Petition Bring into effect a ban on research & testing on dogs in the UK
Testing on dogs is totally unacceptable. We are a nation of dog lovers, force our government to take notice, enforce a ban & be a compassionate example to the rest of the world. We will not stand by & nothing while puppies are bred in cold, dark conditions & sent to laboratories at just 16 weeks.
Medical & toxicology experiments have been conducted on dogs for over 100 years. We are better than this. We won’t stop until this cruel, outdated and inaccurate practice is banned. Thousands of dogs are bred and tested on each year in the UK before being destroyed. There is enough evidence to show there are better, more accurate and humane methods. But until we make a stand, these corporations have no motivation to change. We should not treat these innocent animals this way it is wrong.
This response was given on 2 December 2021
Testing on dogs is only legally permitted where there are no alternatives and is robustly regulated. Such testing is needed for the safe development of medicines and other research.
Read the response in full
The use of purpose bred dogs for research in the United Kingdom is not prohibited under the Animal (Scientific Procedures) Act (ASPA). However, the use of stray dogs is prohibited. Under ASPA, dogs (together with cats, horses, and non-human primates) are specially protected species. This means that greater oversight is required of establishments holding these species and of projects using these species.
As with any project approved under ASPA, all projects proposing to use dogs for research must be for a purpose which is permissible as stated in ASPA. Potential benefits from this research must be likely to be achieved and maximised otherwise no authorisation will be permitted.
Most dogs used for research purposes are for the safety testing of potential new medicines. This is based on internationally set requirements which require testing of potential new medicines in both rodents and non-rodent mammals (usually dogs or macaque monkeys) to protect human health. As a result of adverse findings from animal studies, a large number of drug candidates do not progress to being tested in humans. This testing is undertaken to provide assurance of the safety of medicines before they are given to humans. This Government welcomes the ongoing work to develop validated alternative models for second species testing for the development of medicines and continues to fund and promote alternatives to animal use through the National Centre for the 3Rs.
It is legal to use dogs in other research provided the project meets the requirements of ASPA and has a positive harm benefit assessment.
No dogs are authorised for use within the United Kingdom if the scientific objective can be achieved without using animals or by using animals of less sentience. As with all projects approved under ASPA all projects proposing to use dogs in research must justify why any animals need to be used, why dogs in particular need to be used and why the specific number of dogs and exact procedures are required. Project licences will only be granted by ASRU when all of these are adequately justified.
Dogs are a species often used in research because of their genetic similarity to humans which means they suffer from similar diseases to humans such as diabetes, epilepsies, and cancers. The dog genome has been sequenced and mutations mapped and therefore dogs are used in basic research which requires such knowledge, such as research on muscular dystrophy where there is a known mutation in dogs.
All establishments licensed to breed or supply animals, or to carry out regulated procedures on animals under ASPA in Great Britain are subject to the full requirements of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act. This provides for a regulatory regimen of activities that protects animals in science including systems and thematic audits by the Home Office to ensure compliance with the terms of their licences, the Code of Practice and with ASPA.
Both announced and unannounced site visits are undertaken within a risk-based framework to assure compliance and inspect the welfare, health, and environment of animals at any establishment. The Home Office takes any allegations regarding potential non-compliance with ASPA, the Code of Practice or individual licence conditions very seriously.
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