By Olivia Kane
Animal justice campaign Vivisection Lifeline, in collaboration with Brighton Vegan Activists, united at Brighton University to raise awareness on two areas of animal exploitation causing harm animals – food production and animal experimentation for product and pharmaceutical research.
The demonstrations comprised of activists lined up, wearing surgical masks, each holding either a statement card or a laptop showing the secret video behind our supermarket consumption, provoking conversation with the public about where they draw the line for these sentient beings.
The activists were encouraged to attend wearing all black (to keep attention on the screen content) accompanied with their own laptop and a pre-downloaded LifeLine video demonstrating animal exploitation.
Michael Green, vegan activist and event curator said: “Researchers continue the same experiments over and over again because this is what they have been taught. They teach their students, and the cycle continues.”
In 2017 almost 4 million procedures were carried out on animals in UK laboratories, with over being half on university campuses, and most falling under the ‘curiosity-driven’ research category. 90 per cent of all animal research in Britain is classified as ‘curiosity’; this research does not have any tangible benefit to humans.
In 2017, 3189 project licences were issued in the UK allowing animal experimentation, 78 per cent of these were issued to universities. In the last decade, there has been a rise of experiments in universities by 6 per cent.
Cancer Research and the British Heart Foundation fund many university animal experiments, and have an annual income of £600 million each.
According to Vivisection Lifeline, this year at University of Brighton, 1182 mice and 1 badger were used for testing. Last year 737 mice, 35 rats and 34 guinea pigs were used.
Over 813,000 experiments were banded in 2017 as ‘moderate’ or ‘severe’ by the researchers themselves, with over 45,000 causing the most extreme suffering.
In 2018, scientists cited hundreds of biomedical studies from journals including Nature, Science, and the Journal of the American Medical Association to show animal modelling is ineffective, misleading to scientists, unable to prevent the development of dangerous drugs, and prone to prevent the development of useful drugs.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) states that 90 per cent of drugs found to be safe in animal testing fail in human trials because they do not work or are dangerous. e.g. 85 HIV/AIDS vaccines have been successful in primates, yet all have failed to offer protection in humans.
On the FaceBook event page, Diana Pullin commented: “Vivisection is Scientific Fraud. Results cannot be extrapolated from one Species to another. Ban vivisection. It is a heinous crime against innocent lives.”
Animals used for experiments suffer not just the tests, but also solitary confinement, cramped environments and overcrowding in cages, resulting in multi-breeding, fighting, cannibalism and suffocation.
The alternatives to animal testing include using human cells and tissues (also known as in vitro methods), advanced computer-modeling techniques (often referred to as in silico models), and studies with human volunteers.