NAVS calls for end to primate tests ahead of World Day for Laboratory Animals

The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) has revealed that traumatic monkey experiments are being carried out at top universities in the UK ahead of World Day for Laboratory Animals on Friday 24 April. Many of the tests are rated ‘severe’, causing long-lasting suffering. The NAVS is calling for the University of Cambridge, King’s College London, Newcastle University, the University of Oxford and other universities to end their experiments on monkeys.

‘Severe’ and ‘substantial’ tests which cause long-lasting or significant suffering are conducted at King’s College London, and University of Oxford. These universities and the University of Cambridge also conduct ‘moderate’ rated experiments which cause animals ‘noticeable’ suffering. The severity of experiments on marmoset monkeys undertaken at Newcastle University is unspecified. Information about the actual severity of animal experiments is not currently publicly available but will be included in future Government reports, in line with new EU legislation.

Severe experiments may include “toxicity testing where death is the end-point” or surgical interventions which are expected to result in “severe or persistent moderate” post-operative pain, suffering or distress. Moderate suffering includes toxicity testing and irradiation which does not result in death while procedures considered mild can encompass single dose tests and creating tumours which “cause no detectable clinical adverse effects”.

Around 4.1 million animal experiments take place each year in the UK, with 49% undertaken at universities and medical schools. The four universities account for 11% of all primates tested on in the UK and three of the four universities highlighted have increased the number of monkey tests they conduct.

Most recent figures reveal that 2,202 monkeys were used for 3,236 experiments in the UK, with many animals enduring repeat experiments. Hundreds of tests were for ‘fundamental biological research’ while 2,340 were for toxicology research, for which  animals typically endure force-feeding or injections of experimental compounds, resulting in debilitating symptoms and even death. Many will be killed at the end of the experiment.

A high proportion of monkeys used in tests are imported into the UK, with almost three quarters of experiments performed on monkeys from outside the EU. The UK is one of Europe’s largest monkey importers, bringing more than 1,350 into the country for experiments in 2012. Half are born to a parent captured from the wild.

The NAVS has previously revealed the brutality of the laboratory primate trade, exposing the shocking reality inside a monkey farm in Mauritius and distributor in Spain. Monkeys snatched from the forest are locked inside tiny, barren cages and manhandled by workers, who swing the terrified animals by their tails and pin their arms behind their backs before subjecting them to painful procedures. This occurs before the individuals reach the laboratory, on a journey which can be as long as seventy hours, cramped inside travel crates. Some do not survive the journey.

NAVS President Jan Creamer said, “These leading universities should pave the way for an end to primate tests and champion the better, humane alternatives already in use. The UK must play no role in this brutal trade, for which the babies of monkeys torn from the wild are exported to laboratories in Britain and around the world. Please join the NAVS call on World Day for Laboratory Animals to stop the monkey business.”

EU legislation on animal experiments supports an end to the wild capture of monkeys and a timetable to end to all primate experiments is backed by MEPs. The NAVS is calling on the public to press for primate tests to be phased-out.

One minute of silence will be observed at midday on World Day for Laboratory Animals, 24 April, to commemorate the suffering of animals in laboratories.

Join the NAVS campaign to stop the monkey business:

BUAV appeals to UK voters to Vote Cruelty Free on May 7th as shocking animal experiments are revealed

BUAV appeals to UK voters to Vote Cruelty Free on May 7th as shocking animal experiments are revealed

April 24th is World Day for Animals in Laboratories, an international event to remember the millions of animals who suffer and die in laboratories around the world. This year, ahead of the general election on May 7th, the BUAV is marking the occasion by calling on people to Vote Cruelty Free and support its campaign to end animal experiments in the UK.

