Let’s make it loud and clear to MPs: only animal free research can make Britain a world science leader

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Let’s make it loud and clear to MPs: only animal free research can make Britain a world science leader

Let’s make it loud and clear to MPs: only animal free research can make Britain a world science leader

Published on December 8, 2020

Let’s make it loud and clear to MPs: only animal free research can make Britain a world science leader

The power of science to do good has been unequivocally demonstrated. The imminent Covid-19 vaccination roll-out to protect the nation is something we can all celebrate.

That Britain has been at the forefront of this epic struggle for life, health and our freedom is something we all should feel rightly proud of, and we should all perhaps give an appreciative nod to the scientists and researchers working up and down the land on our behalf during this challenging year.

However, we should also remember the animals who have been experimented on, the unknown individuals suffering and killed to develop vaccines.  Covid-19 has shown us just how crucial investment in scientific research truly is, but it has also underlined the need to ensure that such research is human relevant.

The pandemic has also exposed what some describe as a “catastrophic funding crisis” for charity-funded medical research. A recent poll by the Association of Medical Research Charities showed 40 per cent of charity-funded early career scientists have considered leaving the profession as a result of funding concerns.

We risk losing a generation of bright young scientists which in turn could have a severe impact on several decades-worth of research, including animal free, human relevant projects.

During the recent Government spending review, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that almost £15 billion in 2021-22 will be allocated to the science sector, including funding for clinical research to support delivery of new drugs, treatments and vaccines. Questions remain about where this money is coming from, though it could be a much-needed boost to funds.

But the real question is how much of this cash injection will be for human relevant research?

If a great deal of this funding is going to be supporting animal experiments, then this will be a tragic waste – not only of time and money, but of animals’ lives. Such a misappropriation of funds will result in people and animals suffering, and major diseases continuing to blight our lives without cures.

Currently, there is a huge under-investment in animal free research.  For example, a 2013 survey estimated that just 0.036% of science R&D expenditure in the EU is specifically invested in non-animal methods.

So, we need to nail down just how much will be dedicated to this pioneering and scientifically advanced discipline – which undeniably has the power to stop animal suffering and speed up vaccine development. We need to make the case that money should be spent on boosting the lab technologies that are transforming human medical research.

Thankfully, support for human relevant research is growing, and a momentous step has been setting up the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Human Relevant Science, because this will play a key role in getting this cutting-edge research onto the political agenda.

MPs will now hear – loud and clear – the case for putting more funding into animal free research, and not just from those concerned with animal protection. Scientists focused on delivering the highest quality research that will have the best possible impact on people’s lives, will also be championing that now is the time for Britain to lead the world in animal free research.

The Government wants to make the UK a global science superpower – and we are well placed to become the centre of human relevant science thanks to our world-leading universities, pharmaceutical sector and research organisations.

So, via the APPG and other channels, we will be calling on the Government to act with urgency to protect the UK’s position as a global leader in science and avoid losing decades of research advancements.

To have real impact, the Government must provide supportive infrastructure, funding, education and training - and crucially, regulations that enable human relevant research.

Thanks to your support, we at Animal Free Research UK will be monitoring the Government at every step to ensure we realise our vision – a world where human diseases are cured faster without animal suffering.

We will be among those gathering expert evidence on two of the key hurdles for human relevant research – funding and regulation – and passing our findings onto MPs.

Be in no doubt: the case for human relevant research is growing stronger - and you can help us propel our mission to the political front line by asking your MP to sign Early Day Motion 256.

Please CLICK HERE to ask your MP to sign EDM 256 on Accelerating Human Relevant Life Sciences in the UK.

To date 67 MPs have now signed, so we are over halfway towards our ambitious target of 100 signatures. With your help, I am confident that we can ensure the Government is left in no doubt about the growing political support for animal free, human relevant science.

 

 

 

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