Health Charities: Are They Spending Your Money on Animal Testing?

Some health charities ask for donations to help people with diseases and disabilities yet spend the money funding shocking experiments on rabbits, rats, mice, non-human primates, hamsters, pigs, ferrets, frogs, fish, guinea pigs, sheep, birds, dogs and other animals. For example, in some experiments, dogs are deliberately bred to develop crippling muscle diseases that make it extremely difficult for them to walk and swallow. Even though millions of people around the world still have no access to medical care, animal experimentation continues to divert money away from relevant and effective projects that actually aim to save lives.

Healing Without Hurting

Instead of exploiting animals’ bodies in the hope of finding cures for human diseases, enlightened charities focus their research where the best chance of a successful treatment lies: with humans.

They realise that experiments on animals are unreliable and often dangerously misleading. Enormous variations exist between humans and rats, rabbits, dogs, and pigs, and meaningful scientific conclusions cannot be drawn about one species by studying another. What is desperately needed is information about the mechanisms of disease in humans themselves. Non-animal methods using the most sophisticated modern techniques provide the relevant and accurate information that is essential to making real progress in the fight against disease.

Medical Research Without Animals

There are a number of charities helping ill people and conducting research into effective cures without testing on animals. They finance scientists who are developing non-animal research methods that will produce better and more relevant results. By supporting these charities, we can help humans and other animals.

Health Charities That Don’t Test on Animals

Charities that offer assistance to people in the developing world usually don’t conduct animal testing and often help those suffering from medical problems for which treatments already exist. However, please ensure that your gift doesn’t contribute to other forms of animal suffering. For example, “Send a Cow” and similar schemes can lead to poor animal welfare, environmental destruction, and an additional financial burden on people who may not be able to afford it.

Health Charities That Do Test on Animals

Many charities continue to test on animals. Even if they are conducting valuable work in other fields, it is usually not possible to specify how your donation will be used. In those circumstances, it is best to support a charity that doesn’t use animals at all. Before giving money to a health-research charity, we recommend that you investigate its current policy on animal testing. Some organisations have their policies on their websites, but others may not, and you will have to contact them directly. (Policies can change, which is why a response from the charity itself will give you the most up-to-date information.) If the charity does test on animals, please let its representatives know that you will instead donate your money to one that invests all its resources in effective, humane, non-animal research.

So that we can keep our records as up to date as possible, please let us know of any information you receive from charities about their animal-testing policies.