Target: Chief Executive John Savill, UK Medical Research Council
Goal: Applaud transparency contract between animal research laboratories
Over 70 companies have signed a pledge to be more open about their animal testing activities. The Concordat on Openness on Animal Research has been signed by universities, research councils, medical organizations, and charities, and requires complete transparency in animal testing operations. Though originally intended for UK companies, some major American companies are signing on as well.
The concordat is a product of years of research and negotiation between scientists, drug firms, educational institutions, and the public. Signatories will be required to be clear about when, why, and how animals are being used in any research project. The agreement will promote more openness with the press and public about these matters, using annual reports on progress and findings.
Several major bodies have signed on, including Imperial College in London, GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical research companies, and the UK Medical Research Council. American drug giant Pfeizer has also signed, along with several other overseas companies.
According to a poll in 2012, over 80% of British citizens found it important that animal research be conducted under good conditions. Many of these citizens also said that they would like to know more about what goes on in research laboratories where animals are used. Though the concordat will not be able to directly stop irresponsible animal research, it will allow the public to make informed decisions about their purchases. Praise this agreement, which will lay the groundwork for improving the welfare of laboratory animals across Britain.
Dear Chief Executive Savill,
The Concordat on Openness on Animal Research will require signatories to disclose when, how, and why they use animals in their research. It also encourages better communication with the public about what goes on in animal testing laboratories, and recommends that politicians, journalists, and school groups be allowed to access research facilities.
While this agreement cannot stop animal cruelty in research experiments directly, it will create an avenue through which the the public can be more involved in private animal research. It will allow concerned consumers to make informed decisions about the products they buy, and could encourage hundreds of other companies to follow suit with a transparency pledge. I applaud your efforts to promote openness in the animal research community.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Janet Stephens via WikiMedia Commons