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Regular updates on what’s happening with Lush Prize

 

Petition to stop the Mauritius monkey trade

MacacaMauritius is the second largest supplier of monkeys for the research industry in the world, exporting up to 10,000 animals every year.

These animals are exported primarily to the USA and the European Union, in particular the UK, France and Spain.

The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) has uncovered the slaughter of hundreds of monkeys, considered ‘surplus’ to requirement, including pregnant females and youngsters, at one of the largest primate breeding companies on the island, Noveprim Ltd.

This senseless slaughter is just one part of the cruel trade in primates from the island. An earlier investigation carried out by the BUAV obtained evidence of the cruelty and suffering involved in the trapping and breeding of wild monkeys on Mauritius. They are torn from their families and jungle homes and imprisoned in unnatural conditions in large facilities, to produce babies who will later be exported thousands of miles to laboratories around the world to suffer in experiments.

Sign the petition today

Alternatives to Laboratory Animals (ATLA): a special issue

Mark at the 2013 Lush Prize awards ceremony

Mark at the 2013 Lush Prize awards ceremony

Approaching his 60th birthday, after seeing years of campaigning against animal testing, founder of Lush Cosmetics Mark Constantine felt frustrated that rather than progress being made things were actually moving in the wrong direction.

So Lush joined forces with Ethical Consumer magazine to launch a unique prize that would give the fight against animal testing a much needed boost. The problem is a complex one but The Lush Prize has been designed with this complexity in mind, aiming to address a range of obstacles to progress.

In a special edition of the ATLA journal you can find out how the launch of the initiative in 2012 was a breakthrough year. With articles from the award winners across all categories, as well as from the judges, the journal is an inspiring read.

The Journal articles are freely available here on the FRAME website.

The 2014 Lush Prize opens for nominations on April 24th.

Virtual fish to be used in labs

fish‘Virtual fish’ research aims to reduce incidents of live animal testing

In 2011 the UK Government reported 59,000 live fish were being used in ecotoxicology studies in the UK. But the use of ‘virtual fish’ in establishing the toxicity and concentration of man-made chemicals is to be investigated by biological scientists at Plymouth University in collaboration with multinational pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca.

Earlier research at the University has involved coaxing cells from the liver of rainbow trout and then manipulating them to form a three-dimensional spheroid. This ball of cells behaves much more like normal animal tissue than cells grown in traditional ways in the lab and so can give researchers a more accurate picture of how an animal’s body would respond to a chemical in the environment.

With a grant of £600,000 – from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) and AstraZeneca – they plan to further develop the technique with cells from the gills and gut of fish in a move which has the potential to reduce the number of live animals required for scientific research.

Professor Jha said, “Traditionally, fundamental life processes are studied at whole organism level but for ethical and legal reasons, there has been much emphasis on the use of cells, tissues and organs grown outside the body”

The technique developed in Plymouth does not use live animals, and scientists believe just a few fish could generate enough cells for the amount of testing required, with the added bonus that the spheroids last significantly longer than other samples created in the lab, and so can be used for more detailed experiments.

“Since billions of cells from several different organs can be harvested from a single fish, it means that far fewer fish will be used in research, and those that are will not be used directly in experiments,” said Professor Jha.

Find out more

Photo above from flickr.com

The life of a beagle animated

Artist Cat Moonshadow made this short animation to aid the awareness of animal testing on Beagles. 

You can find more of her work here.

Cigarette manufacturer bans animal tests

ratLorillard Tobacco Company, the third-largest manufacturer of cigarettes in the U.S. has issued a new policy banning all animal testing.

PETA celebrated this week after their talks with the company over seveal years paid off. Lorillard has previously reported cruel tests on rats in which the animals were forced to inhale cigarette smoke. They now say:

‘It is the policy of Lorillard, Inc. not to conduct or commission research involving animals and will in good faith otherwise not use animals unless necessary to meet regulatory requirements. In order to eliminate animal testing, Lorillard R&D will use scientifically accepted or validated alternative test methods and technologies that avoid the use of live animals.’

PETA is now turning its attention to the two other tobacco giants; R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris and you can support the campaign by signing this petition.

(picture by Rattie Rescue on flickr.com)

New study shows growing opposition to animal tests

Justin Goodman at the Lush Prize awards last year

Justin Goodman at the Lush Prize awards last year

More than half of women, young adults find animal testing ‘morally wrong’

Americans’ moral opposition to animal testing has grown significantly since 2001, according to a new study presented at the annual meeting of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Chicago.

Researchers from PETA and Western Governors University examined data collected in independent surveys from 2001 to 2013. They found that 54 percent of young adults oppose animal testing and there is a growing generation gap in attitudes about this issue.

A majority of women (52 percent) believe medical testing on animals to be morally wrong – an increase of 9 percent from 2012 and 16 percent since 2001. Thirty percent of males opposed animal testing in 2013.

Opposition also rose significantly among all political affiliations since 2001.

“Opposition to animal testing is steadily rising among people of every gender, age group, and political affiliation, likely because people have more exposure than ever to information about the cruelty that animals endure in laboratories, how animal testing rarely helps humans, and the superior alternatives available,” says study co-author Justin Goodman.

“Now, the country’s laws and policies governing animal experimentation and its research funding practices need to evolve to meet public expectations as well,” he added.

Hamstrong – a cartoon superhero fighting animal testing

Hamstrong is a hamster imprisoned in an animal testing lab against his will. He seeks any means necessary to escape and bring freedom for the other animal captives.

