Ricky Gervais is leading celebrity signatures on an open letter to animal experimenter Professor Colin Blakemore – infamous for sewing kitten’s eyes shut and an international advocate for experiments on dogs and other animals.
The letter focuses on Blakemore’s support for the mass breeding of laboratory Beagle puppies. It calls for Blakemore to agree to debate his views in a rigorous public science hearing, overseen by independent scientific experts who will judge his claims: that results from animal experiments are able to predict the responses of human patients, in medical research and testing.
The letter also draws attention to current scientific evidence which proves that Blakemore’s claims about animal testing are now exposed as false. Up-to-date medical facts confirm that results from animal experiments are now proven to fail the search for human treatments and cures – a position reported by pharmaceutical companies and The British Medical Journal in its Editor’s Choice, June 2014.
Michael Mansfield QC, Britain’s leading human rights defense barrister, has endorsed the science hearing’s debate conditions as “well set out and fair”.
Over 100 cross-party members of the UK Parliament have signed Parliamentary Early Day Motions, calling for this historic hearing. Life-saving cutting edge Non-Animal Techniques (NATs) are available and have a human-relevant track record of success. According to medical experts – working outside the animal-based research sector – the continued finance of worthless animal experiments starve NATs of vital funding, preventing their essential role in the discovery of effective treatments and cures.
Here’s the letter:
Dear Prof. Colin Blakemore,
A freedom of information request provided your letter to the Planning Inspectorate, recommending the extension of a Beagle Breeding Farm at B&K Universal in Grimston Hull. The farm will purpose breed around 2,000 dogs annually, destined for painful and traumatic laboratory experiments – typically involving dogs being force-fed chemicals in experiments lasting ninety days with no pain relief or anaesthetic. According to current medical knowledge the results of such experiments are not capable of predicting the responses of human patients, a position highlighted by The British Medical Journal in its Editor’s Choice, June 2014. Over a hundred MPs, to date, have signed Parliamentary EDMs to hear this evidence in a public scientific debate, overseen by independent judges from the relevant fields of scientific expertise. In your letter, you claim to have ‘always tried to engage with those who oppose animal research and take proper account of their objections’, and that it is ‘unacceptable’ that research ‘is impeded or prevented by extreme action’. We therefore call upon you to agree to participate in the thorough scientific debate, as called for by the Parliamentary EDMs and their growing support.
Ricky Gervais, Chris Packham, Dr. Jane Goodall DBE, Peter Egan, Lesley Nicol, Jane Fallon, Jill Robinson MBE, Rumer and Rick Wakeman.
This letter will remain active a For Life On Earth, where further public figures can sign it.