Great cross-party MPs gathered at Westminster Hall to debate Peter Egan’s Parliament petition: Change the Law to Include Laboratory Animals in the Animal Welfare Act. Many MPs took the opportunity to underline the urgent need for the EDM 278 public scientific hearing, to prove to the Government that they are being misled by a financial vested interest in animal experiments which has nothing to do with current medical and scientific knowledge.
Martyn Day MP led the debate, saying “it strikes me as unbelievable that, in this nation of professed animal lovers, laboratory animals are categorically excluded from the 2006 Act. We must not forget that that includes dogs and cats, who many of us take into our homes to love and care for and who enrich our lives. The 2006 Act legalises, for example, the daily force feeding of chemicals directly into the stomachs of factory farmed puppies without pain relief or anaesthetic.”
Government Minister Kit Malthouse MP stated clearly that if laboratory animals were included in the Animal Welfare Act, no animal experiments would be permitted.
Patricia Gibson MP said “what we need, and what my constituents want—what I believe most people across the UK want—is a public scientific hearing on animal experiments. We need a rigorous, public scientific hearing on claims that animals can predict the responses of humans, judged by a panel of truly independent experts from relevant fields of science. Surely, anyone who sincerely believes in scientific research and believes that animal testing is necessary would have no objection to such a public hearing?”
Dr. Lisa Cameron MP said “We really must find the time and place for this scientific hearing. Those who engage in the experiments should not shy away from a scientific hearing, because we will hear from the experts who can take this issue forward. Surely the Government should also support an urgent scientific hearing as a way forward.”
Margaret Ferrier MP said “Gene-based medicine is a rapidly developing science that allows treatment to be completely personalised based on a patient’s DNA. That could not be replicated through animal experimentation. Does the hon. Member agree that this kind of medical science must be prioritised when it comes to research, to avoid unnecessary harm to animals?” Martyn Day MP responded:” I agree entirely. That form of medicine is better not only for animals but for humans as well.”
To watch key clips from this vital Westminster Hall debate, please visit this link.