Happy New Year! Paul O’Grady signs the Open Letter to Prof. Colin Blakemore

We are delighted that Paul O’Grady has joined Ricky Gervais, Peter Egan, Dr. Jane Goodall and many others in signing the Open Letter to Prof. Colin Blakemore, Britain’s leading advocate for the false scientific concept that animals are able to model human patients, in disease research and medical testing.

The Open Letter, below, calls for Prof. Blakemore to agree to debate his position in the rigorous science hearing called for by EDM 66 now supported by over a hundred cross-party MPs who have signed 5 EDMs to this effect.

Dear Prof. Colin Blakemore,

A freedom of information request provided your letter to the Planning Inspectorate, recommending the extension of a Beagle Breeding Farm at B&K Universal in Grimston Hull. The farm will purpose breed around 2,000 dogs annually, destined for painful and traumatic laboratory experiments – typically involving dogs being force-fed chemicals in experiments lasting ninety days with no pain relief or anaesthetic. According to current medical knowledge the results of such experiments are not capable of predicting the responses of human patients, a position highlighted by The British Medical Journal in its Editor’s Choice, June 2014. Over a hundred MPs, to date, have signed Parliamentary EDMs to hear this evidence in a public scientific debate, overseen by independent judges from the relevant fields of scientific expertise. In your letter, you claim to have ‘always tried to engage with those who oppose animal research and take proper account of their objections’, and that it is ‘unacceptable’ that research ‘is impeded or prevented by extreme action’. We therefore call upon you to agree to participate in the thorough scientific debate, as called for by the Parliamentary EDMs and their growing support.

Yours sincerely,

Ricky Gervais, Chris Packham, Peter Egan, Paul O’Grady, Dr. Jane Goodall DBE, Lesley Nicol, Jill Robinson MBE, Jane Fallon, Rick Wakeman and Rumer

Colin Blakemore declined to be interviewed but released a statement in response to the Open Letter, in which he promoted the misleading 3Rs which is an ethical policy for ‘humane experimental technique on animals’.

Louise Owen, founder of the science-based campaign FLOE, was able to respond to Colin Blakemore, live on the BBC, you can listen to her interview below: