Statement Regarding The Research Defence Society’S So-Called ‘Humane Animal Research’

PETA Europe welcomes the announcement that by the end of this year, guinea pigs will no longer be bred at Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch but is dismayed that once again the Research Defence Society’s reaction is to churn out the same tired old rhetoric, blindly pushing forward with a scientific orthodoxy that is increasingly proving to be highly flawed.

PETA challenges the view that animal research can ever be “humane”. Numerous undercover investigations have revealed animals languishing in cages, never knowing what a normal life is like, who are more often than not victims of egregious and deliberate cruelty at the hands of desensitised technicians who put them through painful experiments – force-feeding them toxic substances, rubbing irritants onto their shaved and abraded skin and surgically mutilating them.

Getting animals out of laboratories is scientific progress, and it is something that everyone in the scientific community should be striving for. Guinea pigs have been routinely and extensively used in drug hypersensitivity studies, for example, even though researchers admit that such studies bear no relevance to humans.* Happily, there are alternatives. Complex computer models, human epidemiological studies and cell and tissue cultures are just some of the effective and humane non-animal testing methodologies available to researchers.

PETA calls on the government and industry to put their money where their mouths are and put forward the proper funding and legislation needed to fast-track the development and validation of non-animal testing methodologies and require that these be used in place of the outmoded animal tests. This is the only way to effectively tackle this issue and secure the best outcome for the scientific community, the public and animals.

Just yesterday, 23 August, PETA US awarded the first-ever Herb Rosenkranz Award for the Advancement of Non-Animal Methods in Toxicology to Dr. Gilman Veith, who founded the International QSAR Foundation to Reduce Animal Testing after spending more than 20 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Veith was presented with the award and check for $120,000 at the Fifth World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences in Berlin, Germany.

PETA Europe works through entirely peaceful means, focusing on public education, research, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement and protest campaigns. PETA believes that animals deserve the most basic rights – consideration of their own best interests, regardless of whether they are useful to humans – and that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on or use for entertainment. 

Attached is an example of a PETA advertisement dealing with animal experimentation, and specifically the use of guinea pigs, other PETA advertisements can be viewed online at For more information, please contact Sean Gifford on 020 7357 9229, extension 226.
* During the 1999 Annual Summer Toxicology Forum at the Given Institute in Aspen, Colorado, Lawrence Updyke of Pfizer stated, “Typical animal studies have zero predictivity for hypersensitivity”. Jacques Desquotes, from INSERM in France, stated that although the guinea pig model is used extensively, “I don’t know why. The model has never been properly standardized and validated”. Susan Wilson, from the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Centre for Drug Evaluation and Research, stated that the guinea pig model had only a “25 per cent predictivity” to human reactions.