Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Charities fund horrific experiments

4 leading medical research charities are accused of using money donated by the public to fund horrific animal experiments.
A major new report by Animal Aid describes how charity-funded medical researchers have deliberately damaged monkeys' brains with toxic chemicals, and slowly and systematically destroyed dogs' hearts. Other researchers, according to Victims of Charity, have tormented mice in water mazes, injected them with cancerous tissue, or used animals who had been subjected to special breeding programmes that left them weakened, disease-prone and mentally deranged.

 The 4 charities are Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, Parkinson's UK and the Alzheimer's Society. Their collective joint annual income currently exceeds £800m.

 'What all 4 charities have in common,' says the Animal Aid report, 'is a determination to conceal the nature and extent of the animal suffering for which they are responsible.'

Animal Aid is calling on the public to withhold all financial support until they pledge to end their funding of animal experiments. This includes donations, legacies and charity shop purchases. The boycott campaign will be backed by a series of national newspaper advertisements, as well as by campaign postcards that the public is being asked to fill out and send to the Chief Executives of the 4 organisations. Reinforcing the boycott message are on-the-record statements by several anti-vivisectionists who themselves are afflicted by serious medical conditions. Their message, in relation to the animal experiments funded by the charities, is: 'Not in my name'.

While descriptions of animal suffering form a vital part of the new Animal Aid report, Victims of Charity also challenges the claim that the suffering is justified because the experiments produce significant health benefits for people.

Researched and written by hospital doctor and medical lecturer Adrian Stallwood, and by veterinary surgeon Andre Menache, the authors examine past and contemporary accounts of experimental procedures written by the experimenters themselves. They also assess scientific reviews in leading specialist journals. They conclude that animal-based research into cancer, dementia, heart disease and Parkinson's has been a 'wasteful and futile quest' - one that has failed to advance the cause of human medicine.

They call on the charities to end their funding of animal research in favour of non-animal methods that are directly relevant to people. These include the use of donated human tissue and organs, microdosing, computer modelling and imaging technologies.

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