PETA Calls For Change for Animals During the Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference
PETA scientists and campaigners attended the Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference this week to seek the support of members of Parliament and other policy-makers on urgent animal protection issues.
Political parties are currently finalising their manifesto promises, and PETA is calling on them to include commitments to implementing a roadmap that would end experiments on animals and to switching to faux fur for the King’s Guard’s bearskin caps, among other important issues.
Our presence at the conference brought attention to PETA’s Research Modernisation Deal and the humane faux fur we have developed with ECOPEL to replace the bearskins used to make the King’s Guard’s ornamental headpieces. These initiatives must be supported by the next government to end the suffering of these animals.
A Roadmap for Ending Experiments on Animals
Right here in the UK, dogs are force-fed pesticides, rabbits endure chemical burns, and horses’ blood is drained with needles. Countless other animals may be poisoned, infected, paralysed, or electrocuted.
PETA has uncovered how monkeys at the University of Oxford endured surgery in which implants were drilled into their skulls that prevented them from moving their head when locked into a restraint chair and placed in front of a computer screen. They could only use their hands to respond to stimuli on the screen, for which they received a reward of blackcurrant juice via a tube positioned between their lips – their usual supply of drinking water having been removed for up to 16 hours prior to testing. This was carried out solely to assess how monkeys engage in and make decisions about exploratory behaviour.
Animals are not test tubes – they are sentient beings. It is unnecessary and unacceptable to maim and torment them in the name of “science”.
There are enormous limitations on what can be learned from experiments on animals. Given the vast physiological differences between humans and other animals, results are inherently unreliable. Major scientific breakthroughs relating to disease can be achieved through studies that use in vivo or in silico methods or consenting human participants. Tormenting animals for such purposes can even delay treatments and cures for human conditions.
There is a solution available: PETA’s Research Modernisation Deal provides a strategy that the government can use to create a roadmap for ending experiments on animals and accelerating the uptake and further development of superior, humane, and human-relevant methods.
Changing of the King’s Guard’s Bearskin Caps
Using the fur of slaughtered bears to make caps for the King’s Guard is both cruel and needless. It takes the skin of at least one bear to produce a single cap, and even though a cruelty-free and superior faux fur exists, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) continues to support the horrific bearskin industry.
Recreational hunters in Canada are granted tags to hunt bears for fun. They shoot them with guns or even bows and arrows, and the wounded animals often die in agony as they slowly bleed out. As the sex of bears is difficult to ascertain on sight, hunters often kill mother bears and entire families die as a result when cubs starve.
PETA, in collaboration with ECOPEL, has developed the world’s first faux bear fur, providing a modern, humane alternative for the MoD to employ. Recent laboratory tests have confirmed that the faux bear fur matches and in some areas outperforms real bear fur against the ministry’s five criteria for a suitable substitute. It is lighter, more sustainable, and cheaper than real bear fur, and ECOPEL is offering an unlimited amount to the government for free until 2030 – saving taxpayer money, which is especially important during the current cost of living crisis.
Given that 95% of the UK public rejects wearing animal fur and 75% considers the bearskin caps to be a “bad use of government funds”, making this switch would be thrifty and popular with voters. Political parties must commit to ending the outdated use of real bear fur for ornamental caps. They can preserve tradition by using faux fur that looks and feels just the same.
MPs can influence the content of their party’s manifesto, which outlines the policies and actions the party seeks to implement should it come into power. It is crucial to ensure that each party commits to ending experiments on animals and the use of bear fur for the King’s Guard’s caps – and that these issues would be priorities.
Ask Your MP to Support an End to Animal Testing and Bearskin Caps
You can support PETA’s campaigns by sending an e-mail to your MP and urging them to support these crucial initiatives.
Please note that you must have a UK address to use the following action alert.