The creators of the iPhone game, music video, and future animated series say:

We hope to create a better tomorrow for all animals by using education as a method of prevention. We believe that raising awareness and educating younger audiences about animal cruelty will make a big difference to the lives of animals.”

 

If you enjoyed this clip and want to see more, visit the Go Fund Me page to find out how you can support the project.

São Paulo goes cruelty-free

sao paulo

 

 

 

 

This month the São Paulo Parliament has implemented a ban on animal testing for cosmetics.

Cruelty Free International representative in Brazil, Frank Alarcón said: ‘We are delighted.. This is the first such ban in Latin America, and follows similar bans in the European Union and India as the wave of ethical consumer choice sweeps around the world. We congratulate the Parliament and Governor Alckmin on their progressive decision and call on other state governments and the national government to follow their example.’

The ban follows extensive campaigning in Brazil by groups including Cruelty Free International which included the submission of a petition with 120,000 Brazilians calling for an end to animal testing for cosmetics.

The explanatory text to the law says: ‘We believe that companies can guarantee the safety of their products choosing among thousands of already existent ingredients that possess a long history of safe use, at the same time as using an increasing number of alternative methods that do not involve animal use.’

Read more on the Cruelty Free International website

Image by Fernando Stankuns on flickr.com

Climbing Kilimanjaro for animal liberation

ANAAna Wolf co-director of an “Ultra Marathon” called ‘the Vegan Power 50K’ is appealing for donations towards a fund to help end lab tests on animals.

On 15th January, after five days of hiking uphill, passing through five different climate zones, on five hours sleep, the 42-year-old will be in Tanzania to start her push to reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

“I am climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for primates and all animals in laboratory settings. I will most likely be staggering breathlessly and huffing and puffing as I approach 19,000 feet, but I will do it gladly to support SAEN – Stop Animal Exploitation Now in their incredible work for animals in lab settings all over the country. I think your heart would break if you saw the photos of the experiments. Take a look here.

You see what I mean? BUT…let’s also take a look at the positives, meaning some of SAEN’s extensive body of work:

Who ended primate research at Pennsylvania State University Medical School?

Who forced Harvard to close their New England National Primate Research Center?

Who ensured that chimps used in lab testing were retired to a sanctuary instead of another research facility?

Who forced USDA to investigate and prosecute over 13 different universities and private research companies for violations?

SAEN – Stop Animal Exploitation Now!”

Find out more on Ana’s fundraising page here.

What did Lewis Carroll have to say about vivisection?

At the Lush Prize awards day in November we remembered the stirring words of Lewis Carroll.

Here is an extract from his 1875 essay titled Some Popular Fallacies About Vivisection.

white-rabbit

And when that day shall come.. what potent spell have you in store to win exemption from the common doom? Will you represent to that grim specter, as he gloats over you, scalpel in hand, the inalienable rights of man? He will tell you that this is merely a question of relative expediency,—that, with so feeble a physique as yours, you have only to be thankful that natural selection has spared you so long. Will you reproach him with the needless torture he proposes to inflict upon you? He will smilingly assure you that the hyperæsthesia, which he hopes to induce, is in itself a most interesting phenomenon, deserving much patient study. Will you then, gathering up all your strength for one last desperate appeal, plead with him as with a fellow-man, and with an agonized cry for “Mercy !”

***

No greater service can be rendered to the cause of truth, in this fiercely contested field, than to reduce these shadowy, impalpable phantoms into definite forms, which can be seen, which can be grappled with, and which, when once fairly laid, we shall not need to exorcise a second time:

- That the infliction of pain on animals is a right of man, needing go justification.

All who recognise the difference of right and wrong must admit, if the question be closely pressed, that, the infliction of pain is in some cases wrong. Those who deny it are not likely to be amenable to argument. For what common ground have we? They must be restrained, like brute beasts, by physical force.

- That man is infinitely more important than the lower animals, so that the infliction of animal suffering, however great, is justifiable if it prevent human suffering, however small.

This fallacy can be assumed only when unexpressed. To put it into words is almost to refute it. Few, even in an age where selfishness has almost become a religion, dare openly avow a selfishness so hideous as this ! While there are thousands, I believe, who would be ready to assure the vivisectors that, so far as their personal interests are concerned, they are ready to forego any prospect they may have of a diminution of pain, if it can only be secured by the infliction of so much pain on innocent creatures.

But I have a more serious charge than that of selfishness to bring against the scientific men who make this assumption. They use it dishonestly, recognising it when it tells in their favour, and ignoring it when it tells against them. For does it not presuppose the axiom that human and animal suffering differ in kind? A strange assertion this, from the lips of people who tell us that man is twin-brother to the monkey !

- That the toleration of one form of an evil necessitates the toleration of all others.

Grant this, and you simply paralyze all conceivable efforts at reformation. How can we talk of putting down cruelty to animals when drunkenness is rampant in the land? You would propose, then, to legislate in the interests of sobriety? Shame on you ! Look at the unseaworthy ships in which our gallant sailors are risking their lives ! What ! Organize a crusade against dishonest shipowners, while our streets swarm with a population growing up in heathen ignorance ! We can but reply, non omnia possumus omnes. And surely the man who sees his way to diminish in any degree even a single one of the myriad evils around him, may well lay to heart the saying of a wise man of old, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”

Read the full essay >

 
Prize Partner: Ethical Consumer Research Association
 

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