Today, Friday 4th October, is World Animal Day. It is an international event that has become a celebration of animal life in all its forms, as well as humankind’s relationship with the animal kingdom.  

We hope you will join us on this day by supporting the Our Best Friends campaign and taking action to save them. Dog and cats are our best friends – they don’t belong in laboratories. Yet, each year hundreds of cats and thousands of dogs are harmed in cruel experiments in the UK. 

Over the last six years, from 2007 to 2012, the Home Office reports that 1,034 cats were used in 1,612 experiments. Cats are used in nutrition research by pet food companies, for veterinary medicine and fundamental biological research - much of it driven by university researchers who want to find out how cats ‘work’. This often focuses on the visual system and can involve procedures in which cats are deprived of their sight or subjected to lengthy, invasive brain experiments from which they don’t recover.

In 2012, 3,214 dogs and puppies suffered in 4,843 tests in Great Britain. This is a 6% increase in the number of dogs used compared to the previous year (2,865 in 2011), and a rise of 12% in the number of experiments carried out (4,552 in 2011). Most experiments carried out on dogs are for testing drugs and chemicals. The dogs may be injected with or force fed drugs and chemicals and then observed for signs of adverse (toxic) effects including vomiting, diarrhoea, internal bleeding and organ damage, seizures, paralysis - even death. 

This World Animal Day, please take action to ban the use of cats and dogs in research experiments.