Britain: Don’t Increase Animal Testing After Leaving Europe

Target: Theresa May, U.K. Prime Minister

Goal: Reinforce stricter animal testing guidelines in the U.K.

As Britain prepares for ‘Brexit’ and its departure from the European Union, it will soon have the opportunity to freely choose how to regulate animal testing within its borders. Campaigners are concerned that this could result in an increase in testing and the return of previously outlawed practices. The British government must be made to see this not as a chance to expand experimenting on animals but as an opportunity to set a moral precedent and outlaw it altogether.

Even with EU regulations, Britain still conducts vivisection more frequently than the majority of countries in Europe. In fact, the most recent report from the U.K. Home Office recorded over 4 million tests performed on animals in 2015, more than half of which were procedures expected to cause pain in the animals. The same report noted that approximately 30 percent of these tests could be classed as causing either severe pain or distress, or moderate pain or distress for a prolonged period. Even more worrying, the overall number of tests has increased since the last report in 2013. This includes an increase in testing on primates, including a cruel experiment in which monkeys had devices surgically implanted in their heads to force them to stare at a computer screen and recreate gambling tasks and risk-taking behavior thousands of times over several weeks.

Campaigners are concerned that the removal of EU regulations will mean that experiments like these — and vivisection more generally — will continue to increase after Brexit. But there is another possibility. Britain played a key role in setting up the EU rules in the first place, and it prides itself on being a progressive and caring nation. Even more than this, it prides itself on its independence and pioneering ideas; if its government can be persuaded to follow the truly progressive, pioneering path of seeking cruelty-free alternatives, then it may become a nation that bans all animal testing. Sign this petition and tell Brexit Britain to put an end to this ill-informed and ineffective abuse of animals.


Dear Prime Minister,

I write to you to express my concerns about how Britain will treat its animals after it has left the European Union. As you know, the laws that currently regulate animal testing in your nation come from the EU. Along with many others, I was alarmed to read in the latest Home Office report that there has actually been an increase in animal testing between 2013 and 2015, including testing on primates. I am concerned that the removal of EU regulations will allow animal testing to continue increasing in Britain.

However, the U.K. does not have to follow this path. Freed from the restraints of European law, Britain could set a moral precedent and employ far harsher restrictions, even to the degree of banning animal testing altogether. There are numerous alternatives to vivisection — from experimenting on human tissue cultures to using simulations, databases, and virtual drug trials — many of which are widely considered by experts to be more effective at predicting human responses. I implore you to follow your nation’s pioneering, progressive spirit and make Britain a leader in the move to end all animal testing.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Janet Stephen

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  1. Vicky Cole says:

    British people are hailed as a nation of animal lovers yet conditions in abattoirs, outdated tests on animals where some other countries are using state of the art technology and illegal violations of the Hunting Act not being policed has shown this to be a shaky statement. Are we going to lag behind Europe now ethically and show a lack of compassion when so many products tested on animals have damaged humans.

  2. Rosie Boyd Rosie Boyd says:

    Being a British animal lover, I promise to campaign relentlessly against animal testing and cruelty of any kind.
    It is shameful that in 2017 we still deem it acceptable to use animals for testing. There is absolutely no excuse for it when there are so many better alternatives. It has been proved many times that animal testing is futile so it really does baffle those of us with any intellect as to why it is still in use. You can only assume that someone in the British Government is taking a back-hander somewhere along the line. The buck stops with you Mrs May.

  3. Tracy Joseph says:

    This is merely a form of legalised animal abuse!!!!

  4. Britts are not very reasonable. .thats why they choose brexit.

  5. I’ve said this on another petition site – Mrs May and her crones want to repeal the Hunting Act. The Tories have already given the go-ahead to extend facilities to breed beagles and other animals for vivisection, despite protests from the public and local authorities.
    Chairman May feels nothing for the lesser public let alone animals, and one of the reasons her crones want out of the EU is so they can ride roughshod over any policies that protect workers, animals and the environment.

    Vote her OUT in the General Election in the UK on 8th June.

  6. Please do not allow this type of cruelty to be performed on animals. There is no need to test on animals anymore. There are safer, more effective tests that do not use animals. Don’t have a cold heart and stick up for the animals!

  7. it is time to ban all cruel testing on great lives that matter from this now.

  8. Denise Baudin says:

    Theresa May, U.K. Prime Minister:

    Haven’t you, Theresa, heard of MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY?????????? That’s right – it does exist now. This is 2017.

    No need to abuse and torture helpless animals anymore. That’s right – MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY.

    You have the platform to reinforce stricter animal testing guidelines in the U.K. DO IT.

    People at large in the U.K. Remember, elections are coming your way on June 8, 2017…

  9. Progression not regression

    Those who experiment on animals should never be able to quiet their own conscience by telling themselves that these cruelties have a worthy aim.” Albert Schweitzer, physician/Nobel Laureate.

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