PETA Scientist Speaks Out Against Animal Testing at Imperial College

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Imperial Talk Julia

Dr Julia Baines, science policy adviser for PETA UK, spoke out against animal testing in a panel discussion at Imperial College London, a university widely known for its use of animals in research. The jam-packed event, titled “Animal Testing: Vital or Unnecessary?”, was organised by Imperial College’s Animal Protection & Education Society and included speakers from a pro–animal testing organisation, a non-animal medical research charity and a representative from Imperial College’s Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body.

In her address, Dr Baines explained the horror that animals face in laboratories:

Each year, more than 4 million animals – including dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs and monkeys – are killed in UK laboratories for curiosity-driven experimentation, medical training and chemical and drug testing. Imagine waking up to find yourself paralysed due to your spinal cord being crushed and holes have been drilled into your head with electrodes now implanted into your brain. What do you think it would feel like to be locked in a gas chamber and forced to inhale toxic fumes that burn your eyes and scold your airways and lungs. How would you feel if you were strapped down in a restraint device for hours on end, denied food and water and had your skin burned off? All of this and more goes on in UK laboratories every day.

Imperal Talk Audience

She also discussed the available alternatives to animal testing:

Many studies have shown that animal tests fail to predict reactions in humans accurately, and they sometimes get it right less than 25 per cent of the time. So in some cases, you’d be better off flipping a coin. … Sophisticated computer models can now predict drug effects in humans far more accurately than animal experiments. Human clinical and epidemiological studies, cadavers, and in vitro tests are more reliable, more precise, less expensive, and more humane than animal tests. Creative scientists have developed, from human brain cells, a model “microbrain” with which to study tumours, as well as artificial skin and bone marrow. We can now test skin irritancy and corrosion on protein membranes, produce vaccines from human tissues, and perform pregnancy tests using urine samples instead of killing rabbits.

Imperial Talk Student Group

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  • brook plumpton commented on February 13, 2015 at 12:35 am

    Testing on animals is no longer valid or needed. Its been proven that the tests are ineffective on animals and do not provide the correct amount of testing needed for human use. This is a better effect that doesn’t hurt any animals please support that.

  • Ken Huggins commented on February 13, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    As a past student at Imperial College I’m dismayed to discover that it still condones animal testing. Come on Imperial, show the world how it should be done and end animal experiments NOW !!

  • iris preston commented on February 15, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    It is proven that there are otherways to to check whether a substance is safe or not to use on humans. Torturing animals behind closed doors saids a lot about our progress as human beings . We must stand firm regarding the issues of animal cruelty . Our mantra must be /NO TESTING ON ANIMAL IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM

  • Kelly commented on February 28, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    You’re all doing a great job at PETA! Animal testing is horrible and I’m glad you’re doing all you can to stop it. I’ve recently gone cruelty free and vegan thanks to PETA. I’m passionate about helping animals. I hope more and more people take the pledge to help animals all over the world x

  • kay commented on February 28, 2015 at 2:45 pm



  • June White commented on February 28, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    I wonder seriously about the scientists testing these animals and see the cruelty. I think the public should be allowed to see these experiments and judge. The outcome would revealing. Cosmetics absolutely should be banned, for using animals, we should set an example to the rest of the world against cruelty, there is enough of it still in some countries.

  • jannet commented on March 24, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    I know what university I wont be going to

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