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Home Office minister calls for an end to animal testing
Posted 31 July 2014
Norman Baker, the minister responsible for regulating animal experiments in the UK, has called for an end to animal testing. Speaking to the BBC, he said that a ban ‘would not happen tomorrow’, but that he was working to persuade industry of the economic advantages to ending the practice.
Animal Aid welcomes the statement from Norman Baker, but calls on the government to introduce clear targets for reducing animal use. When the coalition government took office in 2010, it pledged to work on reducing the use of animals in research, but the latest statistics show that 4.12 million ‘procedures’ were conducted on animals in 2013 – the highest number for nearly 30 years.
Earlier this year, the coalition government produced a plan entitled ‘Working to reduce the use of animals in scientific research,’ but this contained no targets for reducing numbers, and read more like a justification for vivisection. In response, Animal Aid joined forces with several other animal protection groups and produced a comprehensive critique of the document. This contains concrete recommendations and has been submitted to all the relevant ministers and Home Office officials. We have also continued to lobby vigorously on behalf of animals in laboratories during meetings with Norman Baker, and with the head of the Home Office unit that regulates vivisection.
Says Animal Aid Director Andrew Tyler:
‘Animal Aid is encouraged by the minister’s commitment to bringing an end to the cruel and unscientific practice of vivisection. We very much hope that these good intentions will translate into a concrete policy initiative. The government has a duty to recognise that it has the power to introduce a framework of targeted reductions, and a moral obligation to ensure that it does so without delay.’