Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, attended the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection’s Parliamentary Reception on 26 March in order to discover more about their Our Best Friends campaign and why they wish to bring all UK experiments on cats and dogs to an end.
Government statistics show that 3,214 dogs and 202 cats suffered in tests in Great Britain in 2012. This is a 6% increase for dogs and a 32% increase for cats on the previous year. Most experiments carried out on dogs are for toxicity testing. The dogs may be injected with or force fed drugs and chemicals and then observed for signs of adverse (toxic) effects including vomiting, internal bleeding and organ damage, seizures – even death. They are killed at the end of the experiment. Cats are often used in fundamental biological research. This usually focuses on the visual and nervous system and can involve experiments in which cats are deprived of their sight or subjected to lengthy, invasive brain experiments from which they do not recover.
Annette said: “Over 11 million families in the UK share their home with either a dog, or a cat yet these much loved animals are still being used in cruel tests. I was happy to join BUAV in Parliament to highlight the issue and call for more to be done to stop cruelty to animals.”