More than 4 million animals are used in experiments across the country (2013 is the most recent year for which such data is available) and the BUAV is highlighting several particularly cruel and shocking examples of the suffering animals have been subjected to in recent years:

– At Porton Down, the government military facility in Wiltshire, thousands of animals were subjected to gruesome experiments. To test potential vaccines for haemorrhagic fever (caused by the lethal Marburg virus), marmoset monkeys were implanted with recording devices in their abdomens. They were then anesthetised and placed into a device where they were forced to inhale the virus for 10 minutes. As a result, days later, many of the monkeys suffered bleeding from the eyes and developed breathing problems. The monkeys subsequently died from the infection or were killed 10 days after they were infected.

– Marmoset monkeys were also forced to suffer in an experiment at Cambridge University to mimic human anxiety disorders. Researchers surgically implanted recording devices into the abdomens and arteries of 27 monkeys before trapping them inside a clear box and exposing them to blasts of loud noise (120db). This experiment was repeated every day for up to 30 days until the monkeys reliably became anxious when they heard the cue that indicated the loud noise was about to start. Next, a box containing a rubber snake resembling a cobra was placed inside their cages. Some of the anxious marmosets tried to keep as far away as possible from the snake, some were too scared to move and others made frightened ‘alarm calls’. They were then forced to perform a learning task for food rewards in an attempt to study the effect of anxiety on memory and learning. At least one marmoset died during the experiment.

– At the University of Sussex, in an attempt to investigate if binge-drinking makes people more impulsive, groups of young mice were injected with alcohol directly into their abdomens on four separate occasions for two days before being forced on an extreme diet to reduce their weight by 85%. The mice were then subjected to behavioural tests, including a ‘mouse gambling task’, for milk drop rewards to see if these periods of ‘binge drinking’ had made them more impulsive.

– At Liverpool John Moores University, in an attempt to find out what happens when people stop exercising after a period of intense training, rats were forced to run on special motorised treadmills that gave them small electric shocks whenever they tried to stop and rest. While running, the speed and gradient of the treadmill was increased, until the rats reached exhaustion. After four weeks of intense exercise, they were left for four weeks before being forced back onto the treadmill. Some of the animals were subjected to injections directly into their abdomens twice daily. Some were also sedated for heart monitoring experiments before being killed and dissected.

Carla Owen, BUAV Head of Campaigns and Communications, said “It is shocking that these experiments were authorised by the UK Government. On 7th May, compassionate people have a once-in-5-year opportunity to give animals a voice in Westminster. We are asking candidates whether they would support a range of positive measures for animals in laboratories, and I urge voters to visit this World Day for Animals in Laboratories to find out if their next MP will represent their views on animal experiments for the next five years.”

The Vote Cruelty Free campaign has asked candidates to support six pledges that would make a difference for animals in laboratories. The pledges include a ban on experiments on cats and dogs, an end to the import of monkeys for use in laboratories and an end to the secrecy surrounding animal experiments. The campaign has received cross party support and to date over 200 candidates have signed up.

On this World Day for Animals in Laboratories, voters can support the BUAV and help bring meaningful and lasting change for animals in laboratories by visiting and asking their prospective MPs’ views on animal testing via email or Twitter.

Downton Abbey star calls for change on World Lab Day

World Day for Animals in Laboratories is observed every year on 24 April. This year
Peter Egan, the highly respected actor and animal rights advocate, has spoken out in
support of the Dr Hadwen Trust.

He said: “The most recent statistics released by the Home Office reveal that over 4
million animals are used annually in research in the UK. I find this number to be
shocking not least because, as I understand it, much of this research may have
little relevance to humans.”?

“I am particularly enthusiastic about the work of the Dr Hadwen Trust because they
are actually developing a practical solution to this problem by funding medical
research which replaces animals. Not only that, the research they are funding is
more relevant to the human condition and has the potential, therefore, to bring
about positive outcomes more quickly.”

“This, it seems to me, is a completely compelling argument that the medical and
scientific research community, and the Government, should take on board. By
supporting the Dr Hadwen Trust and supporting non-animal medical research we are
tackling devastating diseases but without devastating the lives of animals. It is
time for change.”

The day the ice turned red: Shocking photos of baby seals being clubbed to death in Canada

Daily Mail:

The blood of hundreds of baby seals has stained the pristine white snow of Canada’s ice floes as the world’s largest annual marine mammal slaughter begins.

Horrifying images taken only yesterday show seals being shot and wounded before they are dragged onto a vessel – where they clubbed to death for their fur…

UK charity wins animal welfare award in recognition of its work helping stray dogs in Borneo

International Aid for the Protection & Welfare of Animals (IAPWA), a charity based in Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom (UK), has been chosen as the winner of the ‘Charity Team of the Year’ Ceva Animal Welfare Award 2015 in recognition of its work helping stray dogs in Borneo, Malaysia.

Borneo, the third largest island in the world, is known for its beautiful, yet endangered orangutans and pygmy elephants.  It is also home to thousands of equally beautiful stray dogs and cats that struggle for survival on a daily basis.

Nicky Stevens, from Haddenham, Buckinghamshire, first visited Borneo in 2009.  Although she quickly fell in love with Borneo, Stevens was saddened to see so many animals suffering as a result of cruelty and neglect and these haunting images stayed with her.  Upon her return to the UK, Stevens made a commitment to do everything that she could to help create a better future for the animals whose lives were filled with so much sadness.  In August 2010, IAPWA was subsequently formed and registered with the Charity Commission.

During the following three years, Stevens regularly visited Borneo to attend meetings with the local government in the hope of finding a mutually acceptable way to help protect and care for its street animals.  Eventually her efforts paid off.  In July 2014, IAPWA was awarded management of the local dog pound in the city of Kota Kinabalu and its first project, ‘Change for a pound’, was launched.  This project enabled the local team to change from the previously used methods of dog population control to a more humane solution, whilst also providing much needed veterinary care, and marked the start of a very exciting journey in the improvement of animal welfare within the country.

IAPWA has since gone from strength to strength and, thanks to its supporters, has been able to provide veterinary care to hundreds of stray dogs that would have otherwise suffered in silence.

“In many countries around the world, inhumane methods of dog population control are often practiced,” explained Nicky Stevens, Founder and Chief Executive, IAPWA.  “In addition to the obvious suffering that this causes the animals, these methods rarely address the underlying problems regarding strays.  At IAPWA we focus on providing long-term solutions that make a difference and change the lives of animals in need.

“As well as managing the dog pound in Kota Kinabalu, where we provide much needed veterinary care and rehoming services to dogs unable to cope on the streets, we also engage with and educate the local community about responsible pet ownership.”

Sharilyn Marcus, Project Manager, IAPWA added: “As a native of Borneo, I am very proud to be part of the IAPWA team and am delighted that our work in Kota Kinabalu has been recognised by Ceva.  As there are approximately 10,000 stray dogs in the Kota Kinabalu region alone, we desperately need to expand the size of our dog pound so that we can improve the lives of many more street animals.  Now that we have won the ‘Charity Team of the Year’ Ceva Animal Welfare Award 2015, I hope that more people will get to learn about our work and choose to support IAPWA.”

Robert Lipon, Environmental Health Department Director, Dewan Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu (DBKK), Sabah, Borneo added “We are very proud to support IAPWA on their hard work in managing our Kota Kinabalu dog pound and working together with DBKK to solve the stray dog problem in the city of Kota Kinabalu.”

Ceva Managing Director, Alan Doyle, commented “It has been another successful year for the Ceva Animal Welfare Awards, attracting so many praiseworthy entries.  Ceva are keen to promote animal welfare on a global level and we are glad to be able to honour organisations and individuals who have given so much and are actively improving the lives of animals.  Our goal of combating the world’s major animal health challenges is supported by these individual and personal efforts.”

As IAPWA receives no government funding, the charity relies entirely on the generosity of the animal lovers that support its work.  For more information, including details of how you can get involved and help the stray animals of Borneo, please visit