One of the challenges for the BUAV is that, in our globalised society, we can’t save animals only by passing laws to protect them in Britain.
Two recent examples exposed by the BUAV were the experiments on wild-caught baboons in Kenya by British researchers in conditions that would have been illegal in Britain, and the catching and breeding of macaques in Mauritius who are exported to laboratories in Britain and around the world.
We want to stop animals suffering wherever it happens. This means that increasingly we need to work internationally. And we’ve discovered a surprising fact.
It has been possible to make rapid progress in some countries which are not known for concern about animals. The reason for is that sometimes it is the very first time that a country is even being asked to consider a law to prevent cruel tests in laboratories, so when they sit down with us to think about it, they are often willing to make a great stride forward. That’s especially true for cosmetics, since consumers all over the world agree that it’s unacceptable that animals are made to suffer for the sake of a company marketing a new shampoo or lipstick.
And we’re seeing a knock-on effect – every time we get a breakthrough in one country, other countries become more willing to have another look at their regulations. Back in Britain, we’re using the example of far better transparency in animal experiments in Sweden and Finland to show the Home Office that the current British secrecy is unnecessary.
These are exciting times. We’re working for a better world for animals – and every month brings news of progress. Martin Luther King said: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” With your help, we are working to make sure that’s true for animals too.