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BUAV welcomes House of Lords debate on animal experiments

30/10/2011

The BUAV has welcomed a debate on animal experiments that took place in the House of Lords. The debate was initiated by Lord Wills who stressed the widespread concern about animal experiments. Opening the debate, he stated:  ‘My Lords, over the past 50 years there has been a profound shift in the way we view our relationship with animals. The ethical framework for that relationship has been changing and that process has become highly contentious and a matter of deep concern for millions of people in this country.’

During the debate, Lord Wills urged the Minister to respond to the BUAV's recommendations to implement the Coalition Government’s pledge to work towards reducing the numbers of animals used in experiments. The BUAV looks forward to receiving the Minister's promised response.

On the topic of the 2013 cosmetics marketing ban, we were disappointed that the Minister did not take the opportunity to announce UK Government support for the maintenance of the 2013 EU marketing ban for cosmetics tested on animals; leaving it to Sweden, Austria and Belgium to lead on this while Britain refrains from taking a position. The British public overwhelmingly supports a ban on cosmetics tested on animals and it is deplorable that the Government is not reflecting the views of British voters and consumers on this issue.
 
On another important subject, the adoption of the new EU regulations into UK legislation, we were encouraged by the Minister’s statements that this will not lead to a lowering of UK standards. However, we would like to receive more concrete assurances such as the number of Home Office inspectors and inspections will not be reduced.

Contributions to the debate were made by a number of Lords. One from Lord Winston, which was highlighted by the Sunday Express newspaper, stated ‘….., there is a case for having legislation to make it clear that a particular drug has only been possible for human consumption because of animal testing. This could be stamped on the packet, rather like a cigarette packet,’

Michelle Thew, BUAV’s Chief Executive, told the Sunday Express:"It is ridiculous to suggest that drugs should have such messages emblazoned upon them when it has been shown time and time again that tests on animals are not only cruel but unreliable predictors of what will happen in people.”