MPs want to keep laboratory ban on stray cats and dogs

 
Bobby the terrier Some MPs are concerned about the impact of a new European Union directive on animal testing

Animal welfare campaigners are urging the government to rule out the prospect of unwanted pets being used in scientific experiments.

A number of MPs from all sides have signed a Commons early day motion calling for a ban on the use of stray cats and dogs in experiments to remain in place.

The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) claims a European Union directive, due to be implemented in 2013, could allow the removal of the ban in some cases.

The BUAV's director of policy, Dr Nick Palmer, said: "Britain has the option to say no we'll stick to the current ban, but for some reason the government has said we'll adopt a less restrictive wording and allow it in some circumstances."

Start Quote

In some parts of Europe stray animals are used for experiments, the argument being you don't have to breed animals for experiments. I don't agree with it, but that is the argument”

End Quote Nic Dakin MP (Lab) Scunthorpe

Nic Dakin, Labour MP for Scunthorpe, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experimentation, is seeking clarification.

Speaking to the Sunday Politics in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, Mr Dakin said: "In some parts of Europe stray animals are used for experiments, the argument being you don't have to breed animals for experiments. I don't agree with it, but that is the argument.

"In the UK that has not been the case and I very much hope the government takes steps to ensure that cannot be the case in the future."

The government insists that certain types of scientific research using animals is essential in the development of new drugs and the advancement of medical technology.

Animal testing is licensed by the Home Office.

A Home Office spokesman stated EU rules "prohibit the use of feral animals in research and the possibility of exemption is extremely narrow and unlikely".

While the likelihood of stray pets being used in experiments may seem remote, campaigners are calling for a House of Commons debate to discuss an issue they believe will be of concern to a nation of animal lovers.

 
Tim Iredale, Political editor, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire Article written by Tim Iredale Tim Iredale Political editor, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 1.

    Most stray dogs in the UK have at some time been someone's much loved pet. If your pet gets lost or stolen and then abandoned, do you want to risk it being used for medical experiments? I know that I dont!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 2.

    O/S. sorry guys but I just wanted to see what it was like to post on a BBC political news site. After the Scottish elections last year the BBC in Scotland stopped anybody commenting on their news site.
    It seems that too many people were complaining about inacurate reports and flawed or slanted coverage of events.
    - the BBC has censured all criticism and responses in Scotland.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 3.

    The issue should not be WHO is used in research, but than anyone is used at all! Animal research in antiquated, unreliable, and cruel. There needs to be legislation to eliminate animal research, that so often is useless, repetitive, and only done for $$$.

 
 

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