Former MP Ann Widdecombe, is supporting Our Best Friends, a BUAV campaign calling on the Government to end the use of dogs and cats in experiments.
Ann said: “Our family pets bring us so much happiness and they look to us to keep them healthy and safe. It is distressing to hear that cats, kittens and dogs are still used in experiments, spending their lives confined in laboratories. It is time for the UK government to bring to an end experimentation on dogs and cats. That is why I am supporting the BUAV’s Our Best Friends campaign. Please join me and together we can end this suffering.”
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.
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.