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UK Politicians on Animal Testing - 2008

by Kelly Morgan with BUAV:

21st May 2008
On the eve of the Crewe and Nantwich by-election, the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) announced statements from all the main candidates on animal testing.

It is the first time that such an awareness campaign about candidates’ views on animal testing has been initiated during a by-election with the BUAV the only animal protection group to be actively campaigning. A billboard poster can be seen on Edleston Road in Crewe and local advertisements have been taken out in the Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle newspapers.

Chief Executive of the BUAV, Michelle Thew said, "The BUAV welcomes the statements by the candidates on this important issue. Voters concerned about animal welfare will now be able to see for the first time what the candidates have said about what they will do to work towards ending animal tests. We look forward to working with a new Crewe and Nantwich MP who will actively raise this issue in parliament.

"In this crucial by-election every vote counts and we would urge constituents to support the candidate who has set out the strongest views on how they would make Crewe and Nantwich cruelty free."

Notes to editors

1 For further information please contact The Chief Executive, Michelle Thew is available for interview.

2 The candidates’ statements are available on the BUAV website

3 The BUAV will be giving out leaflets on the candidates’ views on Thursday 22nd May on Victoria Street, Crewe in the morning and Churchyard Side in Nantwich in the afternoon.

4 The billboard can be seen on the corner of Edleston Road and Brook Street in Crewe on the main approach into the town centre, postcode CW2 7HT.

The BUAV has been campaigning for over 100 years to achieve a world where nobody wants or believes we need to experiment on animals. We are committed to achieving our aims through reliable and reasoned evidence-based debate. We are proudly non-violent and respect the quality of life for all – animals and people.

For more information contact: Paul Marsden, Director of Policy, BUAV on 020 7619 6992 or 07813 960 727/Out of hours mobile: 07850 510 955 / Email:

In summary, here's what the candidates have told BUAV:-

Tamsin Dunwoody (Labour Party)
"Animal experimentation should only be carried out where there is no alternative and for reasons that are of significant human benefit. Organisations that carry out experimentation must be licensed and subject to regular inspection. I support Labour's policy which aims to reduce the number of animals used in experiments, refine techniques to minimise suffering and replace with non-animal alternatives whenever possible... I would support increased transparency, prioritising non-animal science and alternate testing on household products where possible."

Mike Nattrass (UK Independence Party)
"As an MEP I have been consistently against cruelty to animals... I support increased transparency and accountability in animal experimentation; I support prioritising non-animal science; I support banning the use of animals to test household products".

Elizabeth Shenton (Liberal Democrats)
"Not enough effort is being made to fund modern techniques which provide alternatives to experimenting on live animals... we would divert some of the money currently used to finance testing on animals to fund research into alternatives... I do not agree with the testing of household and beauty products on animals... I am a strong campaigner for less animal testing across the board."

Robert Smith (Green Party)
"The Green Party and myself opposes the use of animal experimentation, particularly on cosmetic products and other household products, as well as experimentation using genetic manipulation... I would like to see increased transparency and accountability on animal experimentation... the Green party would seek to divert all funding currently going into animal based experimentation into non animal forms."

Edward Timpson (Conservative Party)
"I believe it is time to look closely at animal testing legislation to ensure that it is as robust as possible... I am deeply concerned that, for a fifth consecutive year, [Home Office] figures show that the number of animals used in scientific procedures has risen. We must, in every circumstance, weigh the benefits to humans, other animals and the environment, against the cost to the animals involved. Accepting this, the Conservative Party is also committed to tackling this issue where Labour has failed. A 15 per cent rise in the number of living animals used in scientific procedures since 2001 is unacceptable and the Home Office has shown scant regard for this spiralling trend. As for a ban on using animals to test household products, the Conservative Party is open to such a prospect but a final decision will not be taken until late June."

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