Over 3.5 million animals are tortured to death every year in UK laboratories. All kinds of animals are experimented on, including mice, rabbits, cats, dogs, primates, and horses. Almost no abuse is off limits in vivisection laboratories, where animals can be poisoned, shot, electrocuted, cut apart without anaesthesia, and much more besides.
Animals are poisoned and violently killed in experiments for all kinds of toxic, or potentially-toxic products, including medicines, plastic packaging, clothes dyes, paint, and artificial sweeteners. Whilst testing for cosmetics is no longer allowed in the UK or Europe, the same is not true in other jurisdictions such as China. As a result, many cosmetic brands available in the UK continue to test their products on animals, so that they can sell them elsewhere.
Due to the basic biological differences between species, animal testing is a very unreliable form of ‘science’. Products which are perfectly safe for humans (grapes, garlic, chocolate, xylitol, lemons…) can be fatal to other species such as cats and dogs. As a result of this, over ninety percent of drugs which are tested safe on non-human animals end up being scrapped after human clinical trials. The majority simply don’t work, whilst roughly a third prove to have side effects which weren’t picked up in other species. With such a high fail rate, animal testing is considerably less reliable than flipping a coin.
It seems remarkable that such a poor research model continues to be the default. However, the fact that testing the same product on different animals produces different results is unfortunately a benefit to some scientists. Often, funding for an experiment comes from government grants, which are dependent on the experiments proving successful. If their discovery proves to be unsafe, they lose their funding. They are then forced to make the choice to lose their income, or keep testing on different animals until they get the desired result. The longer they can drag it on for, the more of their funding they will receive.
For those who work for private companies, their job is to get a product approved for market. By the time the product goes through animal testing, a lot of money has already been invested. The animal testing is generally carried out simply so that the company can tick the regulatory boxes which allow them to put the product on sale. If those boxes aren’t ticked, then all of the money invested in the development of the product is wasted. Once the product is on sale, the profits usually far outweigh any potential losses from legal action if the product turns out to be unsafe.
Because of this, there is a perversly difficult battle to try to get unreliable animal research replaced with far more effective technological and human cell-based models. Several amazing organisations (such as Animal Free Research) are researching and developing superior replacements for animal testing, but getting them regulated and implement is unnecessarily tough. There is little appetite in the industry to switch away from the animal models which have made them rich.
The first thing you can do is to make sure you aren’t buying products tested on animals. Prepare to be shocked; an unbelievable range of products are tested on animals, but this great guide will help you through.
You can also use our printable resources to help raise awareness of animal testing. Simply download the files, and print off as many as you need at home.
YOUR DOG POSTER
This poster comes in both A4 (standard UK printer paper) and A3 (twice the size of A4).
THIS PRODUCT IS TESTED STICKERS
These stickers are designed to be printed onto AVERY L7160 sheets (21 stickers per sheet), which can be widely purchased.
Download the template using the link below, and print them off at home.
Please make sure you ask permission before applying these stickers to any item that is not yours.