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The UK Labour Party recently unveiled a list of animal welfare proposals – including banning foie gras imports and improving conditions on certain farms.
The 50-point strategy also included draft plans to help animals in laboratories. These include policies to end avoidable animal tests, increase transparency around animal testing, and stop tests that cause severe suffering to animals.
The document says the Party wants to: “Commit to ending within an achievable timeframe, the permitting of ‘severe’ suffering as defined in UK legislation.”
Home Office statistics show that 3.94 million procedures were carried out in the course of scientific research in 2016. 51 percent of that figure was accounted for by experiments and 49 percent in relation to the breeding of genetically modified animals for research.
The majority (60 percent) of the 2.02 million experimental procedures completed in 2016 involved mice, followed by fish (14 percent), rats (12 percent) and birds (seven percent).
Almost half (46 percent) of these experimental procedures were classed as ‘mild’, with six percent classed as severe.
Animal welfarists have welcomed these proposals.
Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International, says: “These are developments for which we have campaigned tirelessly for years.
“It shows great progress that one of the major political parties is now committed to a positive plan for ending the suffering of animals in laboratories.
“The public will be overjoyed that their call for an end to cruel and unnecessary animal testing is being taken seriously. We believe this is the start of a journey that will finally put a stop to needless animal experiments in the UK.”