Paul Mccartney Still Says No To Animal Tests

On October 23, a story circulated that Sir Paul McCartney had “softened” his stance on animal experiments and stated that, before drugs can be given to human beings, it is “necessary” that they be tested on animals. The story did a great disservice to Sir Paul and the late Linda McCartney, their family, and all the campaigners who have worked so hard over the years to reduce the considerable suffering of animals in laboratories, eliminate animal tests, and change the law that requires them. The fact is that Sir Paul has only strengthened his position in opposition to animal testing since his wife’s death. This he made perfectly clear in a personal interview he requested and conducted with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals representatives in London on July. What, then, went wrong?

If one reads the transcript of the radio interview with Sir Paul comments which set the false story whirling across the press wires, one can see how someone unfamiliar with the status quo vis-a-vis animal tests could misunderstand what Sir Paul said. When he said animal tests are “necessary” or “required,” he was stating a fact, i.e. that they are required by law, a law that he desperately wishes to have changed. He has always made that clear. The animal testing requirement is archaic, having come into effect decades ago, long before their were such more efficient, workable assays using human cells and tissue, to name but two more sophisticated testing methods than shoving massive quantities of a drug down animals’ throats and hoping the result from their species can somehow be accurately extrapolated to ours. Sir Paul did not say, for it is not his position, that he was in favor of animal experimentation or himself felt it needed to be done. His position is, unequivocally, that animal tests are immoral, ineffective, and old-fashioned.

There is much more that can be said, but suffice it to say that the drooling editors who blared this non-story on the front pages of their tabloids not only showed complete disregard for the facts, but a hideous insensitivity to the Sir Paul and the McCartney family. They also harmed the “Compassionate Donor” campaign PETA launched this year to promote the support of medical charities that do not harm and kill animals in experiments and impugned Sir Paul’s support of the campaign. It is worth noting that he took the time recently to clarify that donations made in Linda’s name to Sloan-Kettering Memorial Hospital in New York, where Linda was treated, should go only to non-animal research.