News Date: Wednesday 4th February 2009
Tim Calls for the Development of Non-Animal Alternative in Science
Tim has added his name to the Early Day Motion (EDM 545) to stop the continual increase in procedures on animals in the name of science, and to call for the development of non-animal alternatives, as follows.
"That this House is concerned that for the sixth successive year the number of scientific procedures on animals has steadily increased, reaching over 3.2 million on 2007, the highest level since 1991; notes that the use of animals in scientific procedures continues to outstrip the development of non-animal alternatives in spite of the valuable work of the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) and other organisations involved in the development and the promotion of non-animal alternatives, replacing the need for animal testing and offering hope of humane scientific research; further notes that this year it is 50 years since the 3Rs approach (replacement, refinement and reduction) was first advocated; considers that the progress towards implementing the 3Rs has been desperately slow; and urges the Government to introduce measures to deal with barriers to implementing non-animal alternatives, halt increases in numbers of animals used, and encourage more widespread implementation of non-animals alternatives across all sectors involved in research."
"You would have thought that with development of medical science over the duration of nearly 20 years, the number of animals used in research would have decreased, but here we are in 2009 and it's at its highest level since 1991.
"In this day and age there is no reason that we should have to harm animals for general consumer products like cosmetics, such as make up or shampoo, even household products like paint or bleach, this type of testing on animals is cruel and unnecessary. There are currently alternatives to testing, some companies choose to utilize them, but some don't. Let's not forget that it's not just the finished product that is tested on these animals, as in most cases so are all the ingredients.
"These outmoded tests have been used for decades, testing the same chemicals on the same types of animals year after year, despite the fact that the information resulting from these tests is not being used to protect human safety, but only to determine levels of toxicity. This is morally wrong as there are more reliable and less expensive non-animal alternatives available, there are many variables among species of animals and even among individual animals.
"Therefore the results of non-animal tests tend to be more consistent and better predictors for human reactions. In addition, companies are spared the expense of breeding, caging, feeding and disposing of animals that are used in testing laboratories. In the case of animal experiments there is no choice. If a non-animal method is developed to replace animals, then it must be used."