New endorsements: Looking at the debate from every angle

The Big Animal Research Debate has received endorsements from senior figures working on different sides of the on-going discussion about the role animal research plays in biology and the creation of new medical technology.

Dr Andre Menache and Antidote Europe
Dr Andre Menache is a zoologist and a veterinary surgeon. He currently serves as the CEO of Antidote Europe, a committee of scientists who work to find alternatives to the use of animals in medical and scientific research. Dr Menache contributed to the process of amending the Declaration of Helsinki, which sets out the key ethical principles the medical research community should follow when conducting experiments involving humans.

Laurie Pycroft and Pro-Test
Laurie Pycroft founded campaigning group Pro-Test in 2006. He set up Pro-Test in response to demonstrations against the construction of a new animal research facility by the University of Oxford. Over five years Pro-Test held a series of rallies to support of the work carried out at the research facility and to raise public awareness of “scientific research as a necessary tool of human progress”. Laurie Pycroft worked alongside a committee of senior academics, journalists and postgraduate and undergraduate students to direct Pro-Test’s activities until the organisation was wound up following the completion of work on the Oxford facility.

New endorsements
In a message to the Big Animal Research Debate Dr Menache said

“The Big Animal Research Debate is an important initiative at a time when animal experimentation is still widely seen as a "necessary evil". Although animal experimentation has traditionally been viewed as a stand-off between medical progress and animal welfare, there are increasing doubts within some sectors of the scientific community regarding the predictive value of animal models in human medicine, which has significant implications both in terms of animal suffering and public health.”

Writing to the Big Animal Research Debate earlier this week, Laurie Pycroft said

“I'm very glad that The Big Animal Research Debate will be directly addressing the important question of whether humanity should continue undertaking medical research on animals. While the overwhelming majority of biomedical researchers and medical practitioners recognise the importance of continuing this work, the UK has seen significant opposition to in-vivo research in recent decades. This debate will provide an excellent opportunity for bright young people to discuss the implications and importance of animal research, and critically consider what the world might look like without it.”

More information about Antidote Europe’s activities and publications can be found on their website, http://antidote-europe.org/en/.

Information about Pro-Test’s activities in support of animal research Oxford can be found at http://www.pro-test.org.uk/about.php. Pro-Test’s sister organisation Speaking of Research remains active and their website can be found at http://speakingofresearch.com/.

About the Big Animal Research Debate
The Big Animal Research Debate is a new public debating project taking place in universities across Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and beyond.

Between 14th and 17th October more than 20 university debating societies will hold public debates on the motion “This House would ban all forms of animal research”. Many of the events debates will be streamed live on animalresearchdebate.org or made available to view on YouTube.

For more information about the Big Animal Research Debate or to get you university, school or college involved, get in touch by sending an email to contact@animalresearchdebate.org.

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