Animal Aid has today launched a petition calling on the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) to overturn a new requirement that all its members must publicly declare support for vivisection on their websites. We are also asking AMRC to hold a genuine debate about the scientific validity of experiments on animals.
We first exposed this ‘pro-vivisection pledge’ requirement in November 2014, shortly before the new rule came into force. This generated national media coverage and, we are told, a lively discussion at AMRC’s AGM. We were then informed that the pledge requirement was to be debated. We rapidly produced a brand new briefing on the latest evidence supporting the scientific case against vivisection, and sent it to all member charities.
But when we pressed AMRC’s chief executive for details of the debate, she failed to acknowledge that any such arrangement had ever been made, and instead focused on the fact that charities belonging to AMRC have always had to have a theoretical support for its position on vivisection. But this vague requirement is very different from the new and inflexible rule demanding a public pro-vivisection pledge. Tellingly, the pledge appears in an AMRC document about new requirements for member charities.
As well as asking AMRC to stop forcing its members to support vivisection, we are calling on the organisation to hold a debate about the usefulness of animal research. The scientific community is becoming increasingly doubtful about the validity of animal experimentation, and charities should be able to assess the latest evidence before formulating their policies on a highly controversial issue.
This new petition forms part of our Victims of Charity campaign, which seeks to end the funding of animal experiments by medical research charities. But before we can end charity-funded vivisection, we believe it is vital that organisations belonging to the sector’s key representative body are not forced to support it.
Please sign the petition, circulate it to friends and family, and share it on Facebook and Twitter.