We are just a few days away from launching a major new exposé into a series of cruel animal experiments that have received financial support from the British Heart Foundation (BHF). These latest revelations will step up the pressure on the BHF to change its policy so that only humane and productive non-animal research receives funding. Our Victims of Charity campaign has received extensive support from scientists and patients. Now, a senior cardiac physiologist has written an excellent letter to the BHF’s Heart Matters magazine:
Editor, Heart Matters.
British Heart Foundation
As a senior cardiac physiologist working for the NHS, I am grateful for all the support the BHF gives to our cardiac services. However I am uncomfortable with the funding the BHF gives to research involving animals. The species includes rabbits, sheep and their unborn lambs, goats and beagle dogs. Reading some of the details of these experiments, there is no doubt that they cause various degrees of animal suffering. There is growing medical dissent over the value of animal experiments. On May 30/2014, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a paper by Pound and Bracken that discussed the serious shortcomings of vivisection including the key message that there is ‘insufficient systematic evidence for the clinical benefits of animal research’. In response to this article the BMJ published an editorial written by the Editor in Chief that reinforced doubts over the scientific merits of animal studies and suggested funds might be better directed towards clinical research.
I think the BHF should be more open when it talks about supporting research and what this research involves so that those giving to the charity have a more informed choice.