Ricky Gervais has launched a campaign to ban all animal testing in the UK.
The comedian and animal rights activist is lobbying for the government to include laboratory animals in the the Animal Welfare Act, which makes it an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal and places a duty of care on those responsible for an animal’s wellbeing.
It comes as campaigners staged a protest at the MBR Acres ‘factory farm’ in Cambridgeshire, which is accused of breeding up to 2,000 dogs per year that are sent for toxicology tests across the country, training puppies to be ‘laboratory-ready’. Activists claim they saw lab workers grabbing dogs by the scruffs of their neck and cramming them into crates and packed trollies.
‘I’m deeply shocked to learn that thousands of beautiful beagles are intensively bred, right here in the peace of the British countryside, for painful and terrifying toxicity experiments that are also now proven to entirely fail the search for human treatments and cures,’ Gervais said, as per The Independent.
Gervais is working alongside actor Peter Egan, who shared a petition aimed at changing the law. ‘It’s in my heart I hope it’s in yours; please sign my Parliament Petition; laboratory animals must be included in the Animal Welfare Act, to ban horrific experiments on dogs and other animals,’ he wrote.
Activists who’ve been monitoring the site say dogs often have to endure being force-fed chemicals or inhaling pesticides, sometimes for up to 90 days, every day, without medication or pain relief. Though the laboratory says the experiments are mild, such as blood tests, and are used to develop vaccines.
An MBR Acres spokeswoman said: ‘It does not undertake regulatory toxicology or other experiments and has only animal care staff working on its sites.’
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