Ricky Gervais, with beautiful Beagle Scarlett.

FLOE's Patron, Peter Egan, with Scarlett.

Photos © K9 Magazine

PRESS RELEASE – for immediate release, 24th September 2021

Ricky Gervais and After Life co-star, Peter Egan, call for laboratory animals to be included in the Animal Welfare Act, as their new exposé reveals factory farmed laboratory dogs crying out for help from inside Labcorp testing laboratory.

Ricky Gervais and Peter Egan today launch a follow up exposé on the factory farmed laboratory dogs, bred by MBR Acres, in Cambridgeshire UK – and what happens to these puppies when they arrive at Labcorp testing laboratory, Harrogate. 

To watch the new exposé narrated by Peter Egan, please visit this link.

The exposé is launched to support Peter Egan’s new Parliament Petition: ‘Change the law to include laboratory animals in the Animal Welfare Act’ – laboratory animals are currently excluded from the protection of Animal Welfare Act and its ‘unnecessary suffering’ clause.  

As a nation of dog lovers, the Government’s new Animal Sentience Bill enshrines in law the ability of animals to experience joy, and feel suffering and pain.

Ricky and Peter launch their exposé with the help of beautiful Beagle Ambassador, rescued laboratory dog Scarlett, winner of the Daily Mirror Animal Hero Award, Inspirational Animal of the Year, 2018. Scarlett is Ambassador for the science-based campaign For Life On Earth (FLOE).

The new exposé opens with a reminder of the harrowing film Peter and Ricky launched about MBR Acres last month, revealing panic stricken cries from thousands of factory farmed laboratory dogs who are kept indoors for their entire lives.

As a van drives passed, dogs are heard crying out for help from inside the vehicle as it leaves MBR Acres, for the pups’ final journey to the laboratory. 
As the van arrives at Labcorp laboratory, Harrogate, workers dressed in full chemical protective clothing form a conveyor belt to deliver man’s best friend into the laboratory. 

As a second laboratory door opens, dogs can be heard inside the lab, crying out for mercy and help.  

Workers are seen wheeling trollies labelled ‘Dogs’, heaped with plastic bags containing dead puppies who are unceremoniously dumped. 

MBR Acres breeds between 1,600 and 2,000 dogs annually; from 16 weeks old the puppies are sold to laboratories across the UK, where they’re subjected to toxicity experiments that can involve being force fed chemicals every day for up to 90 days, with no pain relief or anaesthetic. The dogs are killed at the end of the experiments.

All laboratory animals are excluded from the protection of the Animal Welfare Act, and its ‘unnecessary suffering’ clause. 

Peter Egan’s new Parliament Petition: ‘Change the law to include laboratory animals in the Animal Welfare Act’, cites the widely reported failure of animal experiments, in the search for human treatments and cures, and makes the case for laboratory animals to be included in the Animal Welfare Act, so they can be protected by its ‘unnecessary suffering’ clause. 

Peter Egan says: “I’m deeply shocked to learn that laboratory animals are excluded from the Animal Welfare Act, and the protection of its ‘unnecessary suffering’ clause. The 1986 Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act effectively enshrines animal suffering by means of legal definitions, whereby an animal experiment becomes a ‘regulated procedure’ to cause pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm to a ‘protected animal’, which encompasses all living vertebrates other than humans, under the responsibility of humans. Therefore, identical acts of deliberate animal cruelty, potentially punishable by custodial sentencing under the Animal Welfare Act, are immune from prosecution under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act.

“Leading experts, including those at the British Medical Journal and the Food and Drug Administration, today report that animal experiments are entirely failing the search for human treatments and cures. The 2003 Human Genome Project, with its current knowledge about evolutionary biology and complexity science, explains why animals tests have a 90% fail rate.

“We all need to campaign with the science hearing called for by Parliament EDM 175, to end the failed practice of animal experiments and redirect funds towards human-based research, which has a proven a track record of success.

“I urge everyone to please sign and share my Parliament Petition: ‘Change the law to include laboratory animals in the Animal Welfare Act‘. It already has over 70,000 signatures, please help me reach 100,000 signatures so the petition can be debated in Parliament.”

Ricky Gervais says: “I’m deeply shocked to see the exposé of these poor dogs being delivered into a cruel toxicity testing laboratory. It’s heartbreaking to hear these puppies crying out for mercy and help, from inside the lab. Please join me in signing the new Parliament Petition ‘Change the law to include laboratory animals in the Animal Welfare Act’. It’s shocking that laboratory animals are excluded from this Act and the protection of its ‘unnecessary suffering’ clause. The 1986 Animals in Scientific Procedures Act exists to permit horrific experiments on dogs, and other animals, but this is now out of date: surpassed by all the scientific advances from the 2003 Human Genome Project. These advances have increased our understanding on why animal experiments are now proven to entirely fail the search for human treatments and cures – a position reported by the British Medical Journal, the FDA and the US-based National Cancer Institute. We need an immediate ban on this shocking animal cruelty, which is also clearly holding back medical progress. That’s why I support a rigorous public science hearing on animal testing, judged by independent experts from the relevant science fields, as called for by Parliament EDM 175. Please join my campaign with rescued laboratory dog Scarlett Beagle: please sign the new Parliament Petition to include laboratory animals in the Animal Welfare Act, and help us accelerate the arrival of a fair science hearing to end cruel and outdated animal experiments, once – and for all.” 

