Humans have taken over social media in support of animals

A monkey being used in animal experiments
Steve Topple


Tuesday 24 April is ‘World Day for Animals in Laboratories’, to raise awareness of animals being used across the planet in experiments and tests. So, their human supporters have been speaking out on social media.

Shocking figures

The campaign group Cruelty Free International estimates that around 115 million animals are used by humans for experiments every year. Cruelty Free International says government figures [pdf, p35] show that in the UK in 2016:

  • 3.9 million experiments were performed on animals.
  • 1.9 million (49%) were to do with the “creation or breeding of genetically altered animals who were not used in further experiments”.
  • The other 2 million were “other” experiments.
  • 700,000 experiments were considered to cause “moderate or severe suffering” on the animals.
  • Only 13% of experiments were “required by regulators”.

In 2016, of the 2 million “other” experiments, there were:

  • 1.2 million on mice.
  • 286,600 on fish.
  • 238,841 on rats.
  • 47,904 on sheep.
  • 26,186 on guinea pigs.
  • 15,431 on rabbits.
  • 14,997 on birds.
  • 8,948 on horses.
  • 5,358 on pigs.
  • 4,932 on dogs.
  • 3,569 on monkeys.
  • 190 on cats.

This is despite the UK government claiming that:

Our regulations ensure that animals are used in scientific procedures only when there’s no validated alternative and when the potential benefits outweigh the harms.

Tweeting for animals

So, people from the UK and around the world have been voicing their opposition to animal experiments:

The group Naturewatch pointed out something many of us may not know:

Meanwhile, Animal Free Research UK put some context into the numbers:

And the RSPCA did a live question and answer session on Facebook to mark the day:

The reality

The reality behind the tweets is disturbing. The video below, from a laboratory in France, contains graphic content some readers may find upsetting:

The outspoken campaign group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) says:

Animals feel pain and fear, just as we do, and their overwhelming natural instincts – like ours – are to be free and to protect their own lives, not to be locked in a small cage inside a laboratory.

It’s urging people to sign a petition asking governments to ban animal testing. It’s also asking people to put their name to a letter calling on the EU to have a moratorium on animal testing and review its policies.

The use of animals in experiments is an archaic and brutal practice unfitting of the century we live in. But when a society allows homeless people to die on the streets, it’s little wonder our respect for animals is so low.

Get Involved!

Support Cruelty Free International and take action with PETA.

Featured image via VICE News – YouTube

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