On 27 January 2015, the BUAV submitted its petition of over 33,000 signatures to the Home Office, calling for the mandatory homing of animals who have outlived their use in laboratories. The petition was delivered by Journalist and TV Presenter, Wendy Turner Webster and Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford, who were joined by Oliver, one of three beagles the BUAV was able to home from MSD Animal Health during an investigation at one of its laboratories in 2013.
Every year hundreds of cats and thousands of dogs suffer and die in experiments throughout the UK, and there is currently no law protecting the dogs, cats and other animals who survive. Instead of being found homes, animals used in experiments are routinely killed, while other animals bred for research purposes but not used end up suffering the same fate.
The BUAV homing campaign has been collecting signatures and rounding up support urging the Government to issue a policy statement that the homing of cats, dogs and other animals no longer required by laboratories for research becomes mandatory. The BUAV recently submitted a report on the subject with a list of recommendationsto the Home Office asking that laboratories work with reputable animal shelters and organisations to find them homes. A Government statement on this issue is due shortly.
Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford, who has raised the issue in Parliament, said: “I am pleased to support the BUAV with this important campaign. It is an issue that resonates strongly with politicians and the public. My hope is for this petition to raise further awareness and set in motion the process that will give animals in laboratories a second chance at both freedom and happiness.”
Wendy Turner Webster, Journalist and TV Presenter, said: “Oliver is a beautiful, healthy and vibrant dog and it is devastating to think that so many animals like him are killed unnecessarily. I join the BUAV’s call to stop the killing of animals in laboratories when they could be released into secure and loving homes instead and I back the BUAV’s efforts to make it a requirement for laboratories to work with animal shelters to find them homes. These animals all deserve a chance of a happy life.”
Other high-profile supporters of the homing campaign include internationally acclaimed singer Bonnie Tyler, writer and broadcaster Pam Ayres and actors John Nettle and Sue Johnson. The petition has also been promoted on social media by comedian Ricky Gervais, actor Ayden Callaghan and TV presenters Sarah Jayne Honeywell and Philippa Tomson.