Dr. Lisa Cameron MP is the primary sponsor of Parliament EDM 175.

Dr. Lisa Cameron MP says: “It’s absolutely vital for the Government to mandate the EDM 175 science hearing, so that claims by the animal experimentation community can be judged by a panel of independent experts from the relevant, up-to-date science fields. Pro-animal testing lobbyist ‘Understanding Animal Research’ is funded by BioMarshall Resources, the company that owns MBR Acres, which intensively breeds thousands of laboratory puppies every year. The EDM 175 science hearing has huge significance for Peter Egan’s new Parliamentary Petition; this hearing can change the law so that laboratory animals are included in the Animal Welfare Act, to stop their unnecessary suffering.” 

Leading expert, medical doctor and President of American and Europeans for Medical Advancement, Dr. Ray Greek says: “Recent developments in evolutionary and developmental biology, genetics, gene regulation, gene expression and gene networks, gained in large part as a result of the Human Genome project, in addition to advances in understanding complex systems, have significantly increased our understanding of why animals have no predictive value for human response to drugs or the pathophysiology of human diseases.”

TAKE ACTION WITH RICKY GERVAIS AND PETER EGAN!

Please sign the new Parliament Petition ‘Change the law to include laboratory animals in the Animal Welfare Act’ – and stop their unnecessary suffering. 

Experts who report on the failure of animal testing include scientists in the pharmaceutical industry; Dr. Fiona Godlee, Editor in Chief of the British Medical Journal, who concluded her Editor’s Choice with the following statement: “If research conducted on animals continues to be unable to reasonably predict what can be expected in humans, the public’s continuing endorsement and funding of preclinical animal research seems misplaced.” [1]  The Food and Drug Administration states that 9 out of 10 new medicines fail to pass human trials because animals cannot predict responses in humans; [2] and the US-based National Cancer Institute says cures for cancer have been lost because studies in rodents have been believed. [3]

The medical field against using animal experiments to try and model humans is today led by Drs. Ray Greek and Niall Shanks: their Trans-Species Modelling Theory (TSMT) joins other great science Theories, such as Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, in explaining why something always occurs: in this case TSMT places decades of empirical evidence in the wider context of current understanding of evolutionary biology and complexity science, to explain why 90% of animal-tested drugs fail to pass human/clinical trials. [4]  

Dogs are mainly used to measure the toxicity of new human medicines, but these tests are today widely reported to fail as predictive models of human patients. [1-4]

The latest Home Office statistics report an increase in experiments on Beagles: in 2020, there were 4,270 procedures on Beagles, a 3% increase on procedures in the previous year, often exposing one dog to more than one experiment.

COMMENT BY SCIENTIST AND MEDICAL DOCTOR, RAY GREEK

“Over a century ago, science studied animals and humans on a very superficial level. Humans share many characteristics with dogs, monkeys, rodents, and other animals. For example, hearts pump blood while brains think.

“Based on these early successes, animal experimenters were eager to continue using animals as human surrogates. But failure soon followed for the same reason success was seen first.

“Evolution keeps parts that work, for example, hearts and brains. But at the level where disease occurs, the processes are very different. This is true among, as well as within, species.

“The very small changes in the genetic make-up of different species result in one dying from a medication while another will not be affected, while a third might benefit. After the effect of a drug is known from human studies, an animal can usually be found that reproduces the human response.

“This is not the same as predicting how a drug will perform in humans.

“Current science explains why mass-producing animals like dogs, to supposedly predict human response to drugs and disease, is an exercise in futility. This reality should be confirmed by impartial scientists, in the hearing outlined by Parliament EDM 175, followed by animal experimentation being banned. This will benefit humans and animals.”

ENDS

For interviews please contact Louise Owen, founder and director, FLOE and the campaign with Scarlett Beagle: https://twitter.com/ScarlettBeagle Mobile 07751 873 389

REFERENCES 

1.BMJ 2014;348:g3719 available here

2. FDA Issues Advice to Make Earliest Stages Of Clinical Drug Development More Efficient. FDA, June 2006   

3. Gura T: Cancer Models: Systems for identifying new drugs are often faulty. Science. 1997, 278 (5340): 1041-1042.

4. Lumley CE, Walker S Lancaster, Quay, editors, 1990, ‘Clinical Toxicity – Could it have been predicted? Post-marketing experience’, 57–67; Heywood R. Animal Toxicity Studies: Their Relevance for Man.

RESCOURCES

New exposé narrated by Peter Egan.

Peter Egan’s Parliament Petition: ‘Change the law to include laboratory animals in the Animal Welfare Act’ 

Ricky Gervais and Peter Egan’s campaign with rescued laboratory dog Scarlett Beagle

Quotes against animal testing by scientists working in the pharmaceutical industry  

Drs. Greek and Shanks’ Trans-Species Modelling Theory

Americans and Europeans for Medical Advancement

Patients Campaigning for Cures 

The science-based campaign For Life On Earth (FLOE)