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Published On: Fri, Jun 13th, 2014

Paul McCartney joins animal experiment protest in UK

The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) has welcomed support from Sir Paul McCartney, who has joined the NAVS campaign to end secrecy in animal experiments in the UK. Sir Paul is joined by 24 fellow celebrities who have signed up to a statement urging the repeal of Section 24, the animal experiment ‘secrecy clause’ which is currently under review by the Government.

Public domain image/ Jackpollock at the wikipedia project

Public domain image/ Jackpollock at the wikipedia project

Today (June 13) is the final day for members of the public to have their say on legislation which currently cloaks animal experiments in secrecy.

The NAVS President Jan Creamer, “The repeal of Section 24 is long overdue and a growing number of voices, including the Government themselves, agree that action must be taken. The situation as it stands is untenable. Please join the NAVS campaign to end animal experiment secrecy by responding to the Government’s public consultation before the end of today.”

In addition to Sir Paul McCartney, the NAVS campaign to repeal Section 24 is supported by 24 celebrities, including Ricky Gervais, Paul O’Grady, Chris Packham, Joanna Lumley, Twiggy, Brian Blessed, Colin Baker, Annette Crosbie, Gemma Atkinson, Meg Mathews, Alexei Sayle, Sadie Frost, Benjamin Zephaniah, Eddie Izzard, Jenny Seagrove, Lynsey de Paul, Peter Egan, Julia Peasgood, Samantha Womack, Wendy Turner-Webster, Martin Shaw, Prunella Scales, Julian Clary and Ann Widdecombe, who has written an article on the need for openness in animal experiments.

The celebrities join over 30 organisations, companies and eminent individuals who have signed the NAVS statement of support to date, including Sir Jonathon Porritt, Peter Tatchell, Campaign for Freedom of Information, Voice for Ethical Research at Oxford and The Kennel Club. MPs from all parties have supported motions calling for reform and Home Office Minister Norman Baker has stated that “Section 24 is now out of step with government policy on openness and transparency”.

Over 4 million animals are experimented on in the UK each year, and the use of animals in research is an issue of considerable public concern. Section 24 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act – the legislation governing the use of animals in research – prevents details of animal experiments being revealed; to do so would be a criminal offence carrying a two year prison term, even with the researcher’s consent. The clause has constrained public debate and inhibited scientific and ethical scrutiny of the use of animals in research.

The NAVS is campaigning for the repeal of Section 24 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, which shrouds animal experiments in secrecy and prevents proper public and scientific scrutiny. Repeal of Section 24 would not compromise health or safety, protection of confidential information or intellectual property, because the Freedom Of Information Act already provides for the protection of personal information and confidential information.

The Government’s public consultation on Section 24 closes today at 23.45. Members of the public can take part as well: complete the consultation online, using the NAVS guide.

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