More Evidence Three Rs Do Not Work

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More Evidence Three Rs Do Not Work

By Dr. Ray Greek, on National Anti-Vivisection Society

This is more evidence that as long as the vested interest groups can continue fooling society into believing that animal experiments predict human response, no real progress toward ending vivisection will be made.

As NAVS reported in Science First, the London Evening Standard reported that the number of animal experiments in Britain rose by 14 per cent last year.

Rodents accounted for 77 per cent of the experiments. Tests on primates rose by 16 per cent and more fish, mice, amphibians, pigs, sheep and turkeys were used. However, less than one per cent of procedures involved primates, dogs, cats or horses. Home Office minister Lord West today defended the rise, claiming it was necessary to improve healthcare.

These numbers must be viewed in perspective. The people of the UK are, quantitatively, the most concerned about using animals in vivisection as measured by responses to polls and numbers of people attending debates and protests. The UK is also home to Three Rs. W. Russell and R. Burch, the inventors of the concept of the Three Rs were both British and FRAME, arguably the largest and most influential Three Rs organization, is located in England.

In America, using animals in science is at best a back burner issue. In the UK it is on the front burner. When I have visited the UK for lectures and debates I have routinely met with ministers of parliament and other government officials. The issue is so important to their constituents that they felt pressure to meet with me. I have even had meetings with committees in parliament! In the UK, there is ethical outrage over vivisection among many if not most of the population.

If the number of animals used in vivisection is increasing in the UK, then that alone should give one pause when considering whether the Three Rs can ever be successful under any circumstances anywhere.

This is more evidence that as long as the vested interest groups can continue fooling society into believing that animal experiments predict human response, no real progress toward ending vivisection will be made.

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