Well known animal lover, Paul O'Grady has joined calls calling on Prof. Colin Blakemore - infamous for sewing kitten’s eyes shut and Britain’s main advocate for experiments on dogs, cats and other animals - to explain his basis for supporting animal testing.
The 'For the Love of Dogs' presenter signed the Open Letter put to the Professor by For Life On Earth (FLOE), an alliance for evidence-based medicine, saying, “I’m delighted to be signing the Open Letter to Prof. Colin Blakemore and hope that he will respond positively soon.
"Dogs are treasured family members: our bond with them can be as close, and sometimes even closer, than the ones we share with some humans. The toxicity experiments forced upon man’s best friend are now scientifically proven to be also failing human patients, because of species differences, as reported by the British Medical Journal.
"Our called-for science hearing is supported by over 100 MPs, and can fairly judge all the medical evidence in a debate format. I do hope that Colin Blakemore will agree to this fair debate, without delay.”
The Open Letter, in full below, was first published by us in October, includes the signatories Ricky Gervais, Chris Packahm and Downton Abbey stars Peter Egan and Lesley Nicol and calls for Prof. Blakemore to agree to debate his claims - that experiments on animals can predict the responses of human patients - in a rigorous public science hearing. This debate will be judged by independent experts from the relevant fields of science; its debate conditions are endorsed as “well set out and fair” by Michael Mansfield QC, Britain's foremost human rights defence barrister.
Preeminent primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall explains the importance of the Open Letter’s call for a peer-reviewed science hearing in her filmed statement.
Watch the video:
Louise Owen, Founder and Director of FLOE told K9 Magazine, “We are absolutely delighted that Paul has signed this Open Letter; his presence brings a very special commitment on behalf of dogs, and indeed their humans. The latest Home Office statistics from 2016 show that 4,932 experiments were carried out on 3,530 dogs in the UK alone: toxicity tests typically involve dogs being force-fed chemicals in experiments lasting up to ninety days, with no pain relief or anaesthetic.
"Such experiments are now proven to also fail the search for human treatments and cures, as reported by the Editor in Chief at the British Medical Journal.
"We hope that people will share Paul’s signature on this letter, so that a terrifying issue for dogs – happening right here on our doorstep, in the UK – becomes a national voice for immediate action, to enable current scientific evidence to judge and end these experiments, once and for all.”
Open letter calling for a debate about animal testing
Dear Prof. Colin Blakemore,
A freedom of information request provided your letter to the Planning Inspectorate, recommending the extension of a Beagle Breeding Farm at B&K Universal in Grimston Hull. The farm will purpose breed around 2,000 dogs annually, destined for painful and traumatic laboratory experiments - typically involving dogs being force-fed chemicals in experiments lasting ninety days with no pain relief or anaesthetic.
According to current medical knowledge the results of such experiments are not capable of predicting the responses of human patients, a position highlighted by The British Medical Journal in its Editor’s Choice, June 2014. Over a hundred MPs, to date, have signed Parliamentary EDMs to hear this evidence in a public scientific debate, overseen by independent judges from the relevant fields of scientific expertise.
In your letter, you claim to have ‘always tried to engage with those who oppose animal research and take proper account of their objections’, and that it is 'unacceptable' that research 'is impeded or prevented by extreme action'.
We therefore call upon you to agree to participate in the thorough scientific debate, as called for by the Parliamentary EDMs and their growing support.
Paul O’Grady, Ricky Gervais, Chris Packham, Peter Egan, Dr. Jane Goodall DBE, Lesley Nicol, Jane Fallon, Rumer, Jill Robinson MBE and Rick Wakeman.