Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Thursday 23 April 2015

Sussex Voters Urged To Vote Cruelty Free As Shocking Animal Experiments Are Exposed

This year, ahead of the general election on May 7th, the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) is marking World Day for Animals in Laboratories by calling on Sussex residents to Vote Cruelty Free and support its campaign to end animal experiments in the UK.

More than 4 million animals are used in experiments across the country (2013 is the most recent year for which such data is available) and the BUAV is highlighting several particularly cruel and shocking examples of the suffering animals have been subjected to in recent years, including at the University of Sussex:

According to the BUAV, at the University of Sussex, in an attempt to investigate if binge-drinking makes people more impulsive, groups of young mice were injected with alcohol directly into their abdomens on four separate occasions for two days before being forced on an extreme diet to reduce their weight by 85%. 

The mice were then subjected to behavioural tests, including a 'mouse gambling task, for milk drop rewards to see if these periods of 'binge drinking' had made them more impulsive.

At Porton Down, the government military facility in Wiltshire, thousands of animals were subjected to gruesome experiments.  

To test potential vaccines for haemorrhagic fever (caused by the lethal Marburg virus), marmoset monkeys were implanted with recording devices in their abdomens.
They were then anesthetised and placed into a device where they were forced to inhale the virus for 10 minutes. 

As a result, days later, many of the monkeys suffered bleeding from the eyes and developed breathing problems. 

The monkeys subsequently died from the infection or were killed 10 days after they were infected.

Carla Owen, BUAV Head of Campaigns and Communications, said: 

"It is shocking that these experiments were authorised by the UK Government. 

"On 7th May, compassionate people have a once-in-5-year opportunity to give animals a voice in Westminster.  

"We are asking candidates whether they would support a range of positive measures for animals in laboratories, and I urge voters to visit this World Day for Animals in Laboratories to find out if their next MP will represent their views on animal experiments for the next five years."

The Vote Cruelty Free campaign has asked candidates to support six pledges that would make a difference for animals in laboratories. 

The pledges include a ban on experiments on cats and dogs,  an end to the import of monkeys for use in laboratories and an end to the secrecy surrounding animal experiments. 

The campaign has received cross party support and to date over 200 candidates have signed up.

Voters can support the BUAV and help bring meaningful and lasting change for animals in laboratories by visiting and asking their prospective MPs' views on animal testing via email or Twitter.

by: Mike Cobley


Pic WaterAid/ Eliza Deacon
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