Few aspects of contemporary science are more obscene than the destruction of hundreds of thousands of animals every year simply so that their tissues can be used in research programmes, when an inexhaustible quantity of human material is currently being destroyed.
Unlike the nearly four million animals subjected to procedures under the 1986 Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, these ‘body part animals’ do not show up in any official statistics. They are science’s forgotten victims.
Animal Aid has highlighted this waste of lives for many years. In 1991, we launched our Humane Donor Card and distributed more than 400,000 copies. In addition, a 200,000-signature petition was presented to the Health Secretary endorsing our call for the use of donated human tissue.
Human tissue is readily obtainable from living persons in the course of some medical treatments, from surgical operations and from cadavers. But, at present, there is no nationwide system for the collection, storage and distribution of human tissue for research. That human tissue is wasted while animals are purpose-bred and killed for their tissue is shocking. Aside from any animal welfare issues, human tissue can provide data that is directly relevant to human medicine. You may be able to help replace animal research, and aid medical progress, by donating your tissue to research. Please read our Human Tissue Research fact sheet for more information.