our partners in the ECEAE. We spared rabbits from being used in cruel toxicity tests as the Board of Appeal of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) ruled against a 90-day inhalation experiment. The BUAV Science team also attended and presented at a key alternatives conference held by The European Society for Alternatives to Animal Testing.

This year our Investigations team has continued to play a key role in lifting the lid of secrecy surrounding animal research, both in the UK and abroad. Licensed to Kill, our undercover investigation at Imperial College London, revealed a nightmare world for animals used in experiments. A subsequent inquiry at Imperial College (referred to as The Brown Report) found a lack of “adequate leadership, management, operational, training, supervisory and ethical review systems to support high standards in animal use and welfare“.

Captive Cruelty, a hard-hitting investigation carried out by the BUAV in Kenya, uncovered the shocking capture and use of wild baboons in disturbing research and the involvement of UK researchers. Following our campaign and a related petition, Newcastle University issued a statement that it will end its involvement in this controversial research. 

2013 also saw the launch of the Our Best Friends campaign which calls on the Government to ban the use of cats and dogs in experiments. Supported by celebrities such as Paul O’Grady, Jilly Cooper, and Miranda Richardson, the campaign has already had an impact. Our campaign opposing the proposal to build a beagle breeding facility in Yorkshire received widespread public support and media coverage; the planning application was subsequently rejected by East Riding Council Planning Committee.

In November, together with FRAME, we published a ground-breaking analysis of dogs in toxicity testing which demonstrated that the predictive value of dogs for toxic responses in humans is no better than tossing a coin. We have always known that using dogs in research is ethically unacceptable, this significant piece of work now provides proven scientific reasons to end the use of dogs in such research.

As the year comes to an end, a heartfelt thank you from everyone here at the BUAV for your support during 2013. We could not have achieved as much as we have for animals in laboratories without the kindness and generosity of you, our supporters. Please continue to support us during 2014.  

I wish you a peaceful holiday and a very happy New Year!

Until next time…….