Yesterday, campaigners from Animal Aid staged a dynamic presence at the British Heart Foundation’s celebrity ball, and called on the organisation to stop funding experiments on animals. Activists distributed leaflets inside the event itself, which was attended by celebrities including Pippa Middleton and the Saturdays singer Mollie King, and held an eye-catching photocall outside.
Inside the champagne reception at the exclusive Park Lane Hotel, campaigners handed out leaflets that explained why the BHF’s funding of animal experiments is scientifically invalid, as well as cruel. Guests were also given literature as they were coming in, and leaflets were distributed throughout the hotel. The photocall outside the venue was in keeping with the ball’s black tie theme, but included mouse masks and placards asking the BHF to stop hurting animals and putting people at risk by funding vivisection. Positioned directly opposite the red carpet, the activists caught the attention of passers-by and celebrity guests.
This latest action forms part of Animal Aid’s campaign to bring the BHF’s funding of animal experiments to an end. The national organisation has uncovered a catalogue of shocking animal experiments that have received financial support from the heart charity. These include dogs and pigs being deliberately given heart attacks, goats being forced to endure weeks of disruption to their natural heart rhythms, and pregnant sheep and their unborn lambs being surgically mutilated, partially suffocated and then killed. A particularly futile experiment – exposed just a few weeks ago – involved rats being deprived of oxygen for two weeks in an effort to see whether eating green vegetables could improve some heart problems. Animal Aid believes that such research is scientifically invalid, as well as cruel, since fundamental differences between species mean that there are serious problems with trying to extrapolate the results to humans.
Says Animal Aid Campaigner Isobel Hutchinson:
‘In light of the vivisection industry’s claims that it is now committed to openness, we wanted to ensure that guests attending the ball were fully informed about how the BHF could be spending their money.
‘A poll conducted on behalf of Animal Aid found that more than eighty per cent of the public would not wish to donate to charities that fund vivisection. This no doubt applies to many of the celebrities who support the BHF too. The charity should take stock of public sentiment and modern science, and ensure that only humane and productive non-animal research receives funding in the future.’