Animal welfare charities reacted angrily to news in July that the number of animal experiments rose to a record high in Britain last year – a 40 per cent rise over the last decade.
Last month, Cardiff university defended sewing kittens’ eyes shut, as means to find a cure for lazy eyes. In their statement, they said the purpose of the work and its conduct was approved by both the university’s own ethical review process and the Home Office as part of the licensing process.
The 1990s saw a campaign to end cosmetics testing Europe-wide, and next year, Europe will introduce a ban on selling newly animal-tested cosmetics, for the first time excluding products that don’t comply.
When it comes to scientific research, however, scientists have defended the use of experiments and said researchers were reducing the proportion of animals used per study at a time of rising funding for bio-sciences.
But should animals be used for scientific testing? Is it far removed from testing for beauty products? Or is the research required to help save human lives?..