The failure of animal experiments.
Animal testing in UK laboratories is on the decline. The government must now aim for a complete shutdown.
Statistics on animal experiments are published annually in July by the UK government. And every year, worry is there. The figures which have just been published show that 2.88 million experiments were carried out on animals in 2020. Let us dwell for a moment on this figure which lends itself to reflection. But first, we must not be fooled by semantics.
The Interior Ministry refers to three million procedures. But observers and scientists know it well, that means more or less three million animals which are used in these experiments. In other words, there are some three million individuals whom the government itself recognizes as sentient beings - dogs and mice, cats, horses and monkeys among them - who did not wish to be "laboratory animals" . If they had been able to express their wishes, it is likely that they would have asked to live a natural life with free will and freedom.
For the first time in many years, there has been a significant decrease in animal use in 2020, which represents an unprecedented 15% drop. At first glance, this could indicate that the number of animal experiments, which much of the public opposes, is finally starting to decline and that it will one day crumble as they are replaced by more human science. and more relevant to humans.
Let’s not be fooled. As admitted by the Ministry of the Interior itself, this reduction is largely due to national lockdowns which have affected personnel working in research facilities and therefore the use of animals. As you might expect, those who fund, commission, approve, regulate, and conduct animal experiments have been clamoring for the animal to remain the essential piece of laboratory research, and this year they were able to skillfully use the pretext of the pandemic to justify their arguments by pointing out that animals were useful in the fight against COVID-19.
Leading researchers consistently stress the need for greater value of human data in vaccine development. This is due to unsuccessful and well-publicized attempts to create animal-based research models that show significant similarities to human COVID-19. Scientists struggled to produce data with mice and monkeys that matched what was seen in human COVID patients. On the contrary, it is human-specific research methods based on 3D cultures of human cells and computerized calculation methods that are at the origin of the development of the vaccine against Covid 19.
The US House of Representatives Credit Committee recently recognized the success of non-animal approaches in advancing knowledge about the virus, and most importantly, in identifying new therapies to treat the disease. Overall, this year's numbers highlight the scientific community's continued reliance on outdated methods that animal advocates and just science proponents continue to find appalling.
For example, the number of experiments increased on dogs (3%), cats (11%), rabbits (11%) and horses (3%). The number of experiments on horses has increased by 29% in the last decade alone. There was a 77% increase in the use of rhesus macaques which, along with other monkeys, were involved in 2,400 experiments. Many of them were imported from Asia and Africa.
About 86,000 "procedures" have been classified as causing "severe" suffering to the animals concerned. Much of this research has focused on cancer and the immune and nervous systems, although the scientific literature is full of data showing that there are crucial differences between species, so you can't apply it in any way. reliable data from animals to humans in these and other areas.
It stands to reason that if concerted and sustained efforts were made to reduce the use of animals in science in Britain, we would not see these increases. Figures recently released by Public Health England (PHE), which has four research campuses, show that one of their sites used 137 monkeys.
Overall, in 2020 more than 6,300 animals were used for experimental purposes, 44% more than the previous year. These experiments involved, for example, the development of new animal "models" of COVID-19 to test vaccines, exposure of animals to x-rays, including in their eyes - to induce tumors, and the cause of lung disease. by exposing animals to diesel exhaust.
Yet all of these areas of research have advanced, human-specific techniques and human clinical studies that directly provide data relevant to humans.
The awareness of British public opinion and of the growing number of scientists who know that better research science could and should be the rule is unprecedented and continues to grow. The desire to move away from animal experimentation no longer represents the demand of a minority. Fortunately, she is also in the mainstream of scientific conversation today.
This is because animal-free research is no longer based solely on animal ethics and compassion - important as that is - but also now firmly based on human ethics and science. Scientists around the world are developing and practicing radical change research strategies. They fully understand that a paradigm shift is imperative - not only for animals, but also for humans. Scientists need better research because we need to understand the diseases that plague us and our loved ones. We need data relevant to humans in order to find cures and cures.
Dr Jarrod Bailey, Scientific Director at Animal Free Research UK and Dr Katy Taylo, Director of Science and Regulatory Affairs at Cruelty Free International , are appealing to the UK government in a petition. They explain that: “Animal research has clearly failed for decades - and this because of intractable differences between biological species. Britain is a country that prides itself on being a leader in science. It is today at an unprecedented scientific and historical point. British scientists must seize the opportunities before us with a strong sense of urgency. We need to change the way we research and move towards better cures and treatments for human diseases. If we don't, we will be left behind in a world of more progressive nations. That is why there is now a petition calling on the government to recognize the urgent need to use animal-free science and release a clear and ambitious action plan with timetables and milestones to drive the phase-out of l 'animal experimentation. For Britain to become a world leader in biomedical research, ministers must support and accelerate the transition to animal-free science. If they do, it will be a victory for animals and humans everywhere. "