We joined forces with Cruelty Free International and Animal Free Research UK to launch our #TargetZero campaign to urge the UK Government to create and publicise a phase-out of animal experimentation.

Read the Government's response

The petition

Our #TargetZero petition called on the UK Government to end its reliance on Victorian science and bring forward a pro-active plan to end animal experimentation.

The regulation of scientific procedures is devolved to the UK Government. However, we believe that the Scottish Government also has a role to play in encouraging a phase out of animal testing. We continue to urge the Scottish Government to promote the rapid development and utilisation of alternatives to animal research and press the UK Government to take action to replace animal testing. 

The stats

Too many animals continue to suffer in Britain’s laboratories every year – with over 90% of drugs that prove promising in animal trials failing in humans, either due to lack of effectiveness or safety concerns.

While there was a welcome decrease in the number of animal experiments in 2020, 2.9 million animals were still subjected to experimentation. That is 2.9 million animals too many. And the stats are worrying:

  • The number of experiments on animals has only dropped by 1% annually over the past decade.
  • There has been an increase in experimentation on cats (up by 11%), dogs (up by 3%), horses (up by 3%).
  • The number of experiments on horses has risen by 29% in the last decade alone.
  • There has been an increase in experimentation on rhesus macaques (up by 77%).
  • 115 experiments were conducted on dogs to satisfy plant protection product legislation, which is likely to include pesticides testing. There were 46 such tests in 2019, which means these experiments have increased by 150%.

Celebrity support

Victorian anti-vivisection demo

Celebrities Evanna Lynch, Lucy Watson, and Lesley Nicol teamed up with ourselves, Cruelty Free International and Animal Free Research UK in support of our calls to end animal experimentation.

The stars of Harry Potter, Made in Chelsea, and Downton Abbey recreated an iconic photo from 1919 protesting against animal experiments, to highlight how millions of animals are still subjected to the same cruel experimentation that they were 100 years ago.The historic photo was captured in 1919 when three women from the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, today known as Cruelty Free International, protested in Parliament Square while the Dogs (Protection) Bill was being debated in Parliament.

Historical anti-vivisection demo.

Media highlights

Our Target Zero campaign was covered by many news outlets, including The Daily Mail's Mail Online.

'TV stars Evanna Lynch, Lesley Nicol and Lucy Watson recreate iconic photo from 1919 to highlight Britain's lack of progress over animal testing', Mail Online, 16 July 2021

Our founding purpose back in 1911 was to campaign against vivisection, as animal testing was then called. We have continued to work for an end to animal testing ever since, but there is still a long way to go. While our founders didn’t achieve a ban in their lifetime, we hope we will deliver that aim within ours. You can help support our work by donating towards our campaign and investigation work.

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