On Saturday 9th March, Save the Harlan Beagles – a campaign to close Harlan, the UK's most notorious breeder of laboratory dogs – will host a silent procession through the streets of Brighton.
In a statement of support ahead of the event, Lucas – Vice Chair of Parliament's All Party Group on Animal Welfare and a Vice President of the RSPCA – said:
"I'm grateful of the opportunity to send a strong message of support for the work they are doing at Save the Harlan Beagles.
"Animal tests are outdated, cruel and inefficient, yet the number of animals being used in UK research is actually increasing – despite a pledge by the Coalition Government to reduce it
"The majority of drugs deemed successful after testing on animals go on to fail in clinical trials, either because they don't produce the same therapeutic effects in people or because they are too toxic to use on human patients.
"New technologies are emerging all the time which are transforming our understanding of human biology, and there is now a global movement amongst regulatory agencies to replace animal testing with modern technologies.
"To prevent animals such as the Harlan beagles from enduring any more unnecessary suffering, we now need political action to ensure far more is done to keep up with rapidly changing technology and to replace animal testing with viable alternatives.
"All power to Save the Harlan Beagles" elbow in this ongoing campaign to bring an end to animal suffering."
Europe unites against vivisection
Hundreds of animal lovers from across Europe are expected to join Saturday's march; raising awareness of multi-national Harlan's inhumane business and calling for an immediate government inquiry into animal testing.
Anti-Harlan events will take place in France, Italy, Belgium and Bosnia Herzegovina on the same day, as will a national protest against AstraZeneca in Alderley Park, Macclesfield following the pharmaceutical company"s refusal to rehome beagles housed in their now defunct site in Sweden and subsequent shipment of the dogs to England.
The Save the Harlan Beagles march starts at 12 noon, Victoria Fountain, Old Steine Gardens, Brighton BN1 1